The process of hardening of arteries from being flexible and elastic to becoming thick and stiff, is known as Atherosclerosis. Too much pressure on the arteries over time is what makes them this way, and in some cases blood flow to the tissues and organs will be restricted.
There are different types of Atherosclerosis, the one we are going to discuss is when there is a build up of cholesterol and fats in artery walls in the form of plaques, and they restrict blood flow. These plaques can sometimes trigger a blood clot by bursting. While it is mainly considered a problem of the heart, it could affect arteries anywhere in the body. The condition is preventable and treatable as well.
What causes Atherosclerosis
The disease is slow and progressive and can have its beginnings as early as from childhood. The exact cause of this condition may not be known, but it could start with injury or damage to the inner layer of the artery. The damage to the artery may be caused due to the following: High cholesterol (from following a diet rich in saturated fats and cholesterol), High Blood Pressure, High levels of Homocysteine, Diabetes and smoking.
What are the Symptoms of Atherosclerosis
Depending on the kind of Atherosclerosis, the symptoms will vary:
Atherosclerosis in Heart Arteries: Chest pain or pressure, also known as angina.
Atherosclerosis in the arteries, leading to the brain: Sudden numbness and weakness in the legs, slurred speech or difficulty in speaking and drooping muscles in the face. These are signs of a TIA or transient Ischemic Attack, which if ignored could cause a stroke.
Atherosclerosis in arteries, leading to arms and legs: In this case you may experience symptoms of peripheral artery disease, which include intermittent claudication, which is a pain in the leg while walking.
Atherosclerosis leading to the kidneys: Kidney Failure or High Blood Pressure
Atherosclerosis leading to genitals: One may experience problems during sexual intercourse and erectile dysfunction in men. For women sex would be less pleasurable, as high blood pressure would cause reduced blood flow to the vagina.
Natural Routes to Preventing Atherosclerosis
High Blood pressure and high cholesterol levels are the two major risk factors for this condition. The below mentioned supplements and foods can help you keep a check and regulate your blood pressure and cholesterol levels. Try making them a part of your diet, after consulting your health practitioner to stay healthy.
The foods and supplements include: Artichoks, Alpha-linolenic acid or ALA, Vitamin B-Complex, Barley, Calcium, Blond psyllium found in seed husk, Cod Liver Oil, Oat bran which is found in whole oats and oatmeal, Garlic, Coenzyme Q10 and Cocoa.
Be sure that consult your health practitioner before you make these foods and supplements a part of your daily diet. Speaking with a Registered Holistic Nutritionist too can do you great good as they will help you develop a diet plan that suits your lifestyle, condition and body type so that you can keep your heart feeling as good as new as you grow older. Homeopathy too has some great options for excellent heart health, so, get in touch with a homeopathic center and learn how this natural form of treatment can do your heart great good.