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Arteriosclerosis / Hardening of arteries

Causes, Symptoms, Natural ways to reduce arterial plaque

What is arteriosclerosis?

Arteriosclerosis is also known as atherosclerosis or hardening of arteries. This is an inflammatory disease resulting in scarring of the arterial walls. Fatty material collects along the walls of arteries. Long term buildup of this fatty material (plaque) results in it thickening and hardening and eventually blocking the arteries. This leads to restriction in blood flow to tissues and organs .

Arteriosclerosis tends to attack the aorta, arteries leading to the brain, the lower limbs and kidneys. Arteriosclerosis of the extremities also known as peripheral vascular disease (PVD) or peripheral arterial disease (PAD) occurs when the arteries of the legs and feet become narrow and stiff due to calcium deposits in the artery walls. This disease generally affects men over 50.

Arteriosclerosis is very prevalent in developed countries and is a very common cardiovascular disease. It has strongly been linked to diet and lifestyle.

What are the symptoms of arteriosclerosis / hardening of arteries?

Arteriosclerosis shows no symptoms in the early stages. Symptoms start showing after arteries get so clogged that blood supply is restricted to organs and tissues. Sometimes a blood clot can completely stop blood flow. Blood clots can even break apart and cause a heart attack or stroke. Depending on where arteriosclerosis has attacked, the following symptoms emerge:
  • Angina, a feeling of tightness or pressure in the heart. This is symptomatic of arteriosclerosis of the heart
  • Sudden onset of localized paralysis, numbness in a limb, partial vision or speech loss, drooping facial muscles. These symptoms are associated with cerebral arteriosclerosis and can lead to stroke
  • Cramps in buttocks, thighs, calfs while exercising or walking indicate arteriosclerosis in the leg or pelvic region.
  • Atherosclerosis may also cause erectile dysfunction in men.

What are the causes of arteriosclerosis / hardening of arteries?

Hardening of arteries can be caused by the following factors:
  • High blood pressure (hypertension)
  • High cholesterol
  • Smoking
  • Diabetes
  • Stress
  • Age - Atherosclerosis tends to affect people over 35 although it can begin earlier.
  • Gender - Premenopausal women are less likely to have arteriosclerosis than men of the same age. After menopause the risk is the same
  • Heredity - Genetic factors play a role in increasing the risk of the disease
  • Obesity - Overweight people are moke likely to get arteriosclerosis since they tend to have high cholesterol and high blood pressure
  • Lifestyle - Lack of exercise also contributes to the risk of arteriosclerosis

    What complications can arteriosclerosis / hardening of arteries cause?

    Arteriosclerosis can cause
  • Coronary artery disease causes chest pain or angina
  • Carotid artery disease can cause transient ischemic attack or stroke
  • Peripheral artery disease can cause insensitivity to heat and cold, poor circulation and in extreme cases gangrene.
  • Aneurysms which can cause internal bleeding.

    How can arteriosclerosis be prevented, stopped or reversed?

  • Herbal remedies - Arjuna herb is considered very efficacious in maintaining heart health. Arjuna is considered beneficial in reducing and even reversing fatty build-up in arteries, strengthening heart muscles, promoting blood circulation. Abana is a herbal and mineral formulation with over 40 ingredients including Arjuna and Guggul and is designed as a cardiovascular tonic. It protects from heart disease and also helps in blood pressure and blood circulation problems in addition to regulating cholesterol levels

  • Reducing cholesterol - Lowering cholesterol is a very good way to stop or even reverse plaque build-up. Herbs like Guggul and Arjunaare very good for keeping cholesterol levels normal

  • Reduce blood pressure and hypertension - Hypertension can be reduced by weight loss, reduction in salt intake, and lifestyle changes. Arjuna herb helps to maintain healthy blood pressure levels. More on natural ways to reduce hypertension

  • Start an exercise regimen - Exercise is known to reduce stress and high blood pressure.

  • Stop smoking : Smoking damages arteries and causes constriction of arteries.

  • Reduce stress and anxiety : Take up stress reducing activities such as yoga and fun hobbies. Natural herbs such as Ashwagandha help in relaxation of the mind and body

  • Avoid Fatty foods: Fatty and fried foods contain high levels of cholesterol that build plaque in the arteries causing high blood pressure

  • Increase consumption of fruits, vegetables and fiber rich food : These foods contain essential minerals such as potassium, magnesium and calcium that help in proper heart function

    You may also be interested in the following articles

  • Arjuna Heart Benefits

  • Prevent and reverse heart disease with natural remedies

  • Herbs for Blood circulation

  • Build heart muscle - strengthen and tone your heart

  • Hypertension may show no symptoms. Lifestyle changes can control it

    References:

    National Heart Lung and Blood Institute

    Center for Medical Consumers article by Dr. Paul Rosch, MD and Dr. Gravelins

    Ref:Cardiovasc Drug Rev. 2007 Winter;25(4):375-90

    Pubmed.org

    The Medical Advisor - The complete guide to Alternative & Conventional Treatments

    Himalaya Herbals Company



    Heart Healthy Herbs

  • Abana
    Cardio-protective, cardio-vascular health
    Himalaya Herbals Abana for blood circulation, heart health
    Guggul
    Helps maintain normal cholesterol levels
    Himalaya Herbals Guggul
    Arjuna
    Cardioprotective, Maintains normal blood circulation and blood pressure
    Himalaya Herbals Arjuna for heart health


    

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