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Vessel Stiffness

An artery is a blood vessel which carries oxygen and nutrients from the heart to the organs and all parts of the body. Sanitary living conditions are related with healthy arteries. Healthy blood vessels are elastic, flexible and powerful. But, in time due to several reasons and much pressure can cause vascular structure to become deformed. The walls of blood vessels can become thick and stiff. Vessel stiffness and thickness restricts blood flow to the organs, muscles and tissues. This variation of blood vessels is known as hardening of the arteries or arteriosclerosis. Atherosclerosis is a particular sort of arteriosclerosis. However these medical terms are both used interchangeably. Vessel stiffness grows slowly but surely. Persons generally do not feel any pain or discomfort in their arteries and hearth. In the course of time arteries narrows and becomes unable to flow adequate blood to your parts of body. If a blood clot breaks apart and wholly blocks blood supply or blood flow, it may trigger a heart attack or stroke. Signs and symptoms of moderate to severe arteriosclerosis or hardening of the arteries are: 1- If vessel stiffness is in the heart arteries the patient may have chest pain or angina-like pain. 2- If hardening of the vein or vessel is in the arteries leading to the brain the patient may have a sudden lack of sensation called numbness or weakness in his/her arms or legs. Besides, the patient may have difficulty in speaking or his/her facial muscles droop which are the indications a transient ischemic attack in short TIA. Following TIA may progress to a stroke. 3- If plaque buildup is in the arm or leg arteries the patient may have pain and intermittent claudication during walking similar to signs of ischemic pain due to peripheral arterial disease. 4- In men patients’ arteriosclerosis may cause erectile dysfunction. Atherosclerosis develops over time.

The risk factors are: Unhealthy nutrition, high blood pressure, fatty foods, high cholesterol, sugary products, obesity, diabetes, fast food, smoking, stress, physical inactivity and genetic factors in family tree such as aneurysm or early heart disease. Arteriosclerosis in time causes the inner wall of the arteries to be damaged. The cells in bloodstream known as blood platelets come together in heaps at the injury region in order to repair the artery. As time progressed, cholesterol and other cellular waste products accumulate this area and forms fatty deposits known as plaques. Thus, these fatty -formed deposits harden and narrow vascular access. The blood becomes to unable to flow to the organs, muscles and tissues because of vascular access failure. If portions of the fatty deposits ruptures and enters patient’s bloodstream, a blood clot may be formed. The blood clots can circulate both in the systemic circulation and microcirculation. As a natural consequence, during its circulation a blood clot may partially or totally block and disrupt blood flow to an organ or another part or body. Under such circumstances, blood clots can damage an organ such as in a heart attack. What are the complications of plaque buildup or atherosclerosis? It depends on the site of the semi-clogged or clogged arteries. The complications may end in: For example: Coronary artery disease, carotid artery disease, peripheral artery disease, gangrene, ruptured intracranial aneurysms in any part of the body. When a person consults a doctor the physician may ask for blood tests, stress tests, Doppler ultrasound, Ankle-brachial index, Electrocardiogram in short ECG, Cardiac catheterization and angiogram, tomography in short CT and Magnetic resonance angiogram in short MRA. In order to prevent yourselves and your family from vessel stiffness: Do not smoke, exercise regularly, eat heart-healthy foods, lose extra pounds and learn stress management. Use cod liver oil and omega-3 fatty acids. Please eat bitter or dark chocolate!

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