Arteriosclerotic heart disease generally refers to the building up of plaque in the arteries that allow blood to flow through the heart muscle, causing the heart to function poorly. Plaque in this definition is an accumulated mass of fatty substances within the arterial walls that had developed over the years. Millions of people suffer from this condition. However, knowing the risk factors and its prevention will greatly put you in a less hazardous position.
In the early stage of arteriosclerotic heart disease, the fat deposits are seen as yellow lines or dots within the arterial walls. The development of plaque within these walls is known as atherosclerosis. This building up of plaque results in the narrowing of arteries around the heart muscle. Therefore, the hearts oxygen and blood supply is limited.
Arteriosclerotic heart disease is more likely to occur in women than in men, but it generally affects those at the age of 40 and above. This condition is caused by a lot of factors. Among them are family history, diabetes, elevated blood pressure, obesity or inactive lifestyle, menopause, cigarette smoking, and cholesterol levels.
The symptoms of arteriosclerotic heart disease include stable angina, particularly chest pain experienced when there is a reduction in the blood flowing through the heart muscle. This type of pain is more common in women than in men. Difficulty in breathing could also be experienced by a person having this condition.
The treatment varies from the severity of the condition. If the condition is symptom-free, medications may be given to the patient. Angioplasty, the surgical fixing of blood vessels, may also be recommended, together with stenting, where a tube is introduced to the blood vessel to counteract blood flow constriction.
Among the medications that doctors prescribe to patients are ACE (angiotensin-converting enzyme) inhibitors, statins for lowering cholesterol levels, diuretics for lowering blood pressure, and nitrates for relieving chest pain.
There are various ways to prevent the risk of the disease. Salty foods should be avoided, along with cigarette smoking. Exercise greatly contributes to the health of the cardiovascular system. You should also monitor your blood pressure and blood sugar periodically. For your diet, consult a health specialist or medical professional to have a list of the foods to eat.
Stress also contributes to increasing the risk of the disease. Try to reduce this as much as you could by limiting your everyday tasks. Yoga is an excellent way of reducing stress. If you have arteriosclerotic heart disease, talk to your doctor to know the exact treatment you should take.
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