Deadlines to meet, personal commitments to attend, quick and unhealthy bites on the go, and hardly any time for your health. All these results in many lifestyle conditions, heart problems being predominant among them. Thousands of people in the India suffer a heart attack in a year. Don’t you think knowing the reasons behind heart problems is important to avoid suffering from one? Read on to know about Atherosclerosis, a condition that eventually leads to a block in an artery.
What is Atherosclerosis?
When the arteries start narrowing as a result of the plaque buildup, it is known as Atherosclerosis. It is also referred to as arteriosclerosis, which means that the arteries become very hard.
The blood vessels that are responsible for carrying oxygen and the necessary nutrients from the heart to the entire body are the arteries. As you grow older, the cholesterol and the fat starts getting deposited in the arteries, which lead to the formation of plaque.
Arteries are lined by the cell layer which is known as the endothelium. Atherosclerosis starts to develop when there is damage caused to the endothelium. This leads to the lipoproteins of low density getting accumulated in the wall of the artery. These lipoproteins are known as atheroma.
The pieces of the plaque may break off, and the flow of blood through the arteries is restricted due to the blood clot. Atherosclerosis may cause stroke, heart attacks, heart failure, and peripheral vascular disease if it is not treated properly. This disease can occur in any artery that is located in any of the body parts, which include the kidneys, the legs, or the heart.
What exactly happens?
Atherosclerosis starts when the arteries located in part of a person’s body become hard and narrow due to the buildup of excess fat in the artery walls. These damages lead to the development of plaque. The plaque starts creating a bump on the wall of the artery.
As the disease starts to progress, the bump starts to get bigger. This leads to a blockage. This process goes on throughout the patient’s body, placing his heart at a great risk. This may also lead to stroke or other serious health problems.
Once the disease starts progressing, it may lead to the rupture of the plaque lining. This causes the LDL cholesterol and the other unwanted substances to spill out in the blood stream. This leads to the blood clot, and the blood clot, in turn, may travel to any other body part, blocking the flow of blood to the nearest organ. The plaque can either stay in the wall of the artery, or it may start growing in the path of the flow of blood.
This disease progresses very slowly, and it may start developing in a person from his/her childhood. In adults, atherosclerosis is generally caused due to a high blood pressure, smoking, resistance to insulin, diabetes, obesity, or inflammation due to other diseases or lupus.
Maintaining a proper diet and exercising regularly can help to keep atherosclerosis in check.
In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!