FEBRUARY 26: ATHEROSCLEROSIS IN OTHER PARTS OF THE BODY
29 Days to a Healthier Heart
Though we have been focusing on heart health throughout the past month, atherosclerosis can occur anywhere in the body and will cause distinct symptoms depending on where in the body it develops.
Atherosclerosis of the arteries supplying the brain frequently provokes transient ischemic attacks and strokes. In the peripheral circulation, it can jeopardize the blood supply to your limbs to cause gangrene. Involvement of the abdominal arteries can cause mesenteric ischemia and bowel infarction. It can affect the kidney directly (causing renal artery stenosis), which can result in hypertension, itself a risk factor in the development of atherosclerosis. And of course, atherosclerosis of the arteries to the heart commonly causes angina pectoris and myocardial infarction (heart attack).
Though the names of some of the above pathologies may be foreign to you, it is important to understand that wherever it develops in the body, the blood supply to that area will decrease. Furthermore, fragments of the atherosclerotic plaques can dislodge and travel through the vessels to other parts of the body thereby cutting off the circulation to those areas.
Stop the process of atherosclerosis before it starts by eating a healthy diet low in saturated fats and high in antioxidants!
Please see our preceding blogs for more information.
-Karen Hack, BHSc, ND