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Atherosclerosis - Overview

Atherosclerosis is a medical condition in which the affected artery narrows due to thickening of the artery wall. This thickening is caused by a build-up of fatty materials such as cholesterol. Atherosclerosis is a progressive condition and it causes chronic inflammatory response in the walls of arteries. The walls of the affected arteries are covered with so called atheromatous plaque made of three distinct components. They are the atheroma, underlying areas of cholesterol crystals and calcifications at the outer base of more advanced lesions. The atheroma is the basis of atheromatous plaque and represents nodular accumulation of a soft, yellowish material composed of macrophages.

There are two main problems associated with atherosclerosis. Firstly, atheromatous plaques may eventually rupture. The blood clots flow and eventually clog downstream branches. As a consequence the area supplied with downstream branches is deprived from proper blood supply. The second problem related to atherosclerosis is formation of aneurysm.

Atherosclerosis is progressive and cumulative illness and this is why it is essential to establish its presence on time and make certain lifestyle changes or even start treatment with specific medications which are capable of reversing the progression of the disease.

Reversing Atherosclerosis Naturally

The blockage inside the affected arteries in initial stages can be reversed by making certain lifestyle changes.

The first thing one can do is change his/ her diet. Wrong eating habits are commonly associated with the onset of atherosclerosis. Highly processed food, junk food and food rich in saturated fats and cholesterol are not recommended and people should avoid these foods as much as possible. It is best if these foods are completely eliminated form the diet. The diet is supposed to be rich in fiber and omega 3 fatty acids. High fiber diet includes consumption of more fruits, fresh vegetables, whole grains, legumes etc. Omega 3 fatty acids are obtained from salmon, tuna and flax seeds. Certain vitamins such as Vitamin B3 and vitamin E are recommended as well. And finally, dietary supplement such as garlic tablets, vitamin E and vitamin K supplements, fish oil supplements etc are highly efficient in maintaining the health of arteries.

Apart from adequate diet one should engage in physical activity of any kind. If there are no serious additional illnesses a person may practice brisk walking, swimming, cycling etc. It is essential to exercise regularly. If necessary a person may consult physical trainers.

One more way to fight against atherosclerosis is by proper coping with stress. Even though stress is inevitable part of our lives it is also associated with the occurrence of atherosclerosis. So in order to reverse the very process of plaque build-up one should learn the techniques of stress management. A variety of activities such as yoga, mediation etc are highly efficient in reduction of stress and avoiding its harmful effects.

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