Arteriosclerosis is synonymous to coronary heart disease. Coronary heart disease, or coronary artery disease, is the narrowing of the small blood vessels that supply blood and oxygen to the heart. This condition results from the accumulation of fatty substance and plaque in the arteries. As the coronary arteries narrow, the flow of blood to the heart slows down or stops resulting in chest pain, or angina, shortness of breath, or heart attack.
Both of these are the leading cause of death in the U.S. for both women and men alike. There are many factors which can increase the risk of arteriosclerosis. Some of the risks are based on family history and others are preventable.
The major risk factors of heart disease may include diabetes, physical inactivity, menopause in women, obesity, tobacco use, high blood pressure, infection that cause inflammation to the artery, high cholesterol level, and many more.
The symptoms for people with arteriosclerosis may include chest pain (angina), shortness of breath, and heart attack. Angina, or squeezing pain in the chest, is the common symptom of this dangerous disease. This is the result when your heart is not getting enough blood that carries oxygen and other nutrients which the heart and other parts of the body need to function properly.
Shortness of breath is when your heart is too weak to function. If your heart is not pumping enough blood to circulate in the body, this is manifested in shortness of breath and sometimes swollen feet and ankles. In rare cases, heart attack is the first sign of the disease.
The common treatments include a change in your lifestyle, medications, and surgery. A change in lifestyle would mean that you have to have a proper diet which cannot increase your cholesterol level, get involved in physical activities, and lose weight.
If you suspect that you might have arteriosclerosis, you must see a doctor right away. The symptoms you experienced will help your doctor to decide whether you will need to be tested for heart disease.