Atherosclerosis | What It Is, Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis & Treatment Options

In this article, we will discuss what atherosclerosis is, how it is diagnosed, and what you can do to reduce your risk of developing the disease.

What is atherosclerosis?

Atherosclerosis is a disease in the arteries, which are the vessels that carry blood to the heart, brain, and other parts of the body. Atherosclerosis occurs when the arteries become clogged with a plaque, which is made of fat, cholesterol, calcium, and other substances. As plaque builds up, blood flow to the heart, brain, and other parts of the body is decreased or cut off completely.

It is caused by a buildup of fatty deposits called plaque. This buildup of plaque can cause the arteries to narrow and harden, reducing the flow of oxygen to the organs and tissues of the body. This can lead to a number of serious health problems, including heart attack, stroke, and peripheral artery disease. Fortunately, there are a number of solutions that can help to reduce the risk of developing this condition.

How to reduce the risk

1) Lifestyle changes

The first solution to address atherosclerosis is to make lifestyle changes. This includes eating a healthy diet, exercising regularly, quitting smoking, and managing stress.

    • Healthy eating habits can help to reduce the amount of cholesterol and fat in the body. Healthy eating also features anti-inflammatory and antioxidant nutrients that reduce the cardiovascular risk.
    • Exercise can help to keep arteries flexible and reduce the risk of plaque buildup. It is also known to reduce bad cholesterol and increase good cholesterol levels.
    • Tobacco smoke is highly inflammatory, and inflammation is required for plaque buildup. Thus, quitting smoking can drastically reduce the risk of developing atherosclerosis and other cardiovascular diseases.
    • Managing stress can help lower blood pressure, which can also reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease.