Artery Inflammation TreatmentWorthington, OH
Artery inflammation can be a precursor to various heart health issues. Unfortunately, the traditional model of cardiovascular care often does not take this into account. Individualized treatment that takes artery inflammation treatment into account, on the other hand, can reduce your risk for heart disease tremendously.
Artery inflammation treatment is available at The Heart Attack & Stroke Prevention Center in Worthington and the surrounding area. We can help keep any future cardiovascular problems at bay. Call us today at 614-360-9386 to schedule an appointment or to learn more about our services.
Understanding Artery Inflammation
There are two different types of inflammation: acute and chronic. Acute inflammation occurs as a result of trauma or injury, triggering an essential immune system response. Without acute inflammation, injuries and infections would not heal. On the other hand, chronic inflammation occurs as a response to other unwanted substances in the body.
Common triggers for chronic inflammation include cigarette smoke, excess fat cells, alcohol, and chronic stress. When a patient's arteries are chronically inflamed, they are likely to develop an excess of fatty, cholesterol-rich plaque. The plaque stiffens and hardens over time, causing the arteries to become narrow. Blood flow is reduced, as is the supply of oxygen and nutrients to the cells and tissues. This condition is known as atherosclerosis.
Artery Inflammation and Heart Disease
When a patient has atherosclerosis, the body will attempt to work against the "foreign" plaque by separating it from the blood flow. Yet the thin wall separating the plaque from the blood flow may break down, and blood clots may form once the plaque is exposed to the bloodstream. Such clots are responsible for most strokes and heart attacks. Strokes occur when blood clots block an artery to the brain, and heart attacks occur when blood clots block an artery to the heart.
For about two decades now, it has been well-documented that chronic inflammation increases one's risk of a heart attack or stroke. The treatment has typically involved cholesterol-lowering statin drugs, which in turn lowers chronic inflammation. However, a more recent clinical trial has shown that attacking inflammation alone may reduce one's likelihood of future heart attacks or strokes by up to 15%. The need for major interventions, like angioplasty and bypass surgery, also went down by 30%.
Artery Inflammation and Other Risk Factors
Artery inflammation is particularly common amongst middle-aged patients with known asymptomatic atherosclerosis, especially in artery regions that have yet to develop plaque. However, any state of arterial inflammation may be a predictor for forming plaque and atherosclerotic disease further down the line. One study found that most of the artery inflammation experienced by these types of patients were not accompanied by atherosclerotic plaque at all.
Furthermore, for all patients, inflammation is correlated with other risk factors. Obesity and smoking are the top two independent predictors, and new technology has made it possible to see any potential atherosclerosis-causing inflammation in real-time. These conditions can facilitate doctors in early detection and treatment, which may lead to a higher overall success rate.
Preventing Artery Inflammation
Fortunately, artery inflammation is preventable. It is as simple as making healthier lifestyle choices. As mentioned earlier, smoking is one of the leading predictors of artery inflammation. It causes the arteries to tighten, making the heart work harder. It also causes the blood vessels to thicken and narrow. Obesity is another one of the top contributing factors. Carrying excess fat around the stomach is risky because there is a type of belly fat that secretes an inflammation-causing molecule.
Of course, reducing body weight goes hand-in-hand with eating a heart-healthy diet and staying physically active. Making these changes involves cutting out processed and fast foods, opting for more whole foods instead. Regular physical activity can be as easy as exercising for at least 20 minutes a day. Taking these preventive measures also has the added bonus of decreasing bad cholesterol, lowering blood pressure, and reducing high blood sugar.
Treating Artery Inflammation
Every patient is different. Our team works closely with each client to formulate a customized treatment plan for their specific case of artery inflammation. Though prevention is the first line of defense, it may not always be enough. Medicines or procedures may be necessary, depending on the extent of the patient's atherosclerosis.
Some drugs can slow or even reverse the symptoms of atherosclerosis. These include angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors, anti-platelet medications, beta-blocker medications, calcium channel blockers, and diuretics. Other drugs may also be necessary to address specific risk factors for atherosclerosis.
Some patients require more aggressive methods, and surgery may be necessary. Standard procedures include angioplasty and stent placement, bypass surgery, endarterectomy, and fibrinolytic therapy. Generally, surgery is only recommended for patients with severe symptoms or a blockage threatening muscle or skin tissue survival.
Call Us Today
Artery inflammation treatment can save you from more serious cardiovascular issues down the road. Our team at The Heart Attack & Prevention Center of Central Ohio may be able to help. Call us today at 614-360-9386 to learn more or to schedule an appointment.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the symptoms of chronic inflammation?
There are no symptoms of chronic inflammation. The only way to know whether or not you have chronic inflammation is to get a blood test. Unfortunately, most people do not receive regular screenings for inflammation. This makes regular cardiologist visits all the more essential.
What does acute inflammation do to the blood?
As mentioned earlier, acute inflammation occurs as a response to injury or trauma. When you bang your knee or cut your finger, for instance, your immune system will send a group of white blood cells to surround and protect the affected area. You will likely see redness and swelling as a result. This is a natural part of the healing process.
Does artery inflammation only affect the coronary arteries?
No. Coronary arteries supply blood to the heart. However, peripheral arteries can become inflamed as well. These include the extremities, liver, brain, and other organs and tissues.
Can stress affect artery inflammation?
Yes. Persistent negative emotions, such as anger, depression, hostility, stress, and worry, can cause or worsen low-grade inflammation. Prolonged stress, especially, leads to increased levels of cortisol. Dysfunctional cortisol levels are associated with a range of issues, including inflammatory cytokines.
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