Main cause of atherosclerosis | What is the leading cause of atherosclerosis?

Complication of atherosclerosis
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The main cause of atherosclerosis

Atherosclerosis is a common problem that is somewhat related to aging.

Atherosclerosis can be defined as the accumulation of plaque. In addition to a lot of diet materials and calcium.

They are damaged by atherosclerosis as a result of aging due to the increase in these plaques.

Normally, the body does not have to carry oxygen and nutrients from the body to the body. Therefore, this may lead to the narrowing of the vessels to allow blood to flow through them, which may lead to spasms and pressure on various organs of the body.

Plaque can also break off, causing a clot.

It must be treated to prevent it from developing into a cardiac attack, stroke, or cardiac failure.

What is the definition of atherosclerosis?

Arteriosclerosis occurs due to the aggregation of plaque (a substance consisting of fats, cholesterol, and other substances found in the blood) inside the arteries, which limits the flow of oxygen-rich blood to the body, causes circulation problems, and increases the risk of clots that can occur and may lead to block flow to the brain or heart.

Types of atherosclerosis


What are the types of atherosclerosis?

Arterial stenosis in atherosclerosis can affect most arteries in the body, including the arteries of the cardiac, brain, arms, legs, pelvis, and kidneys, each of which has a name depending on which arteries are affected:

  1. Coronary Artery Disease: It is the aggregation of plaque and hardening of the cardiac arteries.
  2. Peripheral artery disease is the buildup of plaque in the arteries of the legs, but it can also build up in the arms or pelvis.
  3. Carotid artery disease is the aggregation of plaque in the arteries of the neck, reducing flow to the brain.
  4. Renal artery stenosis is the accumulation of plaque in the arteries that supply to the kidneys.
  5. Vertebral artery disease is a hardening of the arteries that supply to the back of the brain.
  6. Mesenteric artery ischemia is the buildup of plaques in the arteries that supply to the intestines.

What are the risk factors for atherosclerosis?

There are two parts: The first is not changed and is not subject to modification or change.

It includes the following:

  1. Aging: The older you get, the greater the risk of developing atherosclerosis.
  2. Race: Studies have shown that some ethnic groups are more susceptible than others to developing atherosclerosis.
  3. Genetic factors: play an important role, as the hereditary problem known as hyperlipidemia plays a role, which causes the appearance of high levels of fats in the blood, and this problem increases the risk of atherosclerosis.
  4. Gender: Men are more susceptible to atherosclerosis than women, as women have natural immunity before menopause as a result of the secretion of the hormone estrogen, and after the age of fifty, both sexes are equally likely to suffer from the disease.

The other part of these factors are the ones that we can control and control, thus reducing the risk of this deadly disease, and they include:

  1. Excessive weight gain: It can be avoided by following a healthy, beneficial, and balanced diet, exercising daily, such as walking, for example, and controlling weight.
  2. High cholesterol: It can be avoided by not eating a lot of fatty foods, especially animal ones.
  3. Smoking: by quitting all types of smoking.
  4. Blood pressure: This can be treated and controlled.
  5. Diabetes: This can be treated and controlled, and can even be avoided if it is type 2.

What are the causes of atherosclerosis?

Atherosclerosis begins due to the buildup of plaque in the arteries, causing difficulty in flowing blood to the body’s vital organs.

Although the exact cause of atherosclerosis is not known, it is considered a slow and complex disease that begins in childhood and develops faster with time.

Atherosclerosis can occur due to the following factors:

1. High pressure

High pressure can damage the walls of your arteries, allowing plaque to build up inside them.

2. Obesity

Obesity raises pressure and sugar levels and also increases cholesterol levels, which leads to hardened arteries.

3. Metabolic syndrome

High levels of cholesterol and triglycerides in the blood lead to the risk of atherosclerosis.

4. Lack of physical activity

Physical activity helps lower cholesterol levels and pressure, aid weight loss and reduce insulin resistance.

5. Diabetes or insulin resistance

Diabetics are more susceptible to atherosclerosis disease, as high sugar and high levels of fatty acids also lead to increased plaque within the walls of vessels.

6. Genetics

Genetic disorders play an important role in the development of atherosclerosis.

If one of your family members suffers from atherosclerosis, your likelihood of developing the disease increases as well.

7. Age

As we age, the heart and blood vessels work harder to pump and receive blood, which may make the arteries less flexible and more prone to plaque buildup.

8. Infections

Bacteria or viruses may inflame the inner lining of the arteries and irritate the blood vessels, causing atherosclerosis.

9. Smoking

Frequent consumption or inhalation of tobacco products increases the risk of developing the disease, as the nicotine contained in cigarette smoke reduces the level of oxygenation in the cardiac muscles and damages the cells in the walls of the coronary arteries (the arteries of the coronary circulation that transport blood to the cardiac muscle and consist of the left coronary artery And the right coronary artery) and blood vessels, which leads to atherosclerosis and the occurrence of cardiac disease.

10. High levels of LDL cholesterol: Elevated levels of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, often referred to as “bad” cholesterol, can contribute to the formation of plaque. LDL cholesterol can penetrate the arterial walls and trigger an inflammatory response, leading to the aggregation of plaque.

But in general, the main cause is aggregation of plaques in vessels.

Complication of atherosclerosis


What are the symptoms of atherosclerosis?

Symptoms of atherosclerosis range from weakness to disability depending on the nature of the disease in terms of degree, location of the disease, and other factors.

We will discuss in detail the most common symptoms of atherosclerosis, which are as follows:

  1. Chest ache and difficulty breathing in the event of a cardiac attack.
  2. Pain in the shoulders and arms.
  3. Weakness, general weakness, extreme and constant stress.
  4. fatigue.
  5. Feeling confused.
  6. Sudden tingling and numbness, difficulty speaking, temporary loss of vision in one eye, or drooping of one of the muscles on both sides of the face, may be an indication of a stroke.
  7. Painful sensation in the leg or feet when walking.
  8. High blood pressure or kidney failure in the case of hardening of the arteries leading to the kidneys.
  9. Weakness and Fatigue in the muscles of the legs.
  10. Loss of ability to concentrate and fainting and nausea.
  11. Loss of appetite and thus loss of weight.

How to diagnose atherosclerosis?

Diagnostic tools and tests used to diagnose atherosclerosis:

A. medical examination, blood tests, ultrasound, CT scans, and imaging.

The appropriate choice of these tools depends on the patient’s health status and symptoms of expectation.

With regard to patients suspected of having atherosclerosis, the condition is usually diagnosed with a medical examination and blood tests.

What to expect during the diagnostic process:

When you visit the clinic, you will review your history, and we will conduct tests

and the necessary examination of the heart and blood vessels. After that, you will be directed to any of the diagnostic tools available according to the needs of the patient.

B. Four tests that help in diagnosis:

  1. complete blood picture.
  2. Heart functions.
  3. clotting factors, and blood lipids.

C.Ultrasound and its role in diagnosing atherosclerosis

Echo is one of the indispensable heart tests in diagnosing heart disease.

An ultrasound device is used to evaluate cardiac function.

Cardiac catheterization is a flexible tube that we use to diagnose or treat many heart diseases.

It may not be as important as an ultrasound scan.

Diagnosis of atherosclerosis: However, it is necessary to evaluate the condition of the heart and the diseases you suffer from.

This examination depends on injecting a dye into the body and using a catheter to image the blood vessels from the inside.

This examination helps us determine the degree of narrowing or blockage of the artery.

We will not use this test unless we believe it is necessary to establish a more accurate diagnosis of the heart condition.

As is known, atherosclerosis may not be the only problem that most heart patients suffer from.

Is a CT scan necessary in diagnosing atherosclerosis?

CT scans may actually be used in some cases, depending on what the patient’s health condition requires, and CT scans help determine the amount of narrowing or blockage of the arteries.

What is the treatment of atherosclerosis?

Treatment methods used by doctors to treat atherosclerosis are varied, and treatment methods are divided according to the type of disease:

A. Treatment of atherosclerosis.

Treatment of atherosclerosis depends on controlling the health problems that contribute to the development of the disease, by using some treatments:

  1. Statins are medications to control cholesterol and triglyceride levels in the blood.
  2. Aspirin to prevent the formation of blood clots in the arteries.
  3. High blood pressure medications, most notably Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme (ACEs) Inhibitors, Angiotensin II Receptor Blockers (ARBs), diuretics, calcium channel blockers, and vasodilator medications, to control high blood pressure.

Control blood pressure by keeping the blood pressure level below 130/85. In addition to controlling diabetes by maintaining a level of glycated hemoglobin (HbA1c) of less than 7%, exercising and following a healthy diet, as well as using diabetic medications prescribed by a specialist doctor, which are appropriate for the patient’s case.

It is also recommended to control atherosclerosis by following a healthy dietary pattern rich in fiber, fruits, vegetables, fatty fish, and monounsaturated fat while avoiding red and processed meat and trans fat, and ensuring that the patient’s intake of table salt does not exceed 5 grams per day.

In addition to quitting smoking and exercising for 90 to 150 minutes a day.

B. Treatment of non-atherosclerosis.

Treatment of non-atherosclerosis depends on controlling health problems that may increase the risk of non-atherosclerosis, such as high blood pressure.

What are the complications of atherosclerosis?

Atherosclerosis causes many complications, including:

  1. Heart diseases such as heart attack or angina.
  2. brain attack.
  3. Suffering from a stroke in the artery supplying the lower extremities.
  4. Hypertension.
  5. Poor vitality and function of various body organs, such as poor movement, or poor vision, and higher brain functions, such as poor memory.

How to prevent atherosclerosis?

To prevent the early appearance of atherosclerosis, or – at least – reduce its severity, the following can be don

  • Reduce the intake of fatty foods containing a high percentage of cholesterol, such as sweets, eggs, butter, and meat.
  • Maintain exercise such as walking or swimming.
  • reduce Smoking.
  • Eat plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables.
  • Control body weight and fight weight gain.
  • Early and effective treatment for high blood pressure.
  • Early and effective treatment for diabetes.
  • Early diagnosis and treatment of kidney problems.
  • Early and effective treatment for excess fat and cholesterol.

To lower cholesterol levels, it is recommended to:

  1. Eat plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables.
  2. Reduce your intake of animal fats, such as whole milk, cheese, eggs, and red meat.
  3. Taking cholesterol-lowering drugs (for those who suffer from high blood cholesterol), based on a doctor’s prescription.

As for drug treatment, it varies depending on the location of the atherosclerosis, and the most important medications that help reduce the aggravation of the disease:

Antiplatelet aggregators, or some medications that delay the occurrence of clots, increase blood fluidity, or reduce the level of fats and cholesterol in the body…, and in the absence of If these treatments are effective, the doctor resorts to surgery to open the arteries.

An American clinical nutrition study has proven that consuming a small amount of pomegranate drink daily may ensure that you have healthy, young, and elastic arteries.