Have you heard of people complain of pain in the heart or someone who is seemingly healthy slum, then dies? Particularly when the stories you hear are of young people?
Do you attribute these occurrences to village people? Lol. Well, let us not give them credit just yet.
It has been reported that non-communicable diseases attributed to lifestyle are the leading cause of death in young people. One of these diseases harming the health of young people is atherosclerosis.
Atherosclerosis, often called atherosclerosis cardiovascular disease is a build-up of fats & cholesterol in the walls of arteries, causing obstruction of blood flow.
Atherosclerosis occurs when the blood vessels that carry oxygen and nutrients from your heart to the rest of your body (arteries) become thick and stiff — sometimes restricting blood flow to your organs and tissues.
Atherosclerosis develops gradually and presents no symptoms in its mild stage as it progresses to the moderate to severe stages, symptoms present depend on which arteries are affected.
· Atherosclerosis in the heart arteries present symptoms, such as chest pain or pressure (angina).
· Atherosclerosis in the arteries leading to the brain may show signs and symptoms such as sudden numbness or weakness in the arms or legs, difficulty speaking or slurred speech, temporary loss of vision in one eye, or drooping muscles in the face. These signal a transient ischemic attack (TIA), which, if left untreated, may progress to a stroke.
· Atherosclerosis in the arteries in the arms and legs may have symptoms of peripheral artery disease, such as leg pain when walking (claudication).
· Atherosclerosis in the arteries leading to the kidneys may develop high blood pressure or kidney failure.
Aging causes the hardening of the arteries over time reason why most aging people experience heart conditions in the later part of their lives. However, atherosclerosis is a condition experienced by young adults these days. The risk factors for developing atherosclerosis are obesity, an unhealthy diet, lack of exercise, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, the use of tobacco and smoking.
· Complications of atherosclerosis include coronary artery disease, chronic kidney disease, peripheral artery disease, aneurysms and carotid artery disease. To avoid complications caused by atherosclerosis, it is important to maintain a healthy lifestyle. It is recommended that the same steps used to treat atherosclerosis can prevent it. These include quitting smoking, eating healthy foods, exercising regularly and maintaining a healthy weight.
Remember to make healthy lifestyle changes one step at a time, and keep in mind what lifestyle changes are manageable for you in the long run.