Arteriosclerosis is actually a normal aging process, but can be accelerated by an unhealthy lifestyle pathological. Every third German over forty has "calcified" vessels. 80 percent have elevated cholesterol levels. Each 50 percent suffer from elevated blood pressure and obesity. If several factors come together, the risk to the cardiovascular system increases dramatically. Because risk factors do not add up, they multiply. Even if the outside of the "scene vessel" everything seems completely calm - inside slumbers a volcano, which can break out at any time. The reason: Arteriosclerosis develops over a very long period of about 20 to 30 years and causes no complaints at first.
Risk factors for arteriosclerosis
Which risk factors lead especially to the calcification of the blood vessels:
- high blood pressure
- Blood sugar disease - diabetes mellitus
- Increased blood lipid levels
- Lack of exercise and overweight
- Hereditary burden
Arteriosclerosis is a multifactorial process: The interaction of different behaviors and risk factors, especially when they occur together and reinforce each other, cause the development of vascular damage. First and foremost, there is little movement, a wrong diet and genetic predispositions. Once the process has started and no countermeasures are taken, it is only a matter of time before the vessels become "tight", so to speak.
Basically, any vessel of the body can be affected by atherosclerosis. However, coronary arteries, the main artery and cerebral arteries - vital vessels - are most frequently affected. Another risk of arteriosclerotic vessels: Parts of a calcified vessel wall can detach, be transported with the bloodstream and can then completely block smaller vessels.
Man is as old or young as his vessels
Healthy arteries are free of deposits, flexible and elastic. Due to fatty deposits on the endothelium - this is the innermost vessel wall of the vessels - they become narrower and harden. Gradually they lose their elasticity and can no longer optimally regulate the bloodstream. The heart has to pump more vigorously, so that the blood flow can reach and supply all body cells despite the "narrowing of the lane". The "pressure" increases - the damage to the vessel wall take on ever more massive forms.
But, and that's the good news, you can do something about it: with a healthier lifestyle, so more exercise and a sufficient supply of bioactive, that is health-promoting nutrients. In the early stages, the "one-way street" of the arteriosclerotic process can often be reversed. The possibilities to keep the heart and the vessels fit are, in principle, extremely simple and form the basics of a healthy lifestyle.
The health-damaging effects of tobacco smoking can no longer be doubted today. Cigarette smoking is one of the most important risk factors for cardiovascular disease, in addition to increased blood pressure and elevated cholesterol. Cigarette smoking increases the risk of dying of a heart attack several times, as well as the risk of suffering a stroke and circulatory disorders on the legs. The higher the cigarette consumption, the greater the risk. But smoking "only" three to five cigarettes a day also increases the risk of heart attack considerably - more clearly in women than in men, according to a Danish study.
Check blood pressure
A high blood pressure is usually not felt, so you do not feel sick. On the contrary, people with high blood pressure often feel particularly well. However, it should not be overlooked that high blood pressure is a dangerous disease that destroys the blood vessels in the long term and significantly increases the risk of heart attack and stroke. An additional problem: high blood pressure can contribute to arteriosclerosis on the one hand by damaging the vessel wall and on the other hand can increase an existing hypertension because the vessels lose their elasticity.
For this reason, it is important to regularly check blood pressure, because the sooner high blood pressure is detected and treated, the greater the chances that long-term damage can be avoided. People who suffer from hypertension usually need to take tablets all their lives. It is also advisable to purchase a sphygmomanometer to make a regular check.
Regular physical activities
An important measure is also the physical exercise. Here is better: 3 times a week half an hour than once a week 3 hours. Another benefit: Regular exercise prevents unnecessary pounds. Obesity, in turn, can lead to a number of other complications: high blood pressure, diabetes or high cholesterol levels are the result. Even slight physical effort significantly reduces the risk of later vascular or heart disease. Good endurance sports include cycling, swimming or running. Elderly people who were previously inactive should begin daily light exercises such as walking and cycling.
In the Mediterranean countries, where a lot of vegetable oil is used, often fish is eaten and the daily glass of red wine is an integral part of the food culture, arteriosclerosis occurs less frequently than with us. We recommend a diet rich in fruits, vegetables and salad, less than 300 mg total cholesterol / day, as much fiber as possible (> 30 g / day) and low sugar. Instead of salt, it is better to use herbs or spices instead of animal-based vegetable fats.
Polyunsaturated fatty acids have a particularly positive effect on blood lipid levels and lower "bad" LDL cholesterol. Omega-3 fatty acids also help improve blood flow, leaving the arteries elastic and anti-inflammatory. Herbal omega-3 fatty acids and red wine phenols as protection factors for healthy vessels have long been proven to be unique. Both in combination, there is also a complementary balanced diet for the dietary treatment of arteriosclerosis (eg as capsules such as TUIM® arteria from the pharmacy).