Atherosclerosis - a chronic disease of the arteries - Causes and symptoms

May 3, 2009

  • Atherosclerosis - a chronic disease of the arteries
  • Causes and symptoms

What is atherosclerosis

Atherosclerosis - a common chronic disease of the arteries. These wall cholesterol is deposited and formed atherosclerotic plaque which narrows the lumen of the vessel and prevents the flow of blood. As a result of narrowing of blood vessels that supply blood to the heart, there are angina and myocardial infarction, narrowing blood vessels of the brain - cerebral arteriosclerosis and stroke, limb vessels - gangrene and so on.

Atherosclerosis is very important at the time (before the development of complications), the correct diagnosis and to completely change their lifestyle.

 Causes and symptoms | Atherosclerosis - a chronic disease of the arteries


The causes of atherosclerosis remain largely unclear. Atherosclerosis is not just a disease, its symptoms include biology of aging. Atherosclerosis usually affects people in countries with higher economic potential of urban residents, people of intellectual labor and of persons exposed to constant stress.

Risk factors for atherosclerosis include: unfavorable heredity (close relatives suffered from atherosclerosis), male or female sex hormone deficiency in women older than forty years old, high blood pressure, sedentary lifestyle, smoking, reduced thyroid function The thyroid gland - is responsible for your hormones  The thyroid gland - is responsible for your hormones
 , Overweight, disorders of carbohydrate metabolism (diabetes), increased viscosity and clotting.

 Causes and symptoms | Atherosclerosis - a chronic disease of the arteries

Disorders of lipid metabolism in atherosclerosis

Of particular importance is a violation of lipid metabolism characterized by increased levels of plasma lipoprotein (protein-fat complexes), low density (LDL) and very low density (VLDL), which is the so-called "bad" cholesterol (it was he deposited in the blood vessels ). High density lipoproteins (HDL), in contrast, contain "good" cholesterol and promote its transfer to the liver for catabolism (decomposition). During the day, the human body is oxidized about 500 mg of cholesterol into bile acids, about the same amount is excreted in the faeces and about 100 grams - with sebum.

 Causes and symptoms | Atherosclerosis - a chronic disease of the arteries

Do we need cholesterol?

Cholesterol is a precursor to a number of important biologically active substances, hormones, certain vitamins, bile acids. It is found in cell membranes and affects their permeability. Many cholesterol contained in the brain tissue, nerve fibers, where it participates in the metabolism Metabolism: The basis of life of all living things  Metabolism: The basis of life of all living things
 . Cholesterol also helps to neutralize toxic substances. In the process of metabolism turns cholesterol into bile acids and is involved in digestion. Various liver disease disrupt the formation and release of cholesterol, so it stays in blood and contributes to atherosclerosis.

For a long time cholesterol was considered as the main factor of atherosclerosis and therefore recommended the restriction of foods containing cholesterol. It is now established that in the development of atherosclerosis negative role only animal fat rich in saturated fatty acids and simple carbohydrates (sucrose).

Standards of cholesterol:

  • total blood - 3, 0-6, 0 mg / dL;
  • LDL (the "bad") in the blood of men - 2, 25-4, 82 mmol / l for women - 1, 92-4, 51 mmol / l;
  • HDL ("good") for men - 0, 7-1, 73 mmol / L for women - 0, 86-2, 28 mmol / L.

 Causes and symptoms | Atherosclerosis - a chronic disease of the arteries

Signs of atherosclerosis

Atherosclerosis initially asymptomatic and can be detected only by laboratory or instrumental examination. The next period - a transient ischemic (insufficient blood supply to the background) disorders in organs that occur from time to time. It can be heart pain Pain in the heart - always consult a doctor  Pain in the heart - always consult a doctor
 , Dizziness, numbness of limbs, etc. And the final period - chronic insufficiency of blood supply due to narrowing of the arteries supplying them.

The most common forms of atherosclerosis are atherosclerosis of the arteries of the brain, atherosclerosis of the coronary (heart) arteries, atherosclerosis of the aorta, renal artery atherosclerosis. If there are multiple foci of atherosclerosis, we speak of generalized atherosclerosis.

 Causes and symptoms | Atherosclerosis - a chronic disease of the arteries

Treatment of Atherosclerosis

Treatment of atherosclerosis should prevent its progression and help develop ways to detour blood flow (development of additional, bypassing the affected vessels, branches of the arteries). Treatment includes:

  • increase in motor activity walking, exercise Myths about exercise: do not believe  Myths about exercise: do not believe
 , Light physical labor, etc .;
  • balanced diet - dishes with the obligatory content of vegetable fats, and vitamins; deleted - animal fats and simple carbohydrates (sweets);
  • decrease of body weight to the normal level;
  • control over the activities of the gastrointestinal tract;
  • treatment of opportunistic diseases (hypertension, diabetes, etc.).

Drug treatment of atherosclerosis is playing a secondary role. The ability to lower the concentration of VLDL and LDL, while increasing HDL in blood preparations have polyunsaturated fatty acids (e.g., linetol).

Atherosclerosis - a disease which prevention should start long before the first signs of illness.

  Galina Romanenko

Article Tags:
  • atherosclerosis

Heart failure - when the heart is unable to cope with work - Acute and chronic

May 21, 2009

  • Heart failure - when the heart is unable to cope with the work
  • Acute and chronic

What is heart failure and its causes and types

Heart failure - a condition caused by the inability of the heart to provide adequate blood flow to organs and tissues.

The main starting point of heart failure is a decrease in cardiac contractility. The reason for this can be an overload of the heart muscle pressure and blood volume in heart diseases Heart defects - time heals?  Heart defects - time heals?
   private or failure of the heart muscle if it defeats (for example, myocardial infarction after myocardial condition Myocardial infarction - the most formidable diagnosis  Myocardial infarction - the most formidable diagnosis
 , Metabolic disturbances in the heart muscle).

Heart failure can be acute or chronic.

 Acute and chronic | Heart failure - when the heart is unable to cope with the work

Acute heart failure

Acute heart failure is manifested cardiac asthma and pulmonary edema. Cardiac asthma - an attack of shortness of breath, reaching the degree of suffocation. Cardiac asthma is caused by swelling of the lung tissue. It develops most often in the elderly.

Start of attack is usually sudden, often it happens at night. The patient wakes up in a sweat with a sharp sense of lack of air, shortness of breath quickly comes to the degree of suffocation. It appears continuous dry cough Dry cough - whether to worry about it?  Dry cough - whether to worry about it?
 Which is accompanied by the fear of death. Shortness of breath causes the patient to take a sitting position, which facilitates its condition. Sometimes there are small attacks: there paroxysmal cough, causing the patient to sit up in bed, palpitation, chest tightness.

Cardiac asthma attack duration - from several minutes to several hours. In severe attack of cardiac asthma, it can go into pulmonary edema.

Pulmonary edema - a condition caused by abundant propotevanie liquid part of blood in the lung tissue, and then into the alveoli (air sacs, which ends bronchi), which is manifested severe dyspnea, cyanosis and choking breath. Respiration rate in up to 30-40 breaths per minute, breathing audible in the distance. Provided copious frothy sputum, usually pink. Such patients are excited, they expressed fear of death. Pulmonary edema can result in death of the patient, if he just will not be helped.

 Acute and chronic | Heart failure - when the heart is unable to cope with the work

Congestive heart failure

Chronic heart failure (CHF) is manifested by tachycardia (intense heartbeat), cyanosis of the skin, shortness of breath, swelling, enlargement of the liver, swelling and throbbing neck veins, impaired function of various organs and systems.

Tachycardia in the early stages of heart failure occurs during exercise, but the heart rate returns to the starting not earlier than 10 minutes. Later tachycardia Tachycardia - the body to the limit?  Tachycardia - the body to the limit?
   observed alone.

Cyanosis (cyanosis) of the skin and mucous membranes is expressed more on the fingers, toes, ear lobes - where blood flow is small. The appearance of cyanosis is due to excessive absorption of tissue blood oxygen combined with inadequate blood oxygen saturation in the pulmonary capillaries.

Shortness of breath is the most frequent and early sign of heart failure. Shortness of breath is often accompanied by a cough. In the initial step occurs dyspnea on exertion, and then without it. The appearance of breathlessness due to the accumulation in the blood of lactic and carbonic acids and the change in the acidity of the blood as a result of its stagnation in the small (pulmonary) circulation.

Edema - one of the hallmarks of heart failure. In the early stages there may be hidden edema. Swelling first appear on the feet, lower back, then spread and cover the entire subcutaneous tissue.

Increased liver (sometimes to a significant size) due to the slowing of blood flow and overflow blood of hepatic veins and capillaries. Liver tense, painful, and later may appear signs of its function (eg, yellowness of the skin and mucous membranes). Venous stasis in this area leads to a stagnation in a large vein, blood was collected from all over the abdomen (IVC), which causes the fluid in the abdomen (ascites). Violated and kidney function and other internal organs.

 Acute and chronic | Heart failure - when the heart is unable to cope with the work

Treatment of heart failure

For removal of the heart attacks of asthma and pulmonary edema parenterally (bypassing the gastrointestinal tract) is administered drugs that increase the heart muscle (cardiac glycosides) and decreases the amount of fluid in the lungs (diuretic).

Treatment of patients with CHF are beginning to limit physical activity and relieving mental stress. Appointed as a diet with restriction of salt (the salt attracts water, which contributes to overflow of liquid blood vessels).

Because drug therapy appointed interior cardiac glycosides, with gradual dose selected individually. Be sure to also prescribed diuretics in combination with drugs potassium (asparkamom, Pananginum). Potassium is necessary for the heart muscle was active, and output diuretics potassium, which contributes to the weakening of the heart muscle.

With chronic heart failure can and must be fought. And it's better to do it in the early stages.

  Galina Romanenko

Article Tags:
  • heart disease