Symptoms of Arteriosclerosis
Shortness of breath is a common symptom that is associated with arteriosclerosis. This symptom develops because of the decreased functioning of the heart due to the clogged arteries. Chest pain is also a common symptom accompanied with arteriosclerosis. MedlinePlus states that a heart attack can be a symptom of this condition as well. Pain and numbness of the legs is also a common symptom of arteriosclerosis. The occurrence of a stroke may also be an indicator of the fact that the problem has affected the arteries that are near the brain. There are several indications that a stroke might occur and they include facial changes due to droopy muscles, lack of strength in the hands and limbs, and difficulty in speaking. Agewell.com has stated that a pulmonary embolism may also occur due to the blood clots formed because of this condition.
Causes of Arteriosclerosis
Several factors are known to lead to the development of this condition. Age and gender are known to play a crucial role in the occurrence of arteriosclerosis. As the body begins to age, the arteries become harder, thereby forcing the heart to work very hard in order to circulate the blood throughout the body. Health experts have stated that men are at a greater risk of developing this condition than women, as oestrogen is helpful in preventing the hardening of arteries. Conditions such as high blood pressure, diabetes, high cholesterol, obesity and habits such as smoking and drinking alcohol are also known to play a major role in developing arteriosclerosis. Research surveys have indicated that high blood pressure is a common condition that affects more than 73 million people in the United States alone and causes damage to the inner lining of the arteries. As time passes by, the arteries become rigid and less flexible. Those who are over-weight or suffer from obesity are more prone to developing this condition as the heart pumps the blood very fast, causing damage to the lining of the arteries. High levels of cholesterol are known to cause the accumulation of plaque and calcification of the inner walls of the arteries. Diabetes is a condition associated with high levels of glucose. This condition aggravates the inner lining of the arteries. Smoking cigarettes is also known to be harmful, as it possesses carbon monoxide as well as other toxic materials that cause damage to the inner lining of the arteries and trigger the occurrence of coronary heart disease.
Home Remedies for Arteriosclerosis
Garlic is a common herb that is considered to be effective in treating arteriosclerosis as it causes the arteries to dilate. This is due to the fact that garlic helps in releasing small quantities of hydrogen sulphide into the body. Several research studies have shown the effectiveness of garlic in reducing high blood pressure. You can consume garlic in its raw form or as a supplement.
Beets are known to contain a high amount of nitrates. Nitrates are known to release nitric oxide, which has a works as a vasodilator. According to a research study published in a reputed magazine in March 2008, it was reported that those who consumed 500-600ml of beetroot juice each day experienced a drop in the levels of blood pressure as compared to those who did not consume beetroot juice. A decrease in the levels of blood pressure is helpful for those who suffer from arteriosclerosis as it results in less stress on the arteries. The effects of beetroot juice on blood pressure levels were observed three hours after consuming the juice.
According to a research study published in The Journal of Neuroscience in June 2010, it was reported that celery is known to possess a substance named L-3-n-butylphtalide. This substance is known to be responsible for the production of nitric oxide, which is a vasodilator. This substance helps in reducing the levels of blood pressure. This will help in the treatment of arteriosclerosis as it helps in dilating the arteries.
Fish provide the body with a high amount of protein and other vital nutrients such as iron, zinc and B-vitamins. Fishes are known to possess low amounts of saturated fats and cholesterol, thereby making them beneficial for those who suffer from arteriosclerosis as they prevent and reduce blockages in the arteries. The fish that contain a high amount of omega-3 fatty acids include salmon, halibut, mackerel, flounder, herring, tuna and lake trout. Omega-3 fatty acids are known to possess anti-inflammatory properties and thus they help in reducing the accumulation of plaque in the arteries. Due to this, they prove to be helpful in treating arteriosclerosis. The American Heart Association highly recommends the consumption of at least 3.5 ounces of fatty fish two times each week for those who suffer from heart disease. When cooking fish, it is highly recommended that you cook the fish by boiling, poaching or grilling it by using olive oil.
Turmeric is an effective herb that is helpful in reducing the accumulation of plaque in the arteries, thereby proving to be beneficial in the treatment of arteriosclerosis. This is due to the fact that it possesses anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant properties that help in deterring blood platelet aggregation and reducing the levels of bad cholesterol in the blood. It is recommended that you consult your physician before making use of turmeric as it can cause certain side effects and complications if it interacts with some kinds of medications.
Ginger is a beneficial herb that is also considered to be useful in getting rid of the plaque which might be present in the arteries. According to the University Of Maryland Medical Centre, ginger is a remedy that has been used for centuries as it helps in treating a host of health conditions, including arteriosclerosis, which is associated with the build-up of plaque in the arteries. Ginger is known to possess a spicy taste that adds great flavour to food. The root of ginger is widely used for medicinal purposes. Before consuming ginger to treat arteriosclerosis, it is advisable that you consult your doctor regarding the dosage, side effects and possible drug interactions.
Hawthorn is a remedy that has been used in order to treat several health conditions, including arteriosclerosis due to the fact that it possesses the properties of an antioxidant. The National Centre for Complementary and Alternative Medicine states that hawthorn is a plant that belongs to the rose family and been used in order to treat several cardiovascular conditions such as angina, heart failure and coronary artery disease. Hawthorn is known to possess a sweet and sour flavour and helps in warming the body. The parts of the plant that are used for medicinal purposes are the leaves, flowers and berries. Herbalist Ed Smith states that hawthorn is an herb that might help in dilating the coronary artery and boost the flow of blood to the heart. In her book 'Herbal Medicine from the Heart of the Earth', Dr. Sharol Tilgner states that hawthorn is an excellent herb that is helpful in keeping your arteries healthy and boosts the strength of the connective tissue present in the innermost lining of the arteries.
Rosemary and Sage
Research studies have indicated that a certain compound present in rosemary and sage is known to be beneficial in the treatment of arteriosclerosis as it reduces the build-up of plaque in the arteries. These herbs are known to possess a phenolic antioxidant named carnosic acid that prevents the build-up of plaque in the arteries. Health experts have stated that these herbs might prove to be extremely beneficial in preventing as well as treating heart disease.
Granola is an excellent food for treating arteriosclerosis. This is due to the fact that it contains high amounts of fiber, folate and zinc. Granola is a good source of fiber, providing you with around 11 grams of fiber in a single cup. Fiber is known to be helpful in the treatment of arteriosclerosis as it prevents the condition from worsening. According to a research study conducted by the University of Southern California on individuals between the ages of 40 and 60, it was observed that those who consumed high amounts of fiber in their diet experienced a slower progression of this condition as compared to those who did not consume enough fiber in their diet. Granola is also a good source of folate, providing you with around 100 mcg for a cup serving. Folate is a B-vitamin that is known to be helpful in the treatment of arteriosclerosis. It is known to have a positive impact on the functioning of the endothelium, which is a layer of cells present in the blood vessels. Impaired functioning of these cells is known to be a leading cause of arteriosclerosis. According to a research study conducted by the University Of Wales-College Of Medicine, it was observed that those who consumed high amounts of folate in the form of supplements experienced an improvement in the functioning of the endothelium. Granola is also known to possess a good amount of zinc, providing you with around 4.9 mg per cup. This mineral is known to possess the properties of an antioxidant that helps in the treatment of arteriosclerosis. According to a research study conducted by Wayne State University on 40 individuals whose age ranged from 56 to 83 years and were given 45mg of zinc each day for around 6 months, it was observed that there was a decrease in C-reactive protein, thereby preventing the occurrence of inflammation in those who suffered from arteriosclerosis.
Flaxseed oil is known to be one of the best foods for clearing up the arteries. Flaxseed oil is known to contain a high amount of omega-3 fatty acids that play the role of an antioxidant in clearing up the plaque that is present in the arteries. You should aim at consuming at least two tablespoons of flaxseed oil each day in order to treat as well as prevent the formation of plaque in the arteries.
Other Home Remedies for Arteriosclerosis
- Drink beetroot juice daily as it helps in reducing the blockages in the arteries.
- Drink one glass of carrot juice everyday as it helps in getting rid of the accumulated plaque in the arteries.
- Spinach juice is also helpful in reducing the plaque in the arteries. Drink 150 ml of this juice each day.
- Consume enough garlic and onions in your diet, as they are helpful in reducing the build-up of plaque in the arteries.
- Include apples in your diet as they help in treating this condition effectively.
- Include grape, pineapple and lemon juice in your diet as they help in reducing the plaque in the arteries.
- Drink at least two cups of green tea each day as it helps in treating arteriosclerosis, as it possesses antioxidant properties.
Diet for Arteriosclerosis
Consume Lean Proteins
Those who suffer from arteriosclerosis should aim to consume a high amount of lean protein foods in their diet. Lean protein foods contain a low amount of saturated fats as well as calories. This helps in preventing the increase in the levels of bad cholesterol, which worsens this condition. Foods that are considered lean sources of protein are chicken breast, skimmed milk, tuna, salmon, herring, trout, legumes, whey and egg whites.
Avoid Trans Fats
Those who suffer from arteriosclerosis should abstain from consuming foods that contain trans fats. Trans fats are present in partially hydrogenated oils and are known to increase the levels of bad cholesterol, while decreasing the levels of good cholesterol, according to Mayoclinic.com. Mayoclinic.com states that trans fats are 'double trouble' as they reduce good cholesterol and increase bad cholesterol. Trans fats are mostly present in processed baked foods such as cakes, biscuits, muffins, cookies, pies, brownies and frozen foods. Fried foods are known to contain a high amount of trans fats as well.
Consume Healthy Fats
When it comes to treating arteriosclerosis, it is important that your diet comprises of a high amount of omega-3 fatty acids. These fats are known to possess the properties of an antioxidant and help in reducing the build-up of plaque in the arteries. Foods that contain a high amount of omega-3 fatty acids include almonds, pistachios, flax seeds, walnuts, peanuts and fish.
Include Soluble Fiber
Soluble fibre must be included in the diet of those who suffer from arteriosclerosis. Mayoclinic.com states that consuming around 10 grams of soluble fiber in your diet each day is helpful in reducing the levels of bad cholesterol. Soluble fiber is helpful in getting rid of the plaque from the walls of the arteries, thereby decreasing the levels of bad cholesterol in the blood. Whole grains are known to be excellent food sources of soluble fiber. The whole grains that contain a high amount of soluble fiber include barley, brown rice, millet, quinoa, whole wheat and wheat bran. Mayoclinic.com highly recommends the consumption of oatmeal to reduce the levels of bad cholesterol in the body. One cup of oatmeal is known to provide you with around 4-5 grams of soluble fiber. You can also add banana to your oatmeal as it will increase the amount of insoluble fiber by around 3-4 grams. Kidney beans, pears, prunes and apples are also good food sources of soluble fiber.
Arteriosclerosis can be prevented in several ways. To prevent the occurrence of arteriosclerosis, it is highly advisable that you avoid or quit smoking completely. Smoking is considered a major risk factor when it comes to developing arteriosclerosis. Exercise regularly for at least 30 minutes each day, five times a week. Include moderate intensity exercises such as jogging, brisk walking, cycling and bodyweight exercises in your workout routine. Consume healthy foods that are rich in antioxidants and fiber. Fiber is helpful in prevent the accumulation of plaque in the arteries and antioxidants help in getting rid of the plaque in the arteries. Avoid the consumption of alcohol or consume it in very small quantities.
Other Treatment Options for Arteriosclerosis
Vitamins for Arteriosclerosis
Vitamin C is a vitamin which is required by your body in order to manufacture collagen. Collagen is considered beneficial in keeping the walls of the arteries strong, thereby preventing this condition from getting worse. Vitamin C is also helpful in treating arteriosclerosis as it helps in lowering triglyceride levels, which are responsible for clogging the arteries. You can boost the amount of Vitamin C in your diet by consuming foods such as spinach, strawberries, brussels sprouts, avocados and oranges. Vitamin D is helpful in increasing the ability of the body to absorb as well as utilize calcium from foods as well as supplements. Calcium is considered to be helpful in increasing the elasticity of the arteries and the blood vessels. This effect of calcium on the arteries makes it an effective remedy for reversing the effects of arteriosclerosis. Vitamin D is also helpful in maintaining a healthy heart rate as well as preventing the occurrence of heart disease. Foods that contain a high amount of vitamin D include eggs, milk, cheese, tuna and herring. Nutritional expert Phyllis Balch states that the consumption of vitamin E may prove to be effective in increasing the elasticity of the arteries. Vitamin E is also known to possess the properties of an antioxidant that make it useful in preventing the occurrence of damage to the cells of the arteries. Such damage is often caused by free radicals. Foods that contain a high amount of vitamin E include eggs, kidney beans, garbanzo beans, dairy products, kale and oatmeal. It is advisable that you consult your doctor regarding the dosage of these vitamins to treat this condition as an overdose of these vitamins can result in undesirable side effects.
Cholesterol medications such as statin and fibrates are considered to be beneficial in the treatment of arteriosclerosis. This is due to the fact that they help in preventing the build-up of fat deposits in the arteries. They are also considered to be helpful in boosting the levels of good cholesterol in your blood.
Aspirin is an over-the-counter medicine that is used mostly in the treatment of headaches. However, it is also known to be an anti-platelet medication that helps in preventing the formation of blood clots in the narrowed arteries, thereby preventing the worsening of arteriosclerosis.
An angioplasty is known to be a surgical treatment that is used in order to enlarge the narrow blood vessels that are clogged-up as a result of the accumulation of plaque. The surgery is performed on the peripheral arteries, which help in restoring the flow of blood to the arteries and to the heart tissues as well. This surgical procedure is known to be helpful in preventing the occurrence of a heart attack and permanent damage to the cardiac tissue.
This is also a surgical treatment for the removal of plaque from the arteries. In this surgical procedure, a tiny incision is made on the artery and a shunt is placed below and above the blocked part of the artery. This helps to re-route the flow of blood temporarily, thereby enabling the surgeon to remove the plaque. This surgery is generally very successful and is carried out under general or local anaesthesia. Mayoclinic.com states that the risks associated with this surgery are very low as compared to other surgical treatments.