We will write a custom Essay on Arteriosclerosis’ Causes, Signs and Diagnosis specifically for you
301 certified writers online
Causes of arteriosclerosis
Arteriosclerosis is a condition where fatty materials, calcium deposits, cholesterol, and other impurities accumulate in the arteries forming a hard block that hampers blood flow (Buzzle, 2012). The impacts of blood blockage are fatal since it can lead to a heart attack, stroke, and other peripheral vascular diseases (Buzzle, 2012).
Arteriosclerosis is a progressive process that is responsible for most cardiovascular diseases. According to Buzzle (2012), Arteries have an inner emaciated coating of cells called the endothelium that is in charge of building a smooth coating in the arteries to allow blood flow (Buzzle, 2012). The destruction of the endothelium marks the beginning of atherosclerosis.
The damage is caused by smoking, high blood pressure or high levels of cholesterol (Buzzle, 2012). The presence of cholesterol in the inner lining of the arteries destroys the endothelium. As the process continues, cholesterol forms a plaque, which after some time if the process persists may form a bump (Buzzle, 2012). The bump formed can grow into a big block hence hampering the flow of blood causing a heart attack or stroke.
Signs and symptoms of arteriosclerosis
Signs and symptoms of Arteriosclerosis are not easily detected until the artery affected becomes very narrow causing a blockage. Many people overlook the symptoms due to lack of knowledge or by attributing the symptoms to other factors like stress and bad shape.
Some of the most notable symptoms of arteriosclerosis include cold hands and feet, blurred vision, high blood pressure, and chest pains (Moll, 2011). However, the most serious symptom that shows a person is suffering from arteriosclerosis is chest pain. This condition is medically called Angina.
Nonetheless, it is important to note that signs and symptoms depend on the affected artery. If the coronary arteries, which carry blood from the body to the heart, are blocked, symptoms such as heart attack or chest pains are experienced.
Moll (2011) asserts that obstruction in the carotid arteries that take blood to the brain might cause impulsive lack of sensation, vertigo, or weakness. The arteries that carry blood to the arms and legs when blocked may cause Legs to pain a condition called intermittent solidification. Male erectile failure and impotence may also be caused by atherosclerosis.
Diagnosis of arteriosclerosis
A stethoscope is an instrument used to listen to the heart and lungs beat. A doctor carefully listens to the patients’ heart and lungs using the stethoscope (Obeck, 2013). There are also other tests that can be administered including CT scans, cardiac stress tests, which are performed using sound waves to get inner images of the arteries, to mention but a few.
Lab tests can establish the presence of cholesterol and evaluate the levels of blood sugar and other impurities that may enhance the chances for arteriosclerosis (Obeck, 2013). The difference between the blood pressure in the arm and the ankle, ankle-brachial index, may indicate a possible risk of arteriosclerosis.
Other diagnostic procedures for arteriosclerosis include the use of Electrocardiogram ‘ECG’ that records signals traveling through the heart (Obeck, 2013). An anagram is a special method of injecting dye into the blood of a patient before a chest x-ray is performed to delineate the spots where blockage of blood is taking place.
A medical instrument called the Doppler ultrasound can also determine the speed of blood flow and blockages (Obeck, 2013). The speed of blood flow can be used to identify the possibility of a blockage in the arteries leading to arteriosclerosis.
Buzzle: Arteriosclerosis: Symptoms and Treatment.(2012). Retrieved from: http://www.webmd.com/heart-disease/what-is-atherosclerosis?page=2
Moll, J. (2011). Arteriosclerosis. Retrieved from: http://cholesterol.about.com/od/cholesterolglossary/g/arteriosclerosis.htm
Obeck, L. (2013). Diagnosis of Arteriosclerosis. Retrieved from: http://www.ehow.com/about_5415091_diagnosis-arteriosclerosis.html