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Atherosclerosis

What is it?

Atherosclerosis - one of the most pressing diseases of the twentieth century, which is one of the four most common diseases and causes of death. Misuse, improper diet, lack of exercise, stress - all this leads to atherosclerosis. Atherosclerosis - a disease that affects the main (large) vessels. Thus there is the deposition of cholesterol in the vessel wall, resulting in an atherosclerotic plaque narrowing the lumen. This leads to significantly decreases blood flow in the affected vessel, the degree of decrease in blood flow is generally proportional to the degree of stenosis (narrowing) of the vessel.

Atherosclerosis takes a chronic course and is the most common cause of disability and premature death. Most often affects people 40-45 years old and are 3-4 times more likely than men.

Causes and risk factors for atherosclerosis

There is no doubt of great importance are the so-called risk factors for atherosclerosis. Some of them can not be removed: age, male gender, atherosclerosis burdened by family inheritance. Other avoidable: hypertension, alimentary obesity, smoking. Still others are removable part (potentially) diabetes, various metabolic disorders. Risk factors also include physical inactivity, excessive emotional tension, and personal characteristics of a person, poor nutrition (tendency to overeat, the preference for food rich in animal fats, etc.).

What's going on?

In the early stages of the inner lining of arteries there are prominent lipid deposition ("fatty streaks"). In the next step is a further deposition of lipids (fats and cholesterol) and there are dense rounded education so-called atheroma or atherosclerotic plaques protruding into the lumen of the vessel and thus narrows it. Finally, in the thickness of the individual or merged plaque begins necrosis (destruction). The progression of this process leads to the destruction of the plaque, which is accompanied by bleeding in her column and the formation of blood clots in the areas of ulceration. Ulceration are dangerous because the lower the strength of the vascular walls, predisposing to aneurysm formation (sacciform bulging artery wall, which occurs at the site of distension, thinning and weakening), especially in the aorta. Furthermore, on-site ulcerations gradually formed dense scars, whereby the walls of arteries lose elasticity required to maintain normal blood pressure.

What is the essence of the disease?

Large artery atherosclerotic plaque-clogged, preventing normal blood flow to organs. Atherosclerotic plaque - a formation consisting of a mixture of fat (mainly cholesterol) and calcium. This "build-up" in the inner shell of the vessel is covered outside the capsule. Loss of integrity of the tire (which is called in medicine) causes that plaque deposit clot begins - conglomerate cells (mainly platelets) and a blood protein. Thrombus, first, leads to a slowly progressive deformation and narrowing of the lumen of the artery up to the complete obliteration of the arteries and thereby causes a chronic, slowly growing lack of blood supply to the body, powered through the affected artery. Second, it can come off from the piece that is interested in blood flow through the vessel on until the last diameter becomes so small that a clot will get stuck in it. In this case there is a strong violation of the circulatory system: blood simply ceases to flow into an organ (or part of it), and he may die, which can cause death.

Symptoms of atherosclerosis

These changes are often localized in the aorta, heart, brain, renal arteries and the arteries of the extremities, usually the lower ones. Picture of the disease and the patient's complaints depend on the destruction of some of the arteries.

Since atherosclerosis of the coronary arteries (heart blood vessels) often manifests itself in the form of angina, heart attack. The basis of the pathological process, i.e. disease, is a violation of the correspondence between the need of the heart and its blood supply to the actual implementation. This mismatch can occur when kept at a certain level of blood supply to the myocardium, but sharply increased the demand for it (angina or rest) or at a reduced blood supply (myocardial infarction).
Often, severe atherosclerosis of the aorta may be asymptomatic. The patient may experience pressing or burning pain in the chest, extending to both arms, neck, back, upper abdomen. But unlike those of angina pain kept long, it amplifying or weaker.

If it affects the renal vessels occurs severe arterial hypertension. Atherosclerosis of the arteries of the brain manifested by reduced working capacity (particularly mental), decreased memory, vigilance, rapid fatigue. Over time, there is dizziness, insomnia, patients become fussy, obsessive, picky. They reduced intelligence. Complication of atherosclerosis of the cerebral arteries is ischemic hemorrhage (stroke), thrombosis.

Atherosclerosis of arteries of extremities, usually the lower, is shown in the calf muscles during walking ("claudication"). Appear chilly and cold extremities.
Thus, atherosclerosis leads to the development of most modern "diseases of civilization".

Prevention of atherosclerosis

Prevention of atherosclerosis, as almost any disease, based on the exclusion of the factors of its development. So, to prevent the occurrence of atherosclerosis, avoid fatty foods, bad habits (alcohol, smoking), lack of physical activity and, as a consequence, overweight, systematic differential pressure (especially high blood pressure), stress.

What can you do?

Atherosclerosis slow current illness. It is very difficult to catch the beginning of the disease, and the complications of the disease threaten the patient's life. Therefore, we must be observed at your doctor periodically controlling blood lipids and cholesterol in the blood, especially if you have predisposing risk factors.

What can your doctor?

Medical treatment strategy aimed at eliminating nervous and mental stress and normalize metabolic processes.

Traditionally prescribed medication drugs that lower blood lipids, improves trophic and tissue oxygenation, improve blood rheology, increasing the elasticity of the vascular wall. Pick up a balanced diet, can be corrected work and rest, include systematic training physiotherapy.

In the presence of atherosclerotic plaques that threaten the normal blood supply to the organs used surgical treatments for vascular reconstructive surgery.

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