Atherosclerosis and Related Diseases
It is a disease in which plaque builds up inside arteries which are blood vessels carrying oxygenated blood to heart and other parts of human body.
Plaque is formed with fat, calcium, cholesterol and other substances in the blood. Over time, plaque hardens and narrows arteries. In such a circumstance the flow of oxygenated blood to organs and other parts of human body is obstructed.
Atherosclerosis can lead to serious problems, including heart attack, stroke, or even death.
Atherosclerosis can start any artery in human body, including arteries in arms, brain, heart, kidneys, legs and pelvis resulting different diseases develop based on which arteries are affected.
1) Coronary Heart Disease
Coronary heart disease (CHD) (also known as coronary artery disease) is a narrowing of small blood vessels that supply blood and oxygen to heart. Coronary heart disease is caused by the buildup of plaque in the arteries to heart resulting in hardening of the arteries.
If blood flow to a person’s heart muscle is reduced or blocked, he/she may suffer angina (chest pain or discomfort) or a heart attack.
Plaque also can form in the heart’s smallest arteries which disease is called coronary microvascular disease (MVD). In coronary MVD, plaque doesn’t cause blockages in the arteries as it does in CHD.
2) Carotid Artery Disease 頸動脈疾病
Carotid arteries are two large blood vessels in human neck, supplying blood to brain. In Carotid Artery Disease, the arteries are narrowed because of atherosclerosis, the buildup of cholesterol and other material in an artery. If a blood clot sticks in the narrowed arteries, blood can’t reach brain which is one of the causes of stroke.
Carotid Artery Disease often does not bear symptoms but can be found by test. If the arteries are very narrow, endarterectomy may be necessary to remove the plaque. Another option for patents who can’t have surgery is carotid angioplasty. This involves placing balloons and/or stents into the artery to open it and keep it open.
3) Chronic Kidney Disease 慢性腎臟病
Chronic kidney disease can occur if plaque builds up in the renal arteries. These arteries supply oxygen-rich blood to your kidneys.
Over time, chronic kidney disease causes a slow loss of kidney function. The main function of the kidneys is to remove waste and extra water from the body.
Chronic kidney disease can occur if plaque builds up in the renal arteries. These arteries supply oxygenated blood to kidneys which main function is removing waste and extra water from human body.
Chronic kidney disease (chronic kidney failure) is the gradual loss of kidney function. Our kidneys filter wastes and excess fluids from blood to be excreted in urine. When chronic kidney disease reaches an advanced stage, dangerous levels of fluid, electrolytes and wastes can accumulated in our body.
Chronic kidney disease can progress to end-stage kidney failure, which is fatal without artificial filtering (dialysis) or a kidney transplant.
4) Peripheral Arterial Disease 外周血管疾病
Peripheral arterial disease (P.A.D.) occurs if plaque accumulates in the major arteries that supply oxygenated blood to legs, arms, and pelvis.
When patients develop peripheral artery disease (PAD), their extremities — usually legs — don’t receive enough blood flow to keep up with demand, causing symptoms, most notably leg pain when walking (intermittent claudication).
Peripheral artery disease is also likely to be a sign of a more widespread accumulation of fatty deposits in arteries (atherosclerosis). This condition may be reducing blood flow to heart and brain, as well as legs.