Serious and dangerous diseases of the blood vessels of the brain and heart include atherosclerosis. Pathology occurs as a result of deposits of cholesterol plaques on the walls of the arteries.
General information about atherosclerosis
The arterial wall affected by pathology is compacted, and the proliferation of connective tissue and calcium deposits lead to deformation of the vessel and narrowing of its lumen. Problems with the circulation of blood flow in a narrow place provoke insufficient blood circulation and ischemia of the organ feeding through the artery. In some cases, its blockage leads to complications in the form of necrosis or gangrene.
Massive damage to all blood vessels of the body is rarely recorded, more often there are problems with the blood supply to individual tissues in the kidneys, lower extremities or brain. Atherosclerosis is characterized by a chronic course, subsequent loss of performance and death.
The list of possible factors provoking the development of the disease is presented:
- elevated cholesterol levels;
- diabetes mellitus;
- sedentary lifestyle;
- high neuropsychiatric loads.
In men, atherosclerosis is registered 3-4 times more often than in women. The average age of patients is in the range of 40-45 years.
Clinical signs of atherosclerosis
The symptoms of pathology depend on the location of the damaged vessel. When the arteries of the brain are affected, there is insufficient blood supply to its tissues and dysfunction. The first sign of the development of atherosclerosis, doctors consider the deterioration of memory in relation to recent events. Irreversible changes are registered during the diagnosis.
The patient has a gradual decrease in the level of intelligence, problems with emotional stability. The rest of the clinical picture depends on the location of the damaged area of the brain. The cause of ischemic stroke is atherosclerosis affecting the arteries of the brain.
With atherosclerotic aortic lesion, the patient has a gradual development of hypertension and noises that are heard in front of the abdominal part of the vessel. The complications of this pathology include a violation of cerebral circulation, provoking:
- short-term loss of consciousness;
- attacks of dizziness;
A delaminating hematoma in the aorta poses a threat to the patient’s life. The disease is manifested by painful sensations in the area of the peritoneum or chest. During diagnosis, signs of acute bleeding are recorded – due to rupture of a vessel and filling of the thoracic cavity or retroperitoneal space with blood. In the absence of timely help, the patient dies. An aortic aneurysm in the abdominal region is practically not manifested, which makes it life-threatening.
When the mesenteric vessels feeding the intestine are affected , the following clinical picture develops:
- attacks of pain resembling colic, accompanied by bloating, vomiting (deviation is present after eating);
- blockage of the central arterial highways with the death of individual tissues in the walls of the intestine and mesentery.
When the pathology spreads to the lower extremities, patients complain:
- on the pain in the calves;
- changes in the usual shade of the dermis;
- deformational changes in the nail plates.
On examination, a weakened pulsation of the arteries is noticeable, a reduced temperature in the problem area, dry gangrene may form.
Atherosclerotic damage to the renal vessel leads to kidney ischemia against the background of insufficient blood circulation. The result of pathology is the development of chronic renal failure. With arterial thrombosis, patients experience acute pain, painful sensations during palpation and auscultation in the lumbar region, over the problem area.
Regardless of the location of the affected vessel, experts distinguish two types of complications of atherosclerosis:
- acute type – associated with blood clots, spasms, air blockage of arteries and requires immediate professional help;
- chronic – symptoms of oxygen starvation, dystrophic, atrophic changes in the tissues of the affected organs join the general picture.
An acute form of atherosclerosis is considered more dangerous, which can lead to the development of a heart attack.
Features of therapy
Treatment of the pathological process requires a long period of time, at least six months. The standard therapeutic scheme includes several subspecies of care:
- appointment of hypolidemic agents – drugs are responsible for reducing the level of fat cells in the blood, improve oxygen supply, increase the elasticity of vascular walls;
- switching to a specialized diet menu – properly selected nutrition helps to reduce cholesterol levels in the bloodstream, prevent additional thrombosis;
- treatment of nicotine addiction – constant intake of nicotine and resins into the body worsens blood circulation processes, contribute to the formation of atherosclerotic plaques;
- prescribing medications to reduce the risk of blood clots.
With extensive blood clots blocking the blood flow, surgical treatment of atherosclerosis is considered. During the operation, the problem area of the vessel is excised, additional prosthetics of the artery is performed. The technique is used on the blood vessels of the lower extremities, heart and internal organs.
Formed atherosclerosis is difficult to treat, characterized by frequent relapses. The problem is related to the unwillingness of patients to reconsider their usual lifestyle, give up their favorite diet or exercise.