Clogged arteries represent a serious condition that causes restrictions in the blood flow. Fatty plaque deposits in the arteries and stops the blood from reaching the most important organs in the body. They stop functioning properly, not because of the lack of blood, but sooner because they have been deprived of the oxygen their cells need and which the blood usually carries.
Unfortunately, this damaging condition is not detectable with great ease, which is why preventing it plays as significant a part as fixing it does. As far as causes go, scientists are still ruling things out, but some theories do exist. To both cure and prevent these threats to the organism itself, there are some home remedies which you can try that will significantly improve your blood vessels’ health.
The Basics on Clogged Arteries – Causes and Dangers
Clogged arteries also bear the scientific name of atherosclerosis. Unfortunately, it’s such an important and devastating disease that it’s actually the number-one disease in the country. Cancer itself comes second to this silent killer. You might be surprised, and you’d be right. The reason is that it is, in fact, a ‘silent killer. It’s hidden deep inside the body, inside arteries even, which makes it extremely hard to detect. There is simply no medical procedure that can correctly and thoroughly assess the state of your arteries. Apart from that, it’s very slow in its progress, which makes it even harder to notice, even if you undergo regular checkups.
The exact triggers of this disease are not yet known. What researchers do know is that clogged arteries might be influenced by heavy smoking, an improper diet rich in fatty foods, high cholesterol or hypertension.
Arteries start out as being very strong, flexible, and elastic, almost like a rubber band. But that changes in time. All the cholesterol and calcium we introduce into our bodies builds up along the arteries’ walls and inside them and forms the plaque. This is basically a fatty deposit, in the shape of a clot, that acts like a real life plug against the normal flowing of the blood stream.
This is why it is really important to pay attention to what you eat. What you introduce into your body will have a lasting effect on how your body functions both in the short term and in the long term.
The natural reason of either the damaging of the vessels’ walls or of a clot forming inside the carotid is the very much feared heart attack. It starts with severe pain in the chest, called angina, and it’s known under the medical term coronary artery disease. Unfortunately, that is not all, a heart attack being only the number one danger of clogged arteries.
The second one are strokes. As mentioned above, blood is prevented from reaching the most important organs in the body. Simply put, when the heart doesn’t receive enough blood, you get a heart attack. When the brain doesn’t get its share, you have a stroke. Arteries are to be found in the neck area, leading straight to the brain.
The third result is severe leg pains, as blood fails to feed your peripheral circulation pathway. This particular disease caused by clogged arteries is called peripheral arterial disease. Naturally, it can be treated, and it only manifests itself via pain when walking. This is why resting appears to help a lot. However, there are certain situations in which the disease gets worse than that. The cells and, thusly, the tissues, actually die. This causes the limbs to necessitate amputation.
As previously stated, there is no apparent or definitively known cause for this utterly damaging condition. However, there are certain ‘usual suspects’ so to say.
- A sedentary lifestyle, completely devoid of any type of physical exercise.
- Eating fatty foods or foods rich in saturated and trans fats, such as fast food, deeply fried chicken, ice cream, egg yolks, butter, sour cream, cream cheese, pastries, breaded fish, or chicken, and chips. Try to avoid eating these on a regular basis, as they will clog up your arteries.
- Drinking alcohol in excess, as scientists link it to heart attack and strokes.
Clogged Arteries Symptoms
Unfortunately, many of the signs accompanying clogged arteries are silent. More often than not, patients find out they have or still have clogged arteries after they’ve had a stroke or a heart attack. However, there are still some signals you can watch out for, no matter how small, that will definitely help you not become a victim of the ‘silent killer’.
#1. Erectile Dysfunction
Luckily enough, men have their very own built-in system that warns them they might be silently suffering from the clogged arteries syndrome. Erections require a literal flooding of the penis with blood to happen. This is why when a man has trouble or even finds himself unable to have or sustain an erection, it might be a very dangerous sign he has clogged arteries.
Studies have definitively proven the link between the two diseases and it is believed there are some three years between them. This means that, in most patients studied so far, clogged arteries were undoubtedly discovered three years after they were diagnosed with erectile dysfunction.
The pelvis area is rich in arteries, therefore, if they clog, they will prevent the proper amount of blood reaching the penile zone. Another good thing about this natural warning system is that it also solves the dilemma of the blue pill. Before popping one, make sure your arteries are not clogged instead of worrying about your sexual prowess.
Baldness is yet another way nature has of telling men to look out after their arteries. A study was performed on 37 000 men, all of which were suffering from severe baldness located on top of their head. It strongly predicted clogged arteries at any age.
Women aren’t left out of this one, though. There was another study, performed on 7000 people out of which 4000 were women. It showed that moderate and acute baldness does double the risk of developing a heart disease or having a heart attack at some point. This all means that any sign of hair loss should convince you to pay your doctor a visit and discuss the possibility of clogged arteries.
For the most part, it is easy to understand why this might happen. When you have a decreased circulation of blood flow throughout your body, it is understandable that your body will not function up to par.
#3. The Ear Crease
This particular sign might be a bit odd, but it has made its way into medical research journals as a silent sign of clogged arteries for some decades now. They speak of an angled crease in the ear lobe that crosses it diagonally from the inner canal down to the edge of the lobe itself. Studies show that this crease is an abnormality since the ear lobe should be smooth and that poor circulation causes it. The main suspect here are the arteries that lead into the heart.
Indeed, there is still a debate going on between medical researchers around the ear lobe crease, as some say it’s merely a sign of aging. However, no further than last year, scientists have used CT scans to measure silent signs of the clogged arteries syndrome and they found that the infamous ear lobe crease did indeed predict the disease. That happened even in individuals who had already accounted for other causes, such as an inadequate diet or heavy smoking.
#4. Calf Pain
The medical term for calf pain is claudication, and it comes from the Latin term claudicare, which means to limp. As mentioned in the beginning, the disease causes arteries all over the body to clog, including the ones in your legs. This, in turn, makes it difficult or even painful for the patient to walk or stand.
If you suffer from such a pain, it’s vital you visit your doctor as soon as possible, because if it has gotten to the point where your clogged arteries are causing muscle pain and don’t allow walk anymore, you might be in a degraded state of health. The physical checkup or test is not painful at all, as the doctor needs only to check the pulses in your leg, as well as blood pressure and flow in that area.
Another important factor why you should immediately go to the doctor is the idea that, if detected early, there will be no need for surgery or even medication as a treatment so that you can right this wrong. The doctor can ask you to exercise and change your diet and/or lifestyle, so it will be simple to fix an otherwise damaging problem.
Because of this, it is super important not to underestimate the power of movement. When you move around on a daily basis, you encourage blood flow throughout your body that will then encourage clogged arteries. One of the best ways to make sure you get movement in every day Is by going on a walk on a set schedule. Either start your day off a short yet brisk walk or end your day with it. Regardless, walking around and having an active lifestyle can help with your calf pain.
If you work at a job where you spend the majority of your day sitting behind a desk, then it is even more essential that you pay attention to movement. Simple things include getting up, walking around your office, or even paying a trip to the bathroom or the teacher's Lounge can help.
#5. Smaller Signals
There are other signals as well which your body might be using to let you know it’s time you did something about those clogging arteries. You need to pay attention to them so that you can identify your disease, should you have it.
- Shortness of breath – it happens because, since you have plaque in your arteries, there isn’t enough blood for your heart to pump into your body anymore. Not enough blood means insufficient oxygen, especially towards your lungs. This leads to shortness of breath and intense fatigue.
- Excessive sweating, especially during the nighttime – if you notice you sweat a lot, especially when in a cold room and at night, it means your heart might be working harder to pump blood into the body and its clogged arteries. However, a doctor’s opinion should be asked for, since over sweating can also mean you are menopausing, suffering from stress, anxiety, obesity or deficiencies in your nutrition.
- Abnormal changes in your legs – these changes can include the loss of hair on your feet, the discoloration of your toenails and the skin itself, coldness of the feet even if it’s warm or you’re wearing socks, numbness, and tingling.
Home Remedies to Improve Your Clogged Arteries and Their Symptoms
Fortunately for all of us, there are a few simple and natural home remedies we can try either to keep our clogged arteries in check or to reduce the symptoms we’re feeling. They may even help reverse the condition.
· Changing Your Lifestyle
Probably the most important thing a person could do if he or she has symptoms of or suffers from clogged arteries is to change their way of life. It doesn’t have to be a drastic change. You can simply include half an hour or more of leisurely strolls outside, picking up a light sport, such as badminton or giving up junk food for a healthier diet. The way you eat doesn’t have to change drastically either. You can simply replace sugary drinks with freshly squeezed juices, and eat more vegetables and fruits. Sleep more and spend as much time as you can outside.
When you go out for a stroll, make sure to bring along a water bottle with you. Taking constant and frequent sips of water throughout the day will allow you to stay adequately hydrated in order to ensure that your body is working the way it should. Just like a car's engine, if you do not properly put in the necessary fluids, it won't run smoothly.
If you do not like the taste of water, then one neat trick you can do is to infuse your water with tasty fruits and veggies. When you do this, you have the ability to add some refreshing flavor to your water. Over time, this refreshing flavor will allow you to enjoy the overall taste of water.
· Spices and Herbs
You probably already consume these spices, seeds, and herbs. However, you should up your intake, as they really do work miracles when it comes to clogged arteries.
- Garlic relaxes the blood vessels, as proven by a study performed in 2007 at the University of Alabama. It also lowers cholesterol levels and reduces the biggest risks of all, those of heart attacks and strokes.
- Turmeric is very high in curcumin, a component that has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant qualities to it. This basically means it will keep blood clots from happening altogether.
- Cayenne pepper is spicy and delicious but did you know it’s healthy as well? Its hotness and healthiness are provided by the same compound that goes by the name of capsaicin. It improves blood circulation overall and reduces cholesterol.
- Ginger has gingerol and shogaol, two compounds which are known to benefit the cardiovascular system. You can drink ginger tea every day or munch on small pieces whenever the mood strikes.
- Fenugreek seeds are rich in saponins, yet another natural element that helps in your ongoing battle against clogged arteries. You need to soak the seeds in water overnight. In the morning, drink the whole concoction on an empty stomach.
· Red Yeast Rice
This delicious alternative to white rice reduces the risk of clogged arteries and helps you avoid a heart attack. It’s rich in monacolins, which are known to minimize levels of LDL cholesterol. It’s also chock-full of minerals, phytosterols, isoflavones, beta-sitosterol, stigmasterol, and campesterol.
Red yeast rice can be cooked just like you would usually cook a serving of white or brown rice. You can also buy red yeast rice supplements. The appropriate dosage is considered to be 1200 mg twice per day. However, you need to consult your doctor or your nutritionist before taking these supplements, so that they truly aid your condition.
Pomegranates are some of the most delicious fruits out there that will help not only with your cholesterol levels but with many other problems you might have as well. This remedy has antioxidants and promotes the body’s natural production of nitric oxide. It’s found in the blood, and it’s the chemical that opens up your arteries and regulates the pressure.
To get the best out of these red natural miracles, eat one or two every day or drink a tall glass of freshly extracted juice once per day.
Although a real ‘silent killer’, clogged arteries and all their implications can, as you have seen, be both prevented and cured. Fortunately, there are many solutions to do so, a great deal of them being natural and easy to procure. There is no need to turn to a surgical procedure if you use them. Remember to keep a healthy and steady diet and get off the couch as often as you can!
Georgia has graduated from a nutrition expert degree and her work involves some freelance blogging on the side of her main part time job in a doctor’s office. She doesn’t travel a lot due to work constraints, but she likes going out as often as she can to compensate.