Arteriosclerosis is one of three main forms of Cardiovascular disease. It is the condition in which a person's arteries harden. Even though Arteriosclerosis is one of three main forms of Cardiovascular disease, there are three main forms of Arteriosclerosis. Two of those are Monckeberg's Arteriosclerosis, which is when the middle layer of the arteries becomes stiff because of deposits of calcium. The other one, which effects the smaller arteries is Arteriolar Sclerosis. The most widespread form of Arteriosclerosis is by far Atherosclerosis.
There are three major risk factors (causes) of Arteriosclerosis: 1) Hypertension 2) Cigarette Smoking 3) High Levels of Cholesterol. Obesity, no exercise, diabetes mellitus, and triglycerides are other big causes of Arteriosclerosis.
Once lots of deposits of fatty material and calcium, called plagues, get into the blood stream, the consequences of Arteriosclerosis begin. Because of the plagues, the arteries narrow and roughen which in turn, cause cells in the artery walls to break down. Substances from those cells irritate tissues near them which cause scars which in turn cause artery walls to harden, narrow, and roughen. This decreases the blood flow through the arteries which in turn, causes a blood clot. One kind of blood clot that could happen is a thrombus. A thrombus flows with the blood through the bloodstream. The other kind of blood clot is the embolism. This can block an entire artery! A blocked artery in the brain can lead to a stroke! If a coronary artery (nourishes the heart) is totally blocked, it can very l cause a heart attack.
Some tissues are nourished by arteries, and if these arteries have less blood flow through them, then the tissues aren't able to receive enough oxygen. If a lesser amount of oxygen goes to the brain, dizziness, slurred speech, numbness, and other effects can happen. If there is less blood supply in the heart, it can cause Angina Pectoris, which is chest pain in the heart. As you already know, a fully blocked artery can cause a stroke or even a heart attack!
Physicians believe that many cases of Arteriosclerosis can be prevented by reducing the exposure to the risk factors. They also use this method to treat Arteriosclerosis as well. Some cases can be treated with drugs to lower levels of choler. If a whole artery is clogged, surgery can be done or an artery can be replaced by new arteries of artificial arteries.
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