Atherosclerosis is a medical condition that hardens the arteries of the body. Those with Atherosclerosis experience a buildup of plaque consisting of cholesterol, various minerals, fatty substances, and cellular waste inside their arteries. As the level of plaque builds blood flow can be partially or completely blocked. This potentially leaves parts of the body without necessary nutrients. Most commonly, this blockage occurs in the heart, brain, pelvis, legs, arms, or kidneys. Atherosclerosis is also the first step toward heart disease including:
- carotid artery disease
- coronary heart disease
- and peripheral artery disease
- as well as chronic kidney disease (among other conditions).
Causes of Atherosclerosis
One of the most common misconceptions about atherosclerosis is that it is a cholesterol storing disease. That is simply not the case. Certain proteins followed by a negative inflammatory response within the body is the cause of atherosclerosis. Most plaques that rupture and lead to acute heart disease issues will not cause permanent changes in the structure of the arteries. The primary issue with atherosclerosis is that surgical intervention does not prevent future heart attacks or prolong life. Only a combination of lifestyle intervention and medical therapy truly works to overcome this disease.
Understanding the types of cholesterol and other factors that lead to atherosclerosis is the first step in fighting the disease. There are two kinds of cholesterol in the body: LDL and HDL. For our purpose here, all you need to know is that LDL (low-density lipoprotein) is the bad sort that leads to atherosclerosis. Another sign that you may be at risk is the presence of high levels of Apo-B. Apo-B ia a protein marker found in the blood. Getting your protein levels checked can tell you where you currently stand. The you can find out what steps you need to take to stabilize your arterial health.
How To Prevent Atherosclerosis
You can prevent atherosclerosis from striking by undergoing a therapeutic lifestyle intervention, beginning with your diet. Cut out refined carbohydrates and sugar (especially fructose and sucrose) because these lead to metabolic syndrome which contributes to a negative cascade effect in the body and causes system-wide inflammation. Likewise, overeating also causes adverse cardiovascular reactions. In addition to controlling diet, exercise done on a regular basis is critical. No matter where you live, like Salt Lake City, taking a look into Salt Lake City Tennis Lessons would be a start. Even if the exercise is low impact, such as riding a bike or walking, it will still help in the fight against atherosclerosis. Avoiding this disease is largely a matter of being conscious of diet and exercise while utilizing common sense.
It’s Not the End of the World
Atherosclerosis is a symptom of a larger problem. It is not, however, the end of the world. By itself, atherosclerosis can typically be corrected or prevented through lifestyle intervention. It does not guarantee heart disease or heart attacks. In fact, it can even be a good indicator of lifestyle issues which need to be corrected before they get too severe. Weight gain is the first sign of a problem. If you notice that you are putting on pounds, then take steps to live healthier. Get regular blood tests and be on the lookout for LDL and Apo-B. In addition, check for inflammatory markers as part of your preventative measure.
We Can Help
Dr. Michael P. Newman can help you if you’re concerned about your health. He has attended symposiums put on by the Baptist Health Cardiovascular Disease Prevent department with Dr. Michael Ozner, MD. This experience over the prior two years has afforded him a wealth of knowledge. This knowledge has afforded him great experience dealing with cardiovascular health and the prevention of heart disease. In his practice, he makes it his mission to incorporate blood tests as part of the whole person functional medicine approach. He and his compassionate team will help with lifestyle modification and nutritional support. Together, we’ll prevent arteriosclerosis and the inflammation that causes the plaque to rupture and cause heart attacks or strokes.
To find out more about how to prevent and treat your atherosclerosis, contact Dr. Michael P. Newman. You can call (305) 666-1402 to set up an appointment today.