Atherosclerosis Definition, Reason, Symptom, Treatment, Prevention

Atherosclerosis Definition, Reason, Symptom, Treatment, Prevention

Atherosclerosis Definition

Atherosclerosis is a condition of hardening of the arteries caused by plaque buildup. Arteries are blood vessels that carry oxygen and nutrients throughout the body.

Over time, the plaque that is formed, including fat, cholesterol, calcium, and platelets can continue to thicken until it completely clogs the arteries.

Atherosclerosis Diagnosis

The diagnosis of atherosclerosis can be made by a doctor by performing various examinations, ranging from physical examinations to using tools with sophisticated technology.

During a physical exam, your doctor will check your blood pressure, listen for abnormal heart sounds with a stethoscope, or see if you have a weaker-than-normal arterial pulse.

Doctors generally will ask patients to do blood tests, such as routine blood tests, cholesterol, LDL, HDL, blood sugar, and others.

An EKG (electrocardiogram) or heart record can be done as an initial examination to determine whether there is a blockage or abnormality in the heart. If there are abnormalities, echocardiography (ultrasound of the heart) can be done for further examination.

Several other tests that can be done to determine the presence of blockages or abnormalities in the heart, including a CT scan of the heart, stress tests (ECG while running on a treadmill), to angiography (inserting a catheter into the heart’s blood vessels to determine the exact location and degree of blockage).

In addition, doctors can also perform an MRI of the brain if it is suspected that an artery blockage in the brain causing a stroke is suspected.

Atherosclerosis Symptoms

Blockage of arteries due to plaque can cause various diseases, the most common of which are coronary heart disease, heart attacks, and strokes.

Coronary heart disease can give symptoms of chest pain, especially when you are doing strenuous activities or experiencing emotional stress.

A heart attack can also cause symptoms of chest pain, even more severe. Chest pain that is felt more severe and can be accompanied by shortness of breath, fatigue, cold sweats, nausea and vomiting, to fainting.

Meanwhile, blockage stroke can give symptoms of sudden paralysis of the limbs, facial muscle paralysis, difficulty speaking, eating, and drinking, double vision, balance disorders, confusion, and difficulty understanding speech.

Severe heart attacks and strokes can even lead to death.

Atherosclerosis Treatment

If coronary heart disease has occurred, the doctor will give drugs that can dilate blood vessels and treat chest pain. In addition, medication to prevent further clumping and blockage is also given.

The purpose of administering the drug is to maintain oxygen and nutrients flowing to the heart and brain.

If a heart attack or stroke has occurred, the drugs given are infusion drugs that can destroy plaque (can be given if the patient comes within 3 hours after a heart attack or stroke, and meets certain medical requirements) and drugs that can prevent blood clots.

Several surgical procedures can also be performed to treat a heart attack, namely angiography, stent placement to open the blockage due to plaque (can be done if the patient comes within 3 hours after the heart attack, and meets certain medical requirements), and bypass surgery.

Atherosclerosis Prevention

To prevent heart disease and stroke, patients must control the risk factors that can lead to these diseases. An unhealthy diet, lack of exercise, and smoking are some of the main causes.

If you already have high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and diabetes, in addition to adopting a healthy lifestyle, the patient must also take medication to overcome these risk factors.

To treat high blood pressure, reduce foods that are too salty and take blood pressure control drugs regularly.

Sweet foods and drinks should be avoided by people with diabetes mellitus. In addition, the consumption of blood sugar control drugs or insulin injections must also be done regularly. Atherosclerosis – Pathophysiology According to Armando Hasudungan

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