Risks Associated with Arterial Plaque and Why You Need Coronary Angiography
by Dr. Dhiman Kahali | Published on 08/12/2021
Our heart pumps oxygenated blood to different parts of our body and it does this with the help of a network of arteries. Oxygenated blood helps to provide nutrition to the cells and tissues and plays a vital role in their growth and development. As per the top heart specialists in Kolkata, the normal functioning of the arteries is as important as the normal function of the heart. Just imagine, what will happen if the oxygenated blood does not reach some part of your body. The cells and tissues in that part will start to die and it will eventually become dysfunctional. This can happen if there is a blockage or obstruction in your arteries. Blocked or clogged arteries are usually a result of plaque buildup. Commonly referred to as arterial plaque, the condition is marked by the buildup of a waxy deposit of calcium, healthy fats, and cholesterol on the inner walls of the arteries, which tends to harden with time and obstruct the artery. The condition is commonly referred to as atherosclerosis.
Why do some people experience arterial plaque and how can it be treated?
One of the most important things that you need to note is that it is not just some people, but all of us have plaque deposits in our arteries. We all know that the blood contains oxygen and nutrients which are carried to different areas of the body, however, along with these useful and essential components, the blood also contains healthy substances like calcium, fats, cholesterol, clots, fibrin, and cellular wastes. These are the major components of plaque and these tend to stick to the arterial walls at a significantly slower rate. However, a sedentary lifestyle and unhealthy eating habits can drastically boost the speed of plaque accumulation. Arterial plaque can be detected with the help of coronary angiography, which is a minimally invasive diagnostic technique. Coronary angiography in Kolkata is offered at all the leading hospitals.
Are there any factors that can increase the risks of arterial plaque?
There are a number of different factors that can increase the risk of arterial plaque. We have mentioned the most important of these with the help of experts from the best heart hospital in Kolkata.
- High LDL and low HDL - Not all cholesterol is bad for you. Yes, you read that right. Cholesterol is broadly classified into two types - good cholesterol and bad cholesterol. The former is known as HDL and the latter is known as LDL. As important as it is to bring down LDL levels, it is equally important to maintain healthy HDL levels. If you fail to do so, the unhealthy cholesterol will start accumulating on your arterial walls.
- Hypertension - Increased blood pressure can put excessive pressure on your arterial walls, making them more vulnerable to plaque buildup.
- Excessive smoking - Cigarette smoke consists of countless chemicals and toxins, which, if inhaled, can enter the bloodline and damage the arteries, thereby increasing the risks of arterial plaque.
- High blood sugar levels - It has been found that people who are diabetic are also highly susceptible to arterial plaque.
- Obesity - Being overweight or obese can significantly increase the risks of arterial stenosis as it puts excessive strain on your arteries to ensure a continuous supply of blood flow.
Major risks associated with clogged arteries:
Clogged arteries can put you at a higher risk of developing the following conditions:
- Coronary artery disease - The coronary artery is one of the major arteries, that is responsible for supplying blood to different muscles of the heart. Blockage in the coronary artery is commonly referred to as coronary artery disease, which is marked by an obstruction in the flow of blood to the different Chambers of the heart. The condition is marked by symptoms like breathlessness and angina and has been associated with increased risks of a heart attack.
- Carotid artery disease - The carotid arteries are major blood vessels that are located on either side of the neck. These serve as a passage for blood flowing towards the face, neck and brain. Carotid artery disease is marked by an obstruction in the flow of blood through the carotid artery which has been associated with increased risks of stroke.
- Renal artery disease - The renal arteries are the only passage for blood flowing towards the kidneys. Renal artery disease is caused by a blockage in the renal arteries, which cuts off the supply of nutrient-rich blood to the kidneys, thereby increasing the risks of renal failure.
- Peripheral artery disease - The peripheral arteries serve as the passage for blood going towards the legs and lower extremities. Peripheral artery disease can disrupt the flow of blood to these areas, resulting in chronic pain. If the condition is left untreated for long it can even give rise to the need for amputation.