What is Arteriosclerosis?
A health article about Arteriosclerosis from Your Health Online the A to Z directory of dealing with Health Problems & nutritional Self Care Strategies
Arteriosclerosis is one of the most common diseases of the blood vessels. The condition is the hardening of the arteries. It includes atherosclerosis, but the two terms are often used synonymously.
It also refers to a
thickening of the walls of the arteries due to the presence of calcium or lime. It has become a
common ailment in modern times, accounting for much of the disability and high death rate
among older people.
Arteriosclerosis is usually preceded by artherosclerosis, a kind of degeneration or softening of
the inner lining of the blood vessels walls. The most risky places for such degeneration are the
coronary vessels of the heart and the arteries leading to the brain.
Arteriosclerosis results in the
loss of elasticity of the blood vessels, with a narrowing of the smaller arteries, which interferes
with the free circulation of the blood. These changes may gradually extend to capillaries and
Arteriosclerosis is more frequent in men than women, especially in the younger age-group. It has
been estimated that 40 per cent of all men over 40 years have a significant degree of obstruction
of their coronary arteries and this can lead to heart attack at any time.
Signs & Symptoms of Arteriosclerosis
The symptoms of arteriosclerosis vary with arteries involved. Signs of inadequate blood supply
generally appear first in the legs.
There may be numbness and coldness in the feet and cramps
and pains in the legs even after light exercise. If the coronary arteries are involved, the patient
may have sharp pains, characteristic of angina pectoris.
When arteries leading to the brain are
involved, the vessel may burst, causing hemorrhage in the brain tissues. A cerebral vascular
stroke, with partial or complete paralysis of one side of the body may result, if there is blockage
with a blood clot.
Artherosclerosis may also lead to loss of memory and a confused state of mind in elderly
people. If arteries leading to the kidneys are involved, the patient may suffer from high blood
pressure and kidney disorders.
What Causes Arteriosclerosis?
The most important cause of arteriosclerosis is excessive intake of white sugar, refined foods
and high fat diet, rich in cholesterol. A sedentary life and excesses of all kinds are the major
Hardening of the arteries may also be caused by other diseases such as
high blood pressure, obesity, diabetes, rheumatism, Bright’s disease, malaria, syphillis.
Emotional stress also plays an important part, and heart attacks are more common during the
periods of mental and emotional disturbances, particularly in those engaged in sedentary
occupations. Heredity also plays its role and this disease runs in families.
Risk Factors for Artherosclerosis:
Preventing heart disease: It is Possible
There are many things that you can do to prevent Coronary heart disease and arteriosclerosis. First of all, there might be genetic factors that say that you have a higher potential for developing heart disease.
If this is the main factor, then there might not be much that you can do about the idea that you might indeed get heart disease.
However, no matter whether or not you have genetic factors that say you are more prone to heart disease, there are some things that you should consider.
Even if you have more of a genetic factor that says you might develop heart disease, there are certain things that you can do. Even if you have the tendency to develop heart disease and arteriosclerosis at a certain point in your life, there are things that you can do which will greatly increase your chances of not developing heart disease – or at the very least, of delaying your development of heart disease as long as possible.
Most of the things that you can do to prevent heart disease are much easier than you’d think they would be. First of all, you should know that the best way to prevent heart disease, no matter what your genetic disposition towards it is, is to exercise often. By exercising, you are allowing your body to get into better shape.
If you can keep your body in good shape, your body is going to be able to better digest the food that it takes in, including fatty foods and other foods. Also, if you are in good shape, and if you exercise often, your body is going to keep your heart strong, which means that it is going to keep pumping at a nice, strong rate, and you are going to stay healthy.
Exercise — Coronary heart disease Worst Enemy
One of the best defenses that a person has against heart disease and arteriosclerosis is actually exercise. You might not think it is true, but when it comes down to it, the best way to make sure that you don’t get heart disease, or the best way for you to ward it off if you have a genetic disposition towards heart disease, is to make sure that you are getting a proper amount of exercise.
Exercise can provide your body, and your heart, with many things. First of all, it can give you a chance to make sure that your body is really working well. It can make sure that your heart is beating as it should be, and it can also make sure that the blood is getting pumped to your body like it is supposed to be.
When you are getting the proper amount of exercise, you are going to be making your heart much stronger. This happens because as you exercise, you force your heart to be beating more and more, and faster and faster. By exercising often, and building up the strength of your heart, you are going to be creating a stronger heart, that can go for longer and that can beat faster without making your body work harder.
If you can keep exercising so that your body is getting stronger and stronger, you are going to see that exercise is also going to make your heart stronger.
And a strong heart is very important when it comes to preventing heart disease and arteriosclerosis. You are going to see that those people who have stronger hearts are much less likely to develop heart disease because heart disease is going to be more prone to attacking weaker hearts. If you can make and keep your heart strong, you are going to see that you have a less chance of developing heart disease.
Remember that this is something that you can be doing on a daily basis, and it is going to help your heart to be stronger and stronger.
A good idea is to develop an exercise regime that makes your heart work. You should start by doing something that will make your heart pump harder than it pumps every day, and you should gradually increase the time that you are performing this task, and how quickly your heart is pumping.
The idea is to build up endurance, so that your heart can work harder and longer without having much strain. Once you have built up a great endurance, your heart is going to be much healthier.
Another important thing that you should keep in mind when it comes to heart disease is that you need to keep up a good diet. Foods that are high in fat, and foods that are not healthy for you are not going to be foods that benefit your heart. In fact, they are going to be foods that contribute to a greater possibility of heart disease and arteriosclerosis.
Therefore, in order to keep heart disease at bay, you need to be exercising regularly and eating a good diet that is low in fat. This is always a good idea, but an especially good idea if you are looking at ways to prevent heart disease
Treatment includes lifestyle changes, lipid-lowering drugs, percutaneous transluminal coronary angioplasty, and coronary artery bypass surgery. Atherosclerosis requires lifelong care.
Patients who have less severe atherosclerosis may achieve adequate control through lifestyle changes and drug therapy. Many of the lifestyle changes that prevent disease progression--a low-fat, low-cholesterol diet, losing weight (if necessary), exercise, controlling blood pressure, and not smoking--also help prevent the disease.
Most of the drugs prescribed for atherosclerosis seek to lower cholesterol. Many popular lipid-lowering drugs can reduce LDL-cholesterol by an average of 25-30% when combined with a low-fat, low-cholesterol diet. Lipid-lowering drugs include bile acid resins, "statins" (drugs that effect HMG-CoA reductase, an enzyme that controls the processing of cholesterol), niacin, and fibric acid derivatives such as gemfibrozil (Lobid). Aspirin helps prevent thrombosis and a variety of other medications can be used to treat the effects of atherosclerosis.
Percutaneous transluminal coronary angioplasty and bypass surgery are invasive procedures that improve blood flow in the coronary arteries. Percutaneous transluminal coronary angioplasty (coronary angioplasty) is a non-surgical procedure in which a catheter tipped with a balloon is threaded from a blood vessel in the thigh into the blocked artery. The balloon is inflated, compresses the plaque to enlarge the blood vessel, and opens the blocked artery.
Coronary angioplasty is performed by a cardiologist in a hospital and generally requires a hospital stay of one or two days. It is successful about 90% of the time, but for one-third of patients the artery narrows again within six months. It can be repeated and a "stent" may be placed in the artery to help keep it open (see below).
In coronary artery bypass surgery (bypass surgery), a detour is built around the blockage with a healthy vein or artery, which then supplies oxygen-rich blood to the heart. It is major surgery appropriate for patients with blockages in two or three major coronary arteries or severely narrowed left main coronary arteries, and for those who have not responded to other treatments. It is performed in a hospital under general anesthesia and uses a heart-lung machine. About 70% of patients experience full relief; about 20% partial relief.
Three other semi-experimental surgical procedures may be used to treat atherosclerosis. In atherectomy, a cardiologist shaves off and removes strips of plaque from the blocked artery. In laser angioplasty, a catheter with a laser tip is inserted to burn or break down the plaque. A metal coil called a stent may be permanently implanted to keep a blocked artery open.
Self Care strategies for Living with Arteriosclerosis
Alternative therapies that focus on diet and lifestyle can help prevent, retard, or reverse atherosclerosis. Herbal therapies that may be helpful include: hawthorn (Crataegus laevigata), notoginseng root (Panax notoginseng), garlic (Allium sativum), ginger (Zingiber officinale), hot red or chili peppers, yarrow (Achillea millefolium), and alfalfa (Medicago sativum).
Relaxation techniques including yoga, meditation, guided imagery, biofeedback, and counseling and other "talking" therapies may also be useful to prevent or slow the progress of the disease. Dietary modifications focus on eating foods that are low in fats (especially saturated fats), cholesterol, sugar, and animal proteins and high in fiber and antioxidants (found in fresh fruits and vegetables).
Liberal use of onions and garlic is recommended, as is eating raw and cooked fish, especially cold-water fish like salmon. Smoking, alcohol, and stimulants like coffee should be avoided. Chelation therapy, which uses anticoagulant drugs and nutrients to dissolve plaque and flush it through the kidneys, is controversial.
Long-term remedies can be prescribed by specialists in ayurvedic medicine, which combines diet, herbal remedies, relaxation and exercise, and homeopathy, which treats a disease with small doses of a drug that causes the symptoms of the disease.
A healthy lifestyle--eating right, regular exercise, maintaining a healthy weight, not smoking, and controlling hypertension--can reduce the risk of developing atherosclerosis, help keep the disease from progressing, and sometimes cause it to regress.
• Eat right-A healthy diet reduces excess levels of LDL cholesterol and triglycerides. It includes a variety of foods that are low in fat and cholesterol and high in fiber; plenty of fruits and vegetables; and limited sodium. Fat should comprise no more than 30%, and saturated fat no more than 8-10%, of total daily calories according to the American Heart Association.
Cholesterol should be limited to about 300 milligrams per day and sodium to about 2,400 milligrams. The "Food Guide" Pyramid developed by the U.S. Departments of Agriculture and Health and Human Services provides daily guidelines: 6-11 servings of bread, cereal, rice, and pasta; 3-5 servings of vegetables; 2-4 servings of fruit; 2-3 servings of milk, yogurt, and cheese; and 2-3 servings of meat, poultry, fish, dry beans, eggs, and nuts. Fats, oils, and sweets should be used sparingly. Mono-unsaturated oils, like olive and rapeseed (Canola) are good alternatives to use for cooking.
• Exercise regularly--Aerobic exercise can lower blood pressure, help control weight, and increase HDL ("good") cholesterol. It may keep the blood vessels more flexible. Moderate to intense aerobic exercise lasting about 30 minutes (or three 10-minute exercise periods) four or more times per week is recommended, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the American College of Sports Medicine. Aerobic exercise includes walking, jogging, and cycling, active gardening, climbing stairs, or brisk housework. A physician should be consulted before exercise if a person has atherosclerosis or is at increased risk for it.
• Maintain a desirable body weight--Losing weight can help reduce total and LDL cholesterol, reduce triglycerides, and boost HDL cholesterol. It may also reduce blood pressure. Eating right and exercising are two key components in maintaining a desirable body weight.
• Do not smoke or use tobacco--Smoking has many adverse effects on the heart but quitting can repair damage. Ex-smokers face the same risk of heart disease as non-smokers within five to 10 years of quitting. Smoking is the worst thing a person can do to their heart and lungs.
• Seek treatment for hypertension--High blood pressure can be controlled through lifestyle changes--reducing sodium and fat, exercising, managing stress, quitting smoking, and drinking alcohol in moderation--and medication. Drugs that provide effective treatment are: diuretics, beta-blockers, sympathetic nerve inhibitors, vasodilators, angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitors, and calcium antagonists. Hypertension usually has no symptoms so it must be checked to be known. Like cholesterol, hypertension is called a "silent killer."
Diet change strategies for atherosclerosis:
Using Ayurveda Therapy with atherosclerosis :
If the causes of arteriosclerosis are known, remedial action should be taken promptly to remove
them. To begin with the patient should resort to a short juice fast for five to seven days.
available fresh, raw vegetables and fruit juices in season may be taken. Grape-fruit juice,
pineapple juice, lemon juice and juices of green vegetables are especially beneficial. A warm
water enema should be used daily to cleanse the bowels during the period of fasting.
After the juice fast, the patient should take optimum diet made up from three basic food groups,
namely (i) seeds, nuts and grains, (ii) vegetables and, (iii) fruits, with emphasis on raw foods.
Plenty of raw and sprouted seeds and nuts should be used. Cold pressed vegetable oils,
particularly safflower oil, flax seed oil and olive oil should be used regularly.
Further, shorter fasts on juices may be undertaken at intervals of three months or so, depending
on the progress being made.
The patient should take several small meals instead of a few large ones. He should avoid all
hydrogenated fats and an excess of saturated fats, such as butter, cream, ghee and animal fat.
He should also avoid meat, salt and all refined and processed foods, condiments, sauces,
pickles , strong tea, coffee, white sugar, white flour and all products made from them. Foods
cooked in aluminum and copper utensils should not be taken as toxic metals entering the body
are known to be deposited on the walls of the aorta and the arteries. Smoking, if habitual, should
be given up as smoking constricts the arteries and aggravates the condition.
Recent investigations have shown that garlic and onions have a preventive effect on the
development of arteriosclerosis. Vitamin C has also proved beneficial as it helps in the
conversion of cholesterol into bile acids.
One of the most effective home remedies for arteriosclerosis is the lemon peel. It is believed to
be one of the richest known sources of vitamin P. It strengthens the entire arterial system.
Shredded lemon peel may be added to soups and stews, or sprinkled over salads. To make a
medicine, the peel of one or two lemons may be cut up finely, covered with warm water and
allowed to stand for about 12 hours. A teaspoonful may be taken every three hours, or
immediately before or after a meal.
Parsley is another effective home remedy for arteriosclerosis. It contains elements which help to
maintain the blood vessels, particularly the capillaries and arterial system in a healthy condition.
It may be taken as a beverage by simmering it gently in the water for a few minutes and
partaking several times daily.
The beet juice has also proved valuable in arteriosclerosis. It is an excellent solvent for inorganic
calcium deposit. Juices of carrot and spinach are also beneficial. These juices can be taken
individually or in combination. Formula proportions found helpful when used in combination are
carrot 300 m.l. and spinach 200 m.l. to prepare 500 m.l. of juice.
The patient should undertake plenty of outdoor exercise and eliminate all mental stress and
worries. Prolonged neutral immersion baths at bed time on alternate days is beneficial. This bath
is administered in a bath tub which should be properly fitted with hot and cold water connection.
The bath-tub should be fitted with water at a temperature ranging from 92 o to 98 o F and the
patient should lie in it for an hour or so. The head should be kept cold with a cold compress.
Vitamin & Nutrient Associations
Even when we try to eat well, we're disadvantaged. The nutritional content of most food has been compromised over the years, not only by deficient soils and modern production, transportation, storage and processing methods, but also by the enormous amounts of chemical and artificial substances added to promote growth, storage life, taste and appearance.
It's for this reason that more and more medical authorities are advocating the use of vitamin and mineral supplements. However, finding them in the right combination can be both confusing and costly.
The nutrition products I am going to recommend you make use of knowledge gained from the botanical world's 6,000 year history. They incorporated health building nutritional herbs with the best modern technology to help our bodies cleanse and detoxify so that the cells - the tiniest living units - can be as fully nourished as possible.
This allows the cells to grow, repair and to perform their functions with the best possible efficiency so that we feel and look better and are more able to prevent and fight disease. Once the body begins to clear itself of toxins it can more efficiently absorb nutrition.
You may find benefit from our information on detoxification as well as a bit about detoxing because of change of diet
It may be due to difficulties with your digestive system that is causing your body to be starved of key nutrients, vitamins or minerals. In this case you may find useful answers by reviewing our article on Nutrition For Your Cells. There is also more information here about why is nutrition such an issue nowadays?
It may be that your metabolism has slowed due to pressures that have been placed on your system through life in general or through specific “challenges” you have faced in the last few months or last few years. Review this by looking at our article about balancing your Metabolic Rate.
Further reading through our articles on Arteriosclerosis health issues will give you a body of information that will help you decide what options you have to deal with the underlying causes of your problem through giving your body the nutrition products that will assist you body to heal from the inside out.
We wish you well in your search for solutions to this Arteriosclerosis problem and your movement towards better health in all areas.
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The term coronary heart disease covers a group of clinical syndromes arising particularly from
failure of the coronary arteries to supply sufficient blood to the heart. They include angina
peactoris, coronary thrombosis or heart attack and sudden death without infarction.
There has been a marked increase in the incidence of heart disease in recent years. Heart
attacks have become the number one killer in Western countries. The disease affects people of all ages and both sexes, although it is
more common in men than in women, especially among those aged 40-60 years.
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