There are several diseases that affect the arteries but the most common among them is arteriosclerosis. Arteriosclerosis occurs when the arteries become lined with plaque and the blood no longer flows through them as it once did. The arteries actually become more narrow and they are more brittle than they used to be.
There is a common misconception that arteriosclerosis is the same as atherosclerosis. Atherosclerosis is actually a condition that falls under the main group of arteriosclerosis. Atherosclerosis is a name for the plaque which thickens along the interior of the arteries.
The plaque buildup is made of calcium, cholesterol and fat which are actually in the blood, itself. Over time, the arteries become more narrow as the plaque hardens.
The doctor will take a look at several things to determine if you are suffering from arteriosclerosis. They will give you a complete physical, check to see if there is a slower pulse rate in a narrowed artery, check to see if a limb has a lowered blood pressure and look for a bulge in the stomach area or behind one of your knees. If none of these tests are conclusive they might look toward bloodwork, imaging scans, EKG or an ultrasound to make further discoveries.
The symptoms of arteriosclerosis are different based on which artery is being affected. Arteries in the calves are most prone to getting a blockage. Other, more serious, blockages can occur in arteries going to the brain, heart, kidneys and abdominal area.
When the blood flow is restricted to a certain degree the first symptom you will notice is pain. For example, if you have a blockage in your calf then you will notice that your leg is in a vast amount of pain. Getting up and exercising your legs is likely to make the pain even worse.
Men are the most likely victims of artersclerosis. Some of the symptoms that will alert you to this terrible event are: dizzy and suddenly weak, pain in the chest, heart attack, ED (erectile dysfunction), outer extremeties receiving poor circulation and increased blood pressure.
In a case like this, using herbal remedies are no excuse for not seeing your doctor. Be sure to let the doctor know which herbs you are using, though. Hawthorn is a great herb if you are looking to give your cardiovascular system some extra protection. Passiflora incarnata is well known for it’s ability to help lower the blood pressure and relax the blood vessels. Viburnum opulus is also a wonderful choice to give your cardiovascular system the added boost it needs. Ginkgo biloba is useful for stimulating the circulatory system and helping to reduce inflammation.
I cannot stress enough to go to the hospital immediately if you are feeling any of the symptoms that I described. Especially if you are in a high risk group. It is always better to be safe than sorry.
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