Atherosclerosis is the deposition of spongy lipid and alike materials in the arteries of circulatory system. The deposition blocks normal blood flow, thereby leading to risk of lack of blood-supply to a specific organ.
Arteries are the blood vessels that carry oxygen rich blood to heart; from where, it is pumped to other parts of the body.
Atherosclerosis is the condition where plaques formed on the arteries from cholesterol, calcium, debris and other substances found in the blood. Over the time plaques deposits to harden the arteries; thereby narrowing the arteries. This limits the blood flow to heart and other parts of the body.
Arteries are lined by a thin layer of cells called endothelial cells which keeps the arteries smoothly. High Blood pressure, excessive Alcohol Intake, Smoking, Obesity, Inadequate physical activity, diabetes, High cholesterol intake in the diet and age are the factors for damage of endothelial layer.
When LDL- Low Density Lipoprotein or bad cholesterol crosses endothelial layer, Monocytes migrate through endothelial layer to internalize Lipid molecules. This form a foamy appearance which consists of macrophages that secretes proteolytic enzymes (Protein degrading enzymes) And Reactive oxygen Species(ROS) and cytokines.
Proteolytic enzymes degrade extracellular matrix to intensify inflammation which results in migration of more cells and lipids to the sites to form the plaque; thereby, narrowing Artery and increase susceptibility for blockage of blood flow.
- Plaques in the heart’s arteries can cause Angina (Chest pain)
- Plaques rupture in the heart’s arteries causes death of heart muscle of clots in the heart which is called “ Myocardial Infarction” ( heart attack).
Plaque rupture in the brain’s arteries can cause strokes with the risk of permanent brain damage.
Narrowing of arteries in the legs results in poor blood circulation and pain on walking. This results in poor wound healing and amputations (removal of damaged parts) in severe cases.
- Quit Smoking
- Controlled diet with No LDL. Avoid Hyperglycemic and hypoglycemic conditions of the blood.
- Avoiding Hyperglycemic and hypoglycemic conditions of the blood keeps diabetes in check.
- Exercise regularly to avoid obesity.
- Avoid Excess alcohol intake
- Eat Fruits, Vegetables and food that are rich in fibers.
Drugs that lowers LDL and BP will certainly help the conditions to get better.
Angioplasty helps to reduce the risks of heart attacks.
Surgery: repleting blocked vessels by a healthy vessel from other parts of the body.