Atherosclerosis is a common disease of muscular-elastic and elastic arteries. Lipid or cholesterol deposits in the form of plaques are located in the inner lining of the arteries of the heart, brain, aorta and in the branches of the aorta. This leads to the proliferation of connective tissue, followed by sclerotization, narrowing of the lumen. The blood supply to the organ feeding through the affected arteries becomes insufficient, which inevitably leads to the formation of foci of necrosis, that is, to a heart attack, stroke or gangrene.
Symptoms of atherosclerosis
The clinical picture of atherosclerosis depends on the prevalence and localization of the process, as well as on the degree of narrowing of the arteries. At the initial stage of the disease, the patient may not even guess how serious pathological processes are developing in the body.
Subsequently, atherosclerotic changes localized in the aorta, cardiac, renal, cerebral arteries or in the extremities, manifest certain symptoms. With atherosclerosis of the coronary arteries, the patient is worried about angina pectoris, myocardial infarction may occur. A harbinger of such serious diseases are symptoms of a prolonged feeling of heaviness behind the breastbone, burning pain in the region of the heart.
If the vessels of the kidneys are affected, the patient is worried about severe arterial hypertension. With atherosclerosis of the arteries of the brain, performance, memory, and attention are significantly reduced. The patient experiences rapid fatigue, dizziness, chronic insomnia begins. The most formidable complication in violation of cerebral circulation is a stroke.
If the arteries of the extremities are affected, the patient is worried about intermittent claudication, edema.
Diagnosis of atherosclerosis
If atherosclerosis is suspected, the patient is prescribed instrumental and laboratory research methods. They reveal a violation of lipid metabolism, conduct an X-ray examination, ultrasound of the vessels. Based on complex diagnostic methods, the doctor has no doubts about the correct diagnosis.
Treatment of atherosclerosis
The patient is prescribed pharmaceutical preparations that reduce the level of lipids, normalizing oxygenation and tissue trophism, and the rheological properties of blood. Also, medications are recommended that increase the elasticity of the vascular walls. If atherosclerotic plaques threaten the normal blood supply, reconstructive surgery is prescribed.
Prevention of atherosclerosis
To prevent atherosclerosis, you need to give up bad habits, move more, get rid of excess weight, follow a diet high in vegetables and fruits and low in animal fats. It is also recommended to undergo a timely medical examination and treat chronic diseases.