- Arteriosclerosis happens when the arteries that carry blood and nutrient from the heart to the rest of the body become thicker. Sometimes restricting blood flow to the organs, Atherosclerosis is a specific form of arteriosclerosis, It involves the buildup of fats, cholesterol and other substances in and around the artery walls, this can also restrict blood flow.
- It is a progressive disease that can begin as young as childhood, it is hard to pinpoint the exact cause of the disease. Current literature shows that atherosclerosis may start with damage to the inner lining of the blood vessels. This causes a clotting cascade. In healthy individuals, the clotting cascade is down-regulated by some mechanisms ( vitamin K dependent serine enzyme, antithrombin, tissue factor pathway inhibitors, prostacyclin) and eventually, they are dissolved in a process called fibrinolysis. If the coagulation process is not regulated eventually, it will block the artery or break off causing a heart attack or stroke depending on where it lodges.
- It can be caused by increased blood pressure, a high BP causes breaks in the endothelial lining of the of the artery causing the activation of the clotting cascade. High Cholesterol, smoking and other sources of tobacco, Insulin resistance, obesity or diabetes and High triglycerides, a type of fat (lipid) in your blood to name a few. Risk factors include
- Complication arising from atherosclerosis include coronary artery disease, carotid artery disease, peripheral artery disease and aneurysm. Adopting a healthy lifestyle is one of the ways you can reduce the chances of developing these conditions. The conditions I would like to focus on is Arteriosclerotic Dementia and Erectile dysfunction. And one of the main reason I think people should adopt a healthy lifestyle
Arteriosclerotic vascular dementia is the second most common type of dementia after Alzheimer’s disease it is caused by either ageing, excessive alcohol consumption, and smoking. It is described as the loss of mental state brought about by the damage of the brain tissue as a result of blockage of the arteries that supply blood to the brain. Effects on the mental state are dependant on which part of the brain is affected, people with vascular dementia often decline at a much faster rate than people with Alzheimer’s disease. Types of vascular dementia include; Binswanger dementia where many blood vessels become blocked in people with high blood pressure or poorly controlled BP. The lacunar disease is caused by mini-strokes resulting from infarcts of small blood vessels. We also have Multi-infarct dementia and Strategic single-infarct dementia.
Studies are now showing that if an individual is finding it hard to get and keep an erection, it can be one of the first signs of heart disease. And likewise, if an individual has heart disease getting the right treatment can also solve the erectile dysfunction. Erectile dysfunction does not always signal heart disease. However, research suggests that Men suffering from erectile dysfunction without any obvious cause such as trauma and have not symptoms of heart disease showed be screened for heart disease before commencing treatment. The risk factors for erectile dysfunction are the same as heart disease.
Finally, CVD are the most costly but also the most preventable diseases, Increasingly we are finding that what we eat has major consequences on our health, cardiovascular disease remains the leading cause of morbidity and mortality in western countries. In Australia, CVD has the highest expenditure of any disease group and is responsible for the most hospitalization, in America, the expenditure on CVD is expected to exceed 1 trillion dollars by 2035 according to the heart foundation. In the next 20 years, the number of Americans with CVD will reach 131 million which is 45% of the population. This can all be prevented if we adopted a healthy lifestyle, this means reducing our overall caloric intake, eating food which is mainly plant-based.