The blood circulating in the arteries is vital for the proper functioning of the body because it provides the oxygen necessary for the life of the tissues. If an artery is blocked, it creates terror for the organ it supplies.
Detecting symptoms of clogged arteries as quickly as possible: A priority
Heart disease affects nearly several millions of people all around the world, claiming so many lives each year. Preventing cardiovascular disease in patients is essential, but early detection is just as crucial.
Definition: What is a blocked artery?
The arterial obstruction (or blocked artery) can be progressive, by the formation of an atheroma plaque, or during the migration of a thrombus (or clot). It results in completely obstructing an artery. It is a mechanism in question in ischemic stroke, myocardial infarction, or acute ischemia, especially of the leg. These two phenomena can be linked. The arterial obstruction causes interruption of the blood supply to the irrigated organ. Therefore, the oxygen supply and the functioning of this one are more or less severely impaired.
Main Symptoms of Clogged Arteries
Symptoms of an arterial obstruction can depend on its location.
- If it concerns the coronary arteries, the symptoms will be those of myocardial infarction (chest tightness, pain difficulty breathing).
- If it is a carotid artery, the signs will be those of a stroke.
- Acute ischemia of the leg causes sudden, cramp-like pain that prevents walking or even movement of the leg. It becomes white, cold, and almost icy at an advanced stage, and the sensitivity disappears.
These signs and symptoms can predict if your arteries are clogged and if you are at risk for heart disease. Detect the signs and symptoms of clogged arteries as quickly as possible.
Remember these five signs to help your heart and extend its lifespan.
1. Erectile dysfunction problems could mean blocked arteries.
Men have an internal warning system for signs of coronary heart disease. When it becomes difficult to have or maintain an erection becomes difficult or even impossible, it might be because of the blockage of an artery in the pelvis. There is usually a 3 to 5 years difference between erectile dysfunction and the discovery of coronary artery disease, which gives ample time to detect and prevent heart problems. If you and your partner are worried about your sexual performance, find the source of the problem, and consult your doctor before thinking about taking the little blue pill. clogged arteries and vascular disease are one of the ten common causes of erectile dysfunction.
2. Pain in the calf when you walk could mean a blocked artery.
If you experience calf pain whenever you walk, it can sometimes indicate a blocked artery. Atherosclerosis can cause blockage in the arteries of the legs. More specifically, in smokers, even before the diagnosis of coronary artery disease. If you have sudden calf pain, you should see your doctor right away. Your doctor will examine the blood pressure, pulse, and blood flow in your legs to confirm insufficient circulation. Heart disease must be diagnosed as early as possible, as many treatments can help better deal with heart disease.
3. The blocked jaw could mean a blocked artery.
Clogged arteries strike women more often than men. But it does not mean that it does not affect men at all. According to Harvard Medical School, neck and jaw pain are common symptoms of angina, which results in pain or discomfort due to poor blood circulation in the part of the heart. The pain is because of the vagus nerve (the main nerve that transmits pain signals from the heart) is in permanent contact with the neck, jaw, head, and left arm. Check with your doctor to find out if your jaw pain is because of something mild, such as gnashing of teeth, or if this is a symptom you should watch out for.
4. Pain in the lower back could mean a blocked artery.
Your lower back pain may not be a simple sign of aging. According to the American NGO Physicians Community for Responsible Medicine, the lower back is often one of the first parts of the body where plaque can build up in the arteries. The reduction of blood flow in this area can weaken the discs that act as shock absorbers for the vertebrae and causes pain. Ease the pain by trying some expert back pain remedies.
How to recognize the signs of an artery blockage?
The arteries can be blocked in the heart, brain, kidneys, intestines, arms, and legs. It is, therefore, crucial to recognize the signs and symptoms of this pathology, especially if you are at great risk of developing atherosclerosis. It will allow you to receive medical assistance as soon as possible.
Identify common symptoms of clogged arteries:
1. Look for signs similar to those of a heart attack.
Certain specific signs can indicate the beginning of a heart attack when the oxygenated blood is unable to circulate in the cardiac muscles. When the heart does not receive enough oxygen, part of the heart muscle (myocardium) dies. The damage caused by this can be reduced by hospital medication if you act quickly within one hour of the onset of symptoms. Here is a list of these warning signs:
- Chest pain or pressure
- Heaviness in the chest or tightness in the chest
- Sweating or cold sweats
- A feeling of satiety or indigestion
- Nausea or vomiting
- Dizzying sensations
- A feeling of extreme weakness
- Fast pulse or irregular heartbeat
- Difficulty breathing
- Pain that radiates to the arm
- Know that the pain which is generally described as compression or tightness of the chest is not acute
- Also, be aware that women, the elderly, and people with diabetes often do not experience many of these symptoms and may even have completely different signs. However, fatigue is a very common symptom.
2. Recognize the symptoms of renal artery stenosis.
It is the narrowing of the renal artery. The signs of this pathology can be different from those of an obstruction that reaches the arteries of another organ of the body. Here are some signs that may indicate renal artery stenosis:
- Difficulty controlling high blood pressure
- Loss of appetite
- Difficulty concentrating
If the artery is blocked completely, you may have a fever, nausea, vomiting, and constant pain in the abdomen or lumbar region. If it is a small obstruction in the renal artery, other blockages could occur in different areas of the body, such as the fingers, arms, brain, or intestine.
3. Consult your doctor.
You cannot be completely sure that you have a blocked artery, but prevention is better than cure. You should call your doctor with no delay to describe the symptoms you are having. He will advise you to go to his office or the nearest hospital.
4. Stay still and inactive while waiting for medical treatment.
Try to rest and remain calm while waiting for medical services. It will allow you to reduce the body’s oxygen requirements as well as the performance of the heart muscle.
If you think you have a heart attack, you can chew 325 mg of full-strength aspirin after contacting emergency services. If you only have aspirin for children, you can take four 80 mg aspirin tablets. The effect of aspirin accelerates by chewing.
- Anyone with one or more of the signs and symptoms listed earlier should see a healthcare professional. Ask your doctor if you should get some tests for heart disease with an EKG, coronary calcium imaging, or a stress test.
What can be the cause of blockage in arteries?
The arteries can become blocked due to the progressive formation of an atheroma plaque. The following can be the reasons for an artery blockage:
- Excess cholesterol
- High blood pressure
- Blood clot
Chronic smoking, obesity, and age increase the risk of arterial obstruction. In this case, blood circulation to the affected area is interrupted. It is an emergency called acute ischemia. The latter has two leading causes: arterial embolism, which represents around 40% of cases, and localized arterial thrombosis, which represents about 60% of cases.
Examinations: Ultrasound/Arterial Doppler:
The tests prescribed to diagnose an arterial obstruction depend on its location and associated clinical signs. The arterial Doppler is the reference examination. It is an ultrasound that follows the arterial path and which allows visualizing if there is any kind of interruption and to know if a thrombus is present. Suspected arterial obstruction is always an emergency.
Treatment: What to do? The operation, bypass, stent, or medication?
The treatment must be rapid. It consists of unblocking the artery by destroying the clot, aspirating it, or increasing the caliber of the artery with a balloon or stent (a sort of small spring, most often placed in the coronary arteries). Doctors can also perform a bypass. After that, medical treatment will be implemented aimed at eliminating risk factors (cholesterol, smoking, alcohol consumption, high blood pressure, and diabetes). Moreover, they can also prescribe Vasodilator and anti-platelet aggregation drugs after the treatment.
Regular physical activity, such as walking, is advised. Hygiene-dietic measures are essential for preventing arterial obstruction and its dangerous consequences. Such as smoking cessation, balanced diet, regular physical activity, stress management, monitoring of chronic pathologies, high blood pressure and diabetes, etc.
How can you prevent the blockage of arteries?
1. Understand the underlying causes of this disease.
Many people believe that excess cholesterol causes fatty deposits that clog the arteries. This explanation is much simpler than the structural complexity of the cholesterol molecules. The body needs cholesterol to produce vitamins, hormones, and other chemical transmitters. According to researchers, some cholesterol molecules are dangerous for the heart and increases the risk of blockage of the arteries. Sugar and carbohydrates cause an inflammatory reaction in the body, which is a significant warning sign of atherosclerosis.
If you can avoid saturated fats to lower cholesterol and the risk of atherosclerosis and blockage of an artery, be aware that this is a serious mistake. Consumption of saturated fatty acids has not been scientifically proven to be associated with heart disease and clogged arteries.
However, diets high in fructose, low in fat and sugars, as well as whole grain products have been associated with dyslipidemia, which can cause blockage of an artery. Fructose is present in drinks, fruits, jellies, jams, and other previously sweetened food products.
2. Eat healthily.
Consume a diet rich in healthy saturated fatty acids and low in sugar, fructose, and carbohydrates. Carbohydrates are metabolized as sugar in the body and also intensify the inflammatory response. Consuming large amounts of sugars, fructose, and carbohydrates increases the risk of developing diabetes. And in turn, diabetes increases the risk of atherosclerosis. It also includes moderate alcohol consumption.
3. Stop smoking.
The toxic components found in tobacco that cause atherosclerosis and clogged arteries remain a mystery. However, researchers know that smoking is a major cause of inflammation, thrombosis, and oxidation of low-density lipoproteins. And all of this contributes to the development of blockage of an artery.
4. Keep a healthy weight.
Being overweight increases the risk of diabetes. And in turn, diabetes increases the risk of blocked arteries.
5. Exercise regularly for 30 minutes a day.
Lack of exercise is one factor that makes it possible to predict the risk of developing a heart attack 90% in men and 94% in women. Heart disease and stroke are just two of the consequences of blocked arteries.
6. Reduce stress in your life.
Stress levels are also another contributing factor to this pathology. Remember to relax and take breaks to help you de-stress. While taking your blood pressure is not enough to know how bad your cholesterol is, but it can help you assess your stress level.
7. Learn more about the drug treatments available.
Your doctor may prescribe statins that help reduce plaque deposits in the arteries. These drugs inhibit the production of cholesterol in the hope that all the fatty substances already accumulated in the arteries will be absorbed.
Statins are not for everyone. However, if you have diabetes, have heart disease, have abnormal cholesterol levels (190 mg/dl or more LDL cholesterol) or have a very high risk of having a heart attack within the next ten years, your doctor may prescribe these drugs.