What Happens When Our Arteries Get Clogged?

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We often forget just how complex and intricate our bodies are. Even such menial tasks as breathing or walking go unrecognized when it actually takes a delicate dance of many internal systems for our bodies to function properly. Rarely do we give credit to any of these symptoms. At least not until something catastrophic happens to us or someone we love, such as a heart attack or stroke.

The truth is, most people wouldn’t take a moment to think about the root cause of heart attacks or strokes. They might believe their heart just stops, or that oxygen stops pumping somehow. But the truth is so much more than that. Arteries carrying blood becoming clogged seems like such a mundane and minor issue. At least until the symptoms of clogged arteries start occuring. 

But what exactly are clogged arteries, and how does it affect you? Read on for more information.

What Causes Clogged Arteries?

Clogged arteries, or atherosclerosis, are caused by a build-up of plaque in the inner walls of your arteries, which are the blood vessels that carry oxygen-rich blood throughout your body. So pretty important, right? The plaque itself is made up of several different substances which can be found circulating within the blood. These substances include:

  • calcium
  • fat
  • cholesterol
  • cellular waste
  • a material called fibrin (which is actually what causes your blood to clot)

In small amounts, these substances and materials cause no issue. Like how pebbles in a stream will not affect the flowing of the river around them. However, having high cholesterol, high blood pressure, smoking, diabetes, being overly stressed, living a sedentary lifestyle, being obese, or having a family history of heart disease can all contribute to the build-up of these materials. In turn, as a response to this pile-up of materials, cells in the arteries will build themselves up around these plaque piles. These cells are meant to try and break down this build-up, but often secrete additional substances that only worsen the situation.

What Happens To Our Arteries When They Are Clogged?

When the arteries become clogged with this build-up of plaque and cells as they try to break down the substances, they will narrow and harden in response or become clogged entirely. The narrowing and hardening of arteries cause its own issues since it makes the job of carrying the oxygen-rich blood to the extremities that much harder, leading to ‘ischemia’ or the body’s cells not getting enough oxygen. Symptoms of the body and cells not getting enough oxygen can include dizziness, fatigue, shortness of breath, chest or lower back pain, cold hands or feet, pain or numbness in the legs, hands or feet, discoloration of the skin especially in the extremities, hair loss, and sores or ulcers that simply won’t heal.

Individuals at high risk for clogged arteries should know that they are at increased risk for multiple severe medical emergencies. This can range from ischemic strokes which are caused by a blockage in an artery leading to the brain, heart attacks, blood clots, and ischemia bad enough that it can cut off blood circulation completely to certain extremities or organs, in turn leading to organ problems or failure and delayed wound healing.

What Can I Do To Avoid Or Treat Clogged Arteries?

The first and most important step to avoiding or treating clogged arteries is to know your personal risks. Speak with your doctor to learn about:

  • your body
  • what risks you might have (including family history)
  • and (if needed) get an official diagnosis

Knowing ahead of time what to look out for, including signs and symptoms that something might be wrong, will help warn or even prevent some of the more major medical issues that can occur.

The next key is to keep your arteries clear. This can be done by exercising often and eating a low-fat, low-cholesterol diet. You might need additional care, monitoring, or even medication if you have other conditions that could lead to clogged arteries, such as diabetes or high cholesterol, which are all more reasons to consult a doctor.

Make fitness part of your lifestyle with your family

Let’s get on the right track! To ensure an early and accurate diagnosis, make sure you’re discussing any issues or family history with your doctor.
At Ethical Inc., we view our natural supplements in this light—something that is here today but can be quickly lost to profiteering. Our safeguard is ethically highlighting every step between plant to package. Like a good breeder, you can trace the lineage and see for yourself how no step was missed. We want you wagging your tail as much as a well-loved companion might.

Take care,
Team Ethical

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