Arterosclerosis is the buildup of fatty plaques, cholesterol, and some other substances in and on the artery walls leading to the restriction of blood flow in the organs and tissues. The plaques contain lipids, collagen, inflammatorycells, and other substances and can impede bloodflow or rupture. It can lead to severe health risks
Different forms of arteriosclerosis include;
- Atherosclerosis: is the narrowing of arteries from a buildup of plaque, usually made up of cholesterol, fatty substances, cellular waste products, calcium and fibrin, inside the arteries. This affects large and medium-sized arteries; however, its positioning varies person to person.
- Monckeberg’s arteriosclerosis: Also known as medial calcific sclerosis is seen mostly in the elderly, commonly in arteries of the extremities.
- Hyperplastic arteriosclerosis: This is a type of arteriosclerosis that affects large and medium-sized arteries.
- Hyaline arteriosclerosis: Also known as arterial hyalinosis and arteriolar hyalinosis, refers to lesions that are caused by the deposition of homogenous hyaline in the small arteries and arterioles.
Some signs/symptoms of arteriosclerosis are:
- sudden weakness
- facial or lower limbsnumbness
- difficulty understanding speech and problems seeing
Prevention of this condition can be by;
- Eating proper diet particularly those based on plant food
- Engage in regular physical activity to help train the muscle walls to contract and relax.
- Manage stress through the use of relaxation technique
- Adopt general healthy lifestyle.
Diagnosis may be based on a physical exam, blood test and electrocardiogram (EKG).
Treatment of arteriosclerosis is often by;
- Adopting preventive measures through lifestyle changes
- Use of drug therapy for underlying conditions
- Experimental treatments
- Various types of surgery
Compiled by: Victoria Haruna, BSc. (Biochem), MPH (Health Promotion and education)
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