Atherosclerosis (Arteriosclerosis) Symptoms & Signs

Atherosclerosis is a condition that develops when a sticky substance known as plaque builds up in the inner lining of the arteries. Plaque consists of cellular waste, fatty substances, cholesterol, fibrin, and calcium. The presence of plaque results in the thickening and hardening of the arteries, thereby increasing the chance of fatal strokes and other cardiac problems. Atherosclerosis takes time to develop as the disease may start as early as childhood, especially when the child doesn’t have a good diet. However, the condition could progress rapidly and cause several problems.

Doctors still couldn’t agree on what causes the condition, but they know that plaque buildup plays a significant part in the illness. The buildup or thickening of plaque in the inner walls of the arteries causes the blood flow and oxygen supply to diminish, reducing the supply to vital organs and the body’s extremities. 

Health experts identified several risk factors when it comes to atherosclerosis. These factors include high triglyceride and cholesterol levels, hypertension, obesity, type-1 diabetes, a high saturated fat diet, excessive smoking, and physical inactivity. Therefore, doctors will have to conduct a thorough medical history workup and physical exam to diagnose a person who has atherosclerosis. 

Here are some of the symptoms of atherosclerosis.