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Warning Signs of Clogged Arteries

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Chest pain, heart palpitations, and shortness of breath are warning signs of clogged arteries. If you do not seek timely treatment, clogged arteries increase your risk of a heart attack or stroke. At the New York Cardiac Diagnostic Center, Dr. Steven Reisman uses the most up-to-date diagnostic equipment and accurate tests to see inside your heart and arteries and detect the extent of the blockage. The experienced heart doctor will monitor your condition closely and recommend the best treatment options and lifestyle changes to prevent complications and help you live a better quality of life.

Warning Signs of Clogged Arteries

Clogged Arteries
Arteries carry oxygen-rich blood and life-sustaining nutrients from the heart to different parts of the body to keep them healthy and functioning normally. Healthy blood vessels have a smooth inner wall that allows the blood to flow through them effortlessly. Arteries get clogged due to plaque buildup that reduces or blocks the passage of blood, leading to circulatory problems and heart complications.

Warning signs associated with clogged arteries include leg and chest pain, along with other symptoms. Most people have no obvious sign of plaque buildup, but symptoms develop as the arteries begin to narrow. The location or the severity of the narrowed or blocked artery determines the warning signs you may experience.

Hardening or narrowing of the arteries can cause several problems. They fail to deliver sufficient blood, oxygen, and nutrients to the rest of the body to keep up good health. Long-term blockage eventually can lead to tissue death or infection in the arms and legs.

Warning signs of blocked arteries should not be ignored. Consulting a heart specialist can help you seek the best advice on avoiding further complications.

Peripheral Artery Disease (Pad) – How It Affects the Limbs

PAD is a common circulatory disease in which the blood supply to the extremities is limited due to plaque buildup in the arteries. People who develop peripheral artery disease suffer from circulation problems in which arms and legs, mostly legs do not receive an adequate supply of blood. It results in pain in the legs, shortness of breath, and extreme fatigue after physical activity.

Buildup in the arteries can be dangerous. If left untreated, the peripheral arterial disease can lead to aortoiliac disease. These conditions take years to develop, and only timely diagnosis and treatment can prevent the risk of heart attack and stroke.

Aortoiliac Disease Symptoms

Common symptoms of aortoiliac disease include:

  • Cramps or pain in the calves, buttocks, or thigh during a walk
  • Pain in the toes
  • Numbness or cold feeling in the legs while resting or sitting
  • Ulcers in the foot or legs that do not heal due to problems with blood flow

If the aortoiliac disease is not addressed properly, it can completely cut off circulation in the lower extremities, including legs and feet. It can also result in the development of gangrene and eventually loss of a limb in severe cases.

How Coronary Artery Disease Affects the Heart

Coronary artery disease is very harmful to the heart and can be life-threatening. Symptoms of coronary artery disease include feelings of pain or squeezing in the chest, neck, back, jaws, arms, and shoulders, indicating an angina attack.

This pain can worsen with activity while it subsides during a period of rest. This type of chest pain can be triggered by emotional stress or extreme physical activity.

Carotid Artery Disease – How It Affects the Brain

Carotid artery disease can be quite dangerous if it is not treated. It can affect the brain and result in a stroke.

Symptoms of stroke due to carotid artery disease include:

  • Inability to move lower parts of the body such as legs or feet
  • Facial drooping
  • Sudden onset of numbness or weakness in the limbs, face, or the entire body depending on the part of the brain affected
  • Vision problems in one or both eyes
  • Slurred speech
  • Difficulty in understanding what others are saying
  • The onset of a severe headache without any known cause
  • Loss of balance or dizziness

These signs are very alarming, and you must seek immediate medical attention to prevent severe consequences.

Risk Factors for Atherosclerosis

Atherosclerosis is the thickening or hardening of the arteries caused by a buildup of plaque in the inner lining of arteries. Plaque is made up of cholesterol, fat, and calcium that come from a diet consisting of foods high in fats, trans fats, and salt.

There are many other factors too that increase the risk of plaque buildup in the arteries. They include:

  • High blood pressure
  • Diabetes
  • Smoking
  • Lack of physical activity
  • Eating too many saturated fats
  • Heredity
  • Obesity

Atherosclerosis develops over time and leads to critical complications if it is not detected at an early stage. The arteries continue to harden and narrow, which restricts blood flow and results in clots, heart attack, or stroke. Lifestyle changes and medications recommended by the doctor can help manage the risk factors and prevent coronary heart disease in the long run.

If you are concerned about your heart health or have been warned against atherosclerosis due to your risk factors, contact an experienced heart doctor to know more about your heart condition. Visit New York Cardiac Diagnostic Center to see Dr. Steven Reisman, a nationally recognized cardiologist, and cardiovascular specialist. Using the most advanced diagnostic equipment, screening tests, and multidisciplinary approaches, he will evaluate your arterial status and any cardiac problems to help you achieve a healthy heart and overall wellbeing.

This page was published on Oct 25, 2021, modified on Dec 1, 2021 by Dr. Reisman (Cardiologist) of New York Cardiac Diagnostic Center

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