We Are Clogging Up
By Gretchen Heuring | 07.25.2013
In our article on senior hypertension, we wrote about older arteries and the house that Jack built. High blood pressure can cause minute tears in arterial walls. Then fats, cholesterol, calcium and other substances are deposited in those tears and build up plaque in the artery walls. As a result of the plaque, the arteries clog more and more so the diameter shrinks and the blood flow decreases. Sometimes the artery becomes blocked all together. This is called Arteriosclerosis.
The older we are, the more it builds up. There are drugs that can slow or even reverse the deposits, and there are lifestyle changes including diet and huff and puff exercise that can make a big difference.
Surgical Procedures for Arteriosclerosis
In some cases, the disease has progressed to a dangerous state and surgery is needed. This could include angioplasty, involving a catheter and stent inserted into the artery; the surgical removal of the deposits from the artery; or bypass surgery.
The Best Fix for Arteriosclerosis
The best way to stop and even reverse this disease is a good diet like the Mediterranean Diet, and plenty of exercise including six hours a week of vigorous work and at least two hours a week of stretching or Yoga. It's important to understand how far your disease has progressed because you may need to take drugs or have other treatments too.
Symptoms of Arteriosclerosis
Symptoms appear in aging arteries because the plaque has been building up for many years. Arteriosclerosis can exist with no indication of it's presence in your body.
Not Much Pain. There is rarely pain with Arteriosclerosis but when there is, it is in the legs when walking or exercising. Leg pain may feel like cramping and is most likely to happen when more rapid blood flow is stimulated.
Different Blood Pressures. The blood pressure can be different between right and left legs or between legs and arms because of narrowed arteries.
Whooshing. Using a stethoscope, a whooshing sound can sometimes be heard in the artery. Sometimes people think their ears are ringing but they are actually hearing that sound in a neck artery.
Bulges. A bulge can develop in an artery which will pulse with the rhythm of the heart. This sort of bulge is most often found behind the knee or on the abdomen.
Slower Healing. A blister or other wound on the foot, toe or finger would heal very slowly without adequate blood flow.
Tests for Arteriosclerosis
There are several kinds of tests to diagnose Arteriosclerosis. If you are worried, see a cardiologist and get tested. You need to know the truth about your body.