Plaque Presents A Double Threat
Plaque itself can pose a risk. A piece of plaque can break off and be carried by the bloodstream until it gets stuck. And plaque that narrows an artery may lead to a blood clot that sticks to the blood vessels inner wall.
In either case, the artery can be blocked, cutting off blood flow.
How It Starts And How It Progresses
Atherosclerosis is a slow, lifelong progression of changes in the blood vessels that may start in childhood and get worse faster as you age.
The cause of atherosclerosis isnt completely known.
Many scientists believe plaque begins when an arterys inner lining becomes damaged. Four possible causes of such damage are:
Myth2: Having Enough Good Cholesterol Can Offset Bad Cholesterol
Itused to be thought that a large amount of good cholesterol would offset theimpact of high bad cholesterol levels, but recent studies have shown this isnot the case, according to Dr. Gillinov.
Insteadof looking at total cholesterol, which includes both your good high-densitylipoprotein cholesterol and bad low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, physicians now focus on LDL cholesterol.
Drugs And Lifestyle Changes To Cut The Chance Of Having Atherosclerosis
Reducing the risk factors that lead to atherosclerosis will slow or stop the process. Ways to lower the amount of cholesterol in your body involve taking cholesterol and blood pressure medications, eating a healthy diet, getting frequent exercise, and not smoking. These treatments won’t unclog arteries. But they do lower the risk of heart attacks and strokes.
Here is some advice that can help you improve your cholesterol level and reduce the risks that come with atherosclerosis:
- Exercise, with or without weight loss, increases “good” HDL cholesterol and reduces the risk of heart attacks and strokes.
- A diet high in fiber and low in fats can lower “bad” LDL cholesterol.
- Oily fish and other foods high in omega-3 fatty acids can raise âgoodâ HDL cholesterol.
- If you know or think your cholesterol is high, or if you have a family history of high cholesterol, talk to your doctor about ways you can lower it.
Statins are the most frequently prescribed cholesterol-lowering drugs. They can dramatically lower “bad” LDL cholesterol, by 60% or more. They can also increase HDL. Studies have shown that statins can reduce the rates of heart attacks, strokes, and death from atherosclerosis.
Bile acid sequestrants
Other drugs for lower cholesterol
The Myth: A Keto Diet And Cholesterol
Since a Ketogenic Diet requires you to eat a large amount of saturated fats, this means that your cholesterol levels can increase, which many people immediately think is a terrible thing that can cause your arteries to clog and you to die. While it is commonly assumed that this increase in cholesterol is a bad thing; that is not necessarily the case. The biggest myth surrounding a Ketogenic Diet is that the diet, which is high in fat, will cause your arteries to clog and give you heart disease. There have been many studies done on the subject of eating a high amount of fats, a low amount of carbs and its effects on the body and cholesterol.
A meta-analysis completed in 2010, discusses this belief that high levels of saturated fat and cardiovascular disease, and reports that this connection has no validity. The meta-analysis did not find that there was a strong linking between high-fat foods and cholesterol. Another study looked into different diets that are low carb and found that these diets can actually decrease your risk of heart disease. And yet, another study done at Johns Hopkins University found that diets lower in carbohydrates and higher in fat posed no greater health risks to developing heart disease. ;
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Cocoa And Dark Chocolate
Cocoa and dark chocolate products are not only delicious but also may help ward off atherosclerosis.
A study that included 2,217 participants found that eating chocolate was associated with less atherosclerotic plaque in the coronary arteries. These arteries transport oxygen-rich blood to the heart .
Studies have also found that eating chocolate is associated with a reduced risk of stroke, heart disease, and diabetes .
Whats more, cocoa and dark chocolate products are rich in polyphenol plant compounds.
These help increase nitric oxide production and decrease inflammation in the arteries, which may help improve physical function in people with atherosclerosis .
One study compared the effects of eating dark and milk chocolate in 20 people with peripheral artery disease, a condition caused by atherosclerosis.
The study defined dark chocolate as having more than 85% cocoa content.
The researchers found that consuming 40 grams of dark chocolate significantly improved walking time and blood levels of nitric oxide compared with consuming milk chocolate (
The Mediterranean diet is rich in high fiber vegetables, beans, and olive oil. It has long been associated with improved heart health.
Olive oil may help reduce the risk of atherosclerosis.
A 4-month study in 82 people with early atherosclerosis found that daily intake of 1 ounce of olive oil significantly improved participants blood vessel function and reduced inflammatory markers .
Most People Do Not Have Symptoms
For most people, PAD does not cause symptoms. Those who do develop symptoms might get a heavy, tired feeling or cramping in the legs while walking that only goes away when they stop walking. Taking medicine and walking more can actually reduce your symptoms and help keep PAD from getting worse.
Some doctors mistakenly recommend having surgery or angioplasty even if you do not have symptoms. However, this does not make people with PAD feel better or prevent future leg problems. Most people with PAD never develop problems that need surgery or angioplasty. This is because they do not have symptoms or because medicine and exercise work well enough to treat the pain and allow a normal lifestyle.
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Stop Smoking And Drinking
The day you quit smoking, your health will start to rebound. Quitting smoking may help raise your HDL levels, too. Talk to your doctor if you need help quitting smoking. They can recommend smoking cessation programs and resources.
Too much alcohol can also affect your heart. But some studies have shown that moderate use of alcohol may increase your HDL levels. Its not a good idea for anyone to begin drinking for this reason, though. These studies are not definitive enough for doctors to encourage anyone to drink for heart health.
What Does The Term Total Cholesterol Mean
The term total cholesterol refers to the total amount of the different kinds of cholesterol in your blood. One kind of cholesterol is the LDL cholesterol. Another kind is the HDL cholesterol. LDL stands for low-density lipoprotein. LDL is the bad cholesterol. HDL stands for high-density lipoprotein. HDL is the good cholesterol.
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Why Is Ldl Called The Bad Cholesterol
LDL is called the bad cholesterol because it can cause a buildup of fat and cholesterol in the walls of your blood vessels. If your LDL has been high for many years, this buildup can clog the arteries to your heart or brain. The arteries may be partly or totally blocked. The medical word for this blockage is atherosclerosis. Clogged arteries to the heart can cause a heart attack. Clogged arteries to the brain can cause a stroke.
How Long Can You Live With Blocked Arteries
Published by Mike on March 3, 2020March 3, 2020
Blocked arteries are caused by plaque build-up in the inner walls of the arteries. This condition is known as Atherosclerosis. The clogging of arteries obstructs the blood flow in the body. When the oxygen-rich blood fails to reach vital organs like heart or brain it can cause heart attacks and stroke.
This could be fatal. So, when one is diagnosed with blocked arteries, it is necessary to take steps to avoid the worsening of the situation.;
As far as the question of how long can you live with the condition, there is no straight answer. There are multiple ways in which plaque build-up can be fatal.;
- Too much plaque build-up can cut off blood supply completely.
- A plaque from sticking to the artery wall can rupture and end up blocking the artery completely.;
So, it is not possible to predict how long can you live with blocked arteries. However, there are some habits that can speed up the plaque formation, thereby reducing your life-span. It is essential to know what these risk factors are. Steering clear of these might help you to keep plaque at bay.
Risk factors that can reduce how long you can live with clogged arteries:
High blood pressure: If you are diagnosed with clogged arteries, it is important that you keep your blood pressure under check. High blood pressure causes hardening of the arteries which makes it narrow.;
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Eat A Healthy Balanced Diet
A low-fat, high-fibre diet is recommended, which should include plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables and whole grains.
You should limit the amount of salt you eat to no more than 6g a day as too much salt will increase your blood pressure. 6g of salt is about 1 teaspoonful.
There are 2 types of fat: saturated and unsaturated. You should avoid food containing saturated fats, because these will increase the levels of bad cholesterol in your blood.
Foods high in saturated fat include:
- meat pies
Can Statins Really Unclog Your Arteries
Theres a lot of hype about statin drugs these days. The most recent is about their supposed ability to unclog your arteries and prevent heart attacks. And the two biggest proponents of this benefit are the pharmaceutical giants who make the prescription drugs Zetia and Vytorin. According to Merck and Schering-Plough, these two cholesterol-lowering drugs reduce both plaque and inflammation in the arteries. The problem is, it just isnt true!
It turns out that these widely prescribed and expensive cholesterol drugs dont do a darned thing to reduce the amount of plaque in your arteries. Theres also no concrete evidence that these and other cholesterol-lowering drugs prevent heart attacks, stroke and other cardiovascular problems. If that wasnt enough, these cholesterol-lowering drugs come with a host of side effects, from muscle pain and weakness to memory loss to a potentially deadly condition called rhabdomyolysis that causes kidney failure. And the risk of side effects simply goes up when you take Zetia and Vytorin. Another study published last year showed a potential increase in cancer among patients taking these drugs compared with those taking only statins.
MD Exposes the Hidden Danger to Your Eyes
Are You Suffering From…
- Low strength and endurance
- A sex drive that’s shifted into neutral…or worse
If so…you may have Mature Male Burnout.; to discover more about this unique condition and what you can do about it.
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Eating More Unsaturated Fats
Unsaturated fats are the good fats. They contain HDL cholesterol, which can help to take bad cholesterol from the arteries before it turns into plaque.
According to the AHA, unsaturated fats may help improve blood cholesterol when eaten instead of trans or saturated fats.
Unsaturated fats are mainly found in plants and fatty fish. Sources include:
They also recommend limiting sugary foods, red meat, and sugar-sweetened beverages.
Hidden Signs Of Blocked Arteries
Apart from the common signs of clogged arteries, there are also some hidden signs of blocked arteries that should be taken as a warning sign. These include.Lower Back Pain. You are likely to associate discomfort in the lower back with a bad sleeping posture or even chalk it up to a bad mattress, but if the pain persists, then you should pay attention to this warning sign. According to the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, lower back pain is usually due to insufficient levels of blood reaching that particular area of the body, causing the disks that are present between your vertebrae to begin aching. A reduced amount of flow to the lower back is usually from blocked arteries. So before ignoring persistent lower back pain, make sure that you start taking note of any other symptoms that may be indicating that you have clogged arteries.
Erectile Dysfunction. This could be an embarrassing issue, but it is actually more common than what most people think. Erectile dysfunction could indicate that your arteries are already in deep trouble. Clogged arteries can lower the blood flow to the genital area, inducing erectile dysfunction. If you have erectile dysfunction, then you should consult a doctor and request screening for heart disease.
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Cholesterol Plaques And Atherosclerosis
Cholesterol plaques form by a process called atherosclerosis. Itâs also called “hardening of the arteries.” LDL, or “bad cholesterol,” is the raw material of cholesterol plaques. It can damage the arteries that carry blood from your heart to the rest of your body. Then, once the damage has started, LDL keeps on building up in the artery walls. Progressive and painless, atherosclerosis grows cholesterol plaques silently and slowly.
The cholesterol plaques of atherosclerosis are the usual cause of heart attacks, strokes, and peripheral arterial disease. These conditions together are major contributors to cardiovascular disease. Cardiovascular disease is the No. 1 killer in America, causing about 650,000 deaths each year.
What Are Normal Cholesterol Levels
A normal total cholesterol level is less than 200. A normal LDL level is less than 130. A normal HDL level is higher than 35.
A high HDL level is better. An HDL level higher than 60 is the best. HDL is called the good cholesterol because it helps remove cholesterol from your body. In this way, HDL helps prevent heart disease and stroke. Regular exercise is a good way to increase your HDL level.
If your total cholesterol level is 200 to 239, you have a borderline level. The word borderline is used because levels of 200 to 239 are close to being high. A total cholesterol of 240 or above is a high level.
If your LDL level is 130 to 159, you have a borderline level. If your LDL level is 160 or higher, you have a high level.
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Myth: I Would Be Able To Feel It If I Had High Cholesterol
Fact:;High cholesterol usually has no signs or symptoms. You may not know you have unhealthy cholesterol levels until it is too latewhen you have a heart attack or stroke. Thats why its so important to get your cholesterol levels checked at least every 5 years.1,2 Learn more about getting your cholesterol checked.
Occasionally, some people develop yellowish growths on their skin called;xanthomas, which are cholesterol-rich deposits. People with xanthomas may have high cholesterol levels.
The Common Good And Bad Cholesterol Levels Myth Is Not True
We have all heard over the course of the last several decades that ones cholesterol level predicts their risk of heart attack and stroke. Patients frequently ask me, How could I have heart disease my cholesterol level is normal? or report to me, I dont have to worry because my good cholesterol is high. As a cardiologist, I have both bad and good news: Your cholesterol level does not matter!
As you likely already know, cholesterol is a type of fat found within all cells and is free floating in blood on molecules called lipoproteins. The two most common of these lipoproteins containing cholesterol are low-density lipoprotein which carries cholesterol to the tissues , and high-density lipoprotein which carries cholesterol to the liver to be flushed from the body .
Cholesterol carried by LDL can invade the walls of blood vessels and lead to inflammation within the walls of these blood vessels. Cholesterol in this way forms the main constituent of plaque which builds up within the walls of blood vessels, in particular within the walls of arteries which carry oxygen-containing blood to the organs such as your heart and brain. This plaque can increase in size to eventually lead to a clogged artery, or the plaque can rupture which causes the blood near the ruptured plaque to clot. In the heart, these situations lead to chest pain , shortness of breath, or a heart attack. In the head and neck, clogging or obstruction of an artery leads to stroke.
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How Can You Tell If You Have Blocked Arteries
Arteries are the blood vessels in your body that transport blood that is enriched with oxygen throughout the body. Arteries travel everywhere in the body, from your brain to the tips of your toes. Healthy arteries are known to have a smooth inner wall, which allows the blood to flow through them easily. In some cases, though, people develop clogged arteries. Clogged arteries are a result of plaque buildup on the inner walls of the blood vessels. Arterial plaque is a substance that can decrease the blood flow through the arteries, or over a period of time, block the blood flow altogether. Clogged arteries can greatly increase your chances of having a heart attack, stroke, or even lead to death. There are some signs and symptoms that act as a warning sign to let you know that you may be having clogged or blocked arteries. So how can you tell if you have blocked arteries? Let us take a look.