Atherosclerosis is one of the most common causes of strokes and heart attacks, but it can often remain hidden. Many patients who are treated at the cardiology clinic in London do not realise that they are affected by atherosclerosis until they undergo health screening or start to experience problems such as angina.
The Effects of Atherosclerosis
Atherosclerosis happens when a type of fat builds up inside your arteries. As the blood vessels become narrower, it is harder for the blood to flow through them. This can make it more difficult for your body to get the blood and oxygen it needs. It is also possible for some of the fatty material to break off. If it does, a blood clot can form around it. The clot can cause serious problems if it blocks a blood vessel in your heart or brain, where it could cause a heart attack or stroke. Detecting atherosclerosis before this happens is possible with screening at the cardiology clinic in London.
What Causes Atherosclerosis?
The risk of developing atherosclerosis increases as we age. The same risk factors that increase the chances of heart disease can also make it more likely for fat to build up inside our arteries. Having high cholesterol can encourage fatty deposits to build up inside blood vessels. High blood pressure and smoking can also increase the risk of atherosclerosis by damaging the inside of your blood vessels, which can encourage fat to build up.
Although there is no cure for atherosclerosis, it is possible to prevent the condition from getting any worse by making some lifestyle changes. It is possible to lower your cholesterol by making changes to your diet. Losing any excess weight and getting plenty of exercise can also help to prevent atherosclerosis from getting worse. If your doctor suspects that you are at risk when you visit the cardiology clinic in London, you may also be prescribed medication to reduce the risk of heart attacks or strokes.