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May 30, 2017 at 12:59pm
#PGDInternational People afflicted with arteriosclerosis often don not notice anything for years: read an article from a major German newspaper - an interview with an expert Prof. Dr. Ernst Weigang, Head Physician at the Hubertus hospital in Berlin, a clinic of the PGD International.
More Europeans die of hardened blood vessels than most of the other illnesses. Medication and operations are of help if the heart, brain or legs are first affected.
The blood is constantly circulated through the body. It supplies organs such as muscles and even tissues with the essential nutrients. Of course, not everything in the blood is good for the body. Too much fat and calcium carbonate can permanently deposit in the vascular walls with time. Colloquially told, the vessels calcify. Medically it is referred as arteriosclerosis.
Arteriosclerosis is a chronic disease. «It must not be underestimated under any circumstances», says Prof. Ernst Weigang. He is the Head Physician of the Clinic for Vascular Surgery and Endovascular Therapy at the Evangelic Hospital Hubertus in Berlin. Because the vascular walls become stiffer and thicker, blood can no longer flow freely. The amount of blood that flows to the heart muscle reduces. The oxygen supply to the heart muscle is no longer adequate. A development of this can be a heart attack.
The treacherous: «Afflicted people often notice nothing of arteriosclerosis for years», states Weigang. How exactly does the calcification happen? Doctors today speculate that the vascular wall is inflamed or injured and the depositions of fats and calcium carbonate are thus possible at first. But it is unclear what exactly causes the inflammation or injury.
It is however known, what promotes arteriosclerosis: too much and too fatty food, too less movement, an increased blood pressure and blood glucose level and smoking. On one hand, arteriosclerosis is a sign of ageing, on the other hand it can affect younger people as well. Many have a family predisposition or are affected with Diabetes mellitus.
As long as the illness progresses silently, the affected people notice nothing. The depositions can however not detach from the vascular wall. They then clump with a blood clot into a thrombus which blocks an artery. This is a threat of a heart attack or a stroke. According to World Health Organisation (WHO), half of the fatalities in Europe stem from such health consequences of arteriosclerosis
But veins do not harden in the vascular regions at the heart and brain alone. In some people, the vessels in the pelvis and legs are affected. The results are painful constrictions and blockages. Doctors talk of «peripheral arterial occlusive disease», better known as «window illness» in layman’s term. The legs pain while walking and are better when resting.
Anyone who has tightness in the chest, signs of paralysis, speech disturbances or muscle aches should also go to a doctor. He examines the blood for increased cholesterol and blood sugar levels and measures the blood pressure. An ultrasound, Computer or Magnetic Resonance Tomography can find out whether vascular constrictions exist at specific points in the body.
But calcifications in the veins can not only wear the vessels, they also lead to bulges, so called aneurysms. «They especially appear on the abdominal artery», explains Weigang. Such an aneurysm cam suddenly burst. The afflicted person could suffer internal haemorrhage. There is no way around an operation to save his life. In the course of the operation, a plastic tube, known as a stent, is inserted which replaces or supports the blood vessel.
If there is a threat of blockage of the leg artery or the coronary arteries are affected to a progressed stage, the patient must similarly be operated. Thus a balloon catheter can be pushed at the site of constriction and inflated. It ensures that the vessel expands and the blood can flow normally again. A stent can prevent the constriction of the site again.
The diagnosis of arteriosclerosis however does not always imply a surgery. There is indeed no drug which directly treats arteriosclerosis, says Ursula Sellerberg of the Bundesapothekerkammer (Federal Pharmacy Chamber). The disease can however be treated for example with blood thinners. They prevent formation of blood clots. If the cholesterol levels have increased, lipid-lowering agent can help in lowering the harmful LDL cholesterol levels.
If you are uncertain, you should regularly go for medical check-ups. Your PGD International will be glad to help you.
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