Atherosclerosis - causes, symptoms and treatment

Improper diet, inadequate exercise, stress – all of this leads to atherosclerosis. Atherosclerosis is a disease that affects the trunk (large) vessels. If this is the deposition of cholesterol in the vessel wall, resulting in atherosclerotic plaque, narrowing the lumen of the vessel. This leads to the fact that significantly decreases the blood flow in the affected vessel, and the degree of reduction of blood flow, usually proportional to the degree of stenosis (narrowing) of the vessel.

Atherosclerosis becomes chronic and is the most frequent cause of disability and premature death. Often affects people, 40-45 years of age and 3-4 times more often than men.

Causes of atherosclerosis development

Causes of atherosclerosisUndoubtedly, of great importance is the so-called risk factors for atherosclerosis. Some of them fatal: age, male sex, burdened by atherosclerosis family heredity. Others are quite disposable: arterial hypertension, alimentary obesity, Smoking . Third disposable part (potentially): diabetes, various types of metabolic disorders. Risk factors also include physical inactivity, excessive emotional stress and personal characteristics of a person, poor nutrition (the tendency to overeating, food preference, consumption of animal fats and other).

What happens when atherosclerosis

In the early stages on the inner lining of arteries visible lipid deposits (“fat bars”). The next phase is further deposition of lipids (fats and cholesterol) and appear rounded tight formation so-called atheroma or atherosclerotic plaques, protruding into the lumen of the vessel and thus convergent. Finally, in the thickness of the separate or fused plaque begins necrosis (destruction). The development of this process leads to destruction of platelets, which is accompanied by hemorrhages in the water column and the formation of blood clots in the areas of ulceration. Ulceration are dangerous because reduce the strength of the vascular walls, predisplay to the formation of aneurysms (saccular outpouching of the wall of the artery, which occurs in the place of her stretching, thinning and weakening), especially in the aorta. In addition, the expressions gradually formed a dense scarring, resulting in the artery walls lose their elasticity needed to maintain normal blood pressure.

Symptoms of atherosclerosis

Symptoms of atherosclerosisLarge arteries occluded by atherosclerotic plaque, which prevents normal blood flow to the organs. Atherosclerotic plaque is education, consisting of a mixture of fats (primarily cholesterol) and calcium. This “bump” on the inner shell of the vessel is covered outside of the capsule. Violation of the integrity of the tires (it is called in medicine) leads to the fact that the plaque begins to be deposited thrombus conglomerate of cells (mainly platelets and blood proteins. Thrombus, firstly, leads to slowly progressive deformation and narrowing of the lumen of the artery until the complete devastation (obliteration) of the artery and thereby causes chronic, slowly progressive insufficiency of blood supply to the body, nourished through the affected artery. Secondly, it can come off the piece that the blood keen on the vessel, while the diameter of the latter will not become so small that the blood clot gets stuck in it. In this case there is a severe violation of blood circulation: blood simply generally ceases to act in any organ (or part of it), and he may die, which can cause death.

These changes often occur in the aorta, heart, brain, renal arteries and the arteries of the limbs, usually the bottom. The picture of the disease and complaints of the patient depend on the destruction of certain arteries.

So the atherosclerosis of the coronary arteries (the vessels of the heart) often manifests 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 in blood circulation and its actual implementation. This mismatch may occur when remaining at a particular level in the blood supply to the myocardium, but sharply increased the demand for it (angina or rest) or reduced blood flow (myocardial infarction).

Often severe atherosclerosis of the aorta may be asymptomatic. The patient may experience pressure or burning pain in the chest, radiating to both arms, neck, back, upper abdomen. But unlike angina these pain kept long, it gets worse, then even slowing down.

With the defeat of the renal vessels occurs severe arterial hypertension. Atherosclerosis of cerebral arteries leads to reduced health (especially mental), decreased memory, attention, fatigue. A dizziness, insomnia, patients become fussy, obsessive, picky. Decreased intelligence. Complication of atherosclerosis of cerebral arteries is a stroke of apoplexy (stroke), thrombosis.

Atherosclerosis of arteries of extremities, usually the lower, is manifested in the calf muscles when walking (“intermittent claudication”). Appear sensitivity to cold and cold limbs.

Thus, atherosclerosis leads to the development of most modern “diseases of civilization”.

Prevention of atherosclerosis

Prevention of atherosclerosis, as almost any disease, based on exclusion factors of its development. Thus, in order to prevent the occurrence of atherosclerosis, avoid fatty foods, bad habits (alcohol, Smoking, lack of physical activity and, as a consequence, overweight, systematic pressure drops (especially increasing pressure, stressful situations.

Self-treatment of atherosclerosis

Atherosclerosis slow current disease. It is very difficult to catch the beginning of the disease, and complications of the disease threaten the life of the patient. So you need to see Your doctor periodically checking the level of lipids and cholesterol in the blood, especially if You have predisposing risk factors.

Atherosclerosis treatment in hospital

Medical treatment is aimed at eliminating nervous and mental stress and normalization of metabolic processes.

Traditionally prescribe drugs that reduce the level of lipids in the blood, improves trophism and oxygenation of the tissues, improves blood rheology, improve the elasticity of the vascular wall. Choose a balanced diet, correct mode of work and rest, include the systematic therapeutic gymnastics.

In the presence of atherosclerotic plaques, threatening the normal blood supply of organs used surgical methods for the treatment of vascular reconstructive surgery.