Every Important Fact That You Need To Know About Mold

When you start spotting some allergens during the hot days, you know that summers have arrived. Further, you’ll get to know more about the mold mainly. You will also get to know about the effects it can cause on your health and other details relating to its growth and survival at your home. So, let’s start with understanding mold.

What is Mold?

In layman’s term, Mold is nothing but a fungus. It is useful for us undoubtedly but only when it is outside. Mold has the properties of disposing of the decaying matter.

It develops with the help of microscopic spores. If by any chance a spore falls upon a slightly damp area, it will add moisture to the spore. This helps in providing it nourishment, thus growing more of these molds.

Is all Mold Bad?

Generally talking, molds are very essential for the environment for the purpose of decomposition. If there wasn’t mold on the surface of the earth, it would be full of dead leaves, decaying trees, and other masses in unbearable quantity. Not just this, molds are even known for making cheese and a few antibiotics. Out of over 1000 different varieties of mold, Penicillium mold produces the penicillin antibiotic naturally.

However, you shouldn’t appreciate the formation of mold in your home or office, as indoor mold have some adverse effects on our health.

Adverse Health Effects of Indoor Mold

There are multiple reasons why you should not have mold within the premises of your house. Some of them are discussed below:

  • Allergies – If you by chance inhale the spores of mold or even touch them, you can catch allergies.
  • Asthma – Molds trigger asthma symptoms in people breathing around it.
  • Multiple Chemical Sensitivities (MCS) flare-ups – There are many people who cannot bear Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs). Molds produce these and hence can trouble people with their presence.
  • Respiratory Problems – As per the study and research done by the Centre for Disease Control, mold causes respiratory problems. It was even observed in healthy children.

How Does Mold Get Into a House or Building?

Following are a few main sources which can initiate mold formation:

  • Overflowing waters from water bodies like rivers etc. Even heavy storms can be a reason.
  • Leaking from the rooms or blockage of the gutters.
  • The rain that seeped in through windows or doors.
  • Leakage from the pipes.
  • Improper drainage, hence leading to damping of basements.
  • Water released from the surface of cold places.

Common Types of Mold in Homes

The differentiation of the types of mold is possible on the basis of the color as follows:

·        Black Mold:

This is the most dangerous kind of mold that you will ever come across. It can cause fatal issues including lungs failure and death if left untreated. It is mostly found in damp basements or other areas which are open to some leakages. The scientific name for these bacteria is S. Chlorohalonata.

·        Green Mold:

You can spot this kind of Mold only in the areas where fruits are grown. The penicillin products are also grown using this mold. Despite this being a component of antibiotics, it is also extremely harmful to your body. In case you have direct contact with the mold or you consume it directly, it can cause severe issues. Green mold is easy to occur in units providing refrigeration at your home and at damp places as well.

Penicillin and Mold

Penicillin is an antibiotic which comprises of a group of molds called Penicillium. It cures infections caused by Bacteria and was found in 1928 by Sir Alexander Fleming. The molds used in medicine are commonly known as green or blue molds. Penicillium is also commonly known for spoiling the fruits.

How to Prevent Mold Growth?

Here are the main reasons which lead to condensation of your surface which you can avoid to prevent mold growth:

·        Relative Humidity:

The term condensation usually refers to the phenomena of contact of humid air with a cold surface. This results in the formation of water droplets. Most commonly ignored places include washing machine dryers, coolers, bathroom mirrors, etc. Keep these areas clean. Also, ensure that you dry them up time to time and not leave them unattended for long.

·        Temperature:

It is a scientific fact that the warm air contains more moisture than the cold air. Also, mainly the warm air is responsible for causing condensation as well. Hence, maintaining the right temperature is extremely important in the house. If you do not have proper insulators installed at the possible areas of moisture, you are prone to give rise to mold formation.

·        Poor Ventilation:

Mold growth increases in places where the chances of ventilation are low and trapping of air is highly possible. Condensation rates get higher in the areas where there is no cross ventilation of the air. Ensure usage of exhaust fans; assemble your furniture a little away from the walls etc. You can further ensure that the house is clean. Check all the damp places and dry them up in time. Fix the leaks, check the drainages regularly, and remove standing water immediately.

How to Clean Mold?

Cleaning mold is no rocket science. Following are a few household measures which can help you do the same:

  • Baking soda – Take a spray bottle and put in baking soda and water in equal quantity. Spray the formed solution on the area where the mold is forming and alongside it. Wait for ten minutes and then using a wet sponge, you can clean it off.
  • Hydrogen peroxideForm a solution with water and 3% hydrogen peroxide in it. Then sprinkle the solution on to the affected area. Let it rest for ten minutes after which you can clean it off with the help of a cloth.
  • Vinegar – Form a mixture of vinegar and water. On the affected area where you can see the mold, spray the made solution. Let it rest for an hour at least. Then wipe it off using a wet sponge.

When to Call a Professional?

Although you can treat molds at home itself as mentioned above, in case you see more than 10 square feet of the area affected, you need to call a professional for help. It becomes necessary then to seek professional help. A Mold Assessment Professional will find the places where the formation of mold is possible and will take action to stop the unwanted overgrowth of mold.

Conclusion:

Mold can grow almost anywhere if there is moisture, and it is not at all safe to ignore the formation of mold in your house. As soon as you see mold spores in your place, you need to take action to stop the overgrowth of mold. Hence, these were the basic details about mold. Knowing these facts can prevent you from encountering unwanted harms.

 

Sources:

https://restorationmasterfinder.com/restoration/green-mold-is-it-dangerous-and-how-to-remove-it/

https://www.cdc.gov/mold/dampness_facts.htm

https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/mold-allergy/symptoms-causes/syc-20351519

https://www.hgtv.com/remodel/interior-remodel/common-areas-for-mold-growth

https://www.nlm.nih.gov/exhibition/fromdnatobeer/exhibition-interactive/illustrations/penicillin-alternative.html

Muricata – The Cancer Cure

The incidence of cancer is steadily increasing every year, generating concerns about the effectiveness of medical treatment options. This has led people to seek or replace viable alternatives for cancer treatment, chemotherapy and radiotherapy.

Muricata is a relatively small herbaceous tree located in South America and Southeast Asia rainforests. The tree produces a heart-shaped, comestible fruit that is used to make bones, syrups and many other goodies – But more than a treat.

The Use of Muricata

Annona muricata and many other plants continue to show promising compounds for cancer treatment. The Muricata plant recipes contain compounds incredibly effective in the use against cancer cells. Given growing concerns about the deficiencies of cancer treatment in hospitals, this presentation seeks to highlight the benefits of the Muricata and its likelihood for inclusion as one of cancer treatment options.

The use of anticancer natural therapeutics to treat cancer has been an attractive area of interest in recent decades. Annona Muricata is one of many plant extracts explored because of their anti-inflammatory and anticancer effects.

In particular, the leaves are often used by traditional healers for numerous ethnomedicinal specific purposes to treat quite a few infectious diseases, such as cancer, atherosclerosis, diabetes, cardiovascular disease and abscesses. Many of these experiential assertions about the use of the plant have already been transformed by clinical research into evidence-based medical information.

The Research

The plant leaves have now been extensively investigated for their various potential therapeutic elements and are now being discovered to have been eminent for anticancer and anti-inflammatory properties.

Muricata also has antioxidant and antimicrobial properties. This led some scientists to study Muricata as new treatment options for a variety of chronic diseases, such as cancer. While some scientific studies show that Muricata may have had anticancer properties, no scientific evidence suggests that Muricata can actually treat or try to prevent cancer in humans.

According to research, different analyses have also shown that Muricata extracts affect cell lines of cancer and other diseases. This study was conducted in research facilities (in vitro) and on animals only. It’s not perfectly clear how really Muricata extracts work despite some success. While promising, these research should not be considered to confirm that Muricata can actually treat cancer in people.

Muricata Fruits, bark, seeds, leaves, and tree roots contain more than 100 Annonaceous acetogenins. These are natural antitumor compounds. Scientists still have to identify active ingredients in each plant. The ingredient concentrations may also vary considerably from branch to branch of the Muricata tree, depending of course on the soil it was cultivated.

This is what some of the scientific research says: Breast cancer laboratory tests prove that Muricata extracts can completely destroy certain breast cancer cells resistant to cytotoxic and other chemotherapy drugs. A new 2016 study has found that a raw extract of Muricata leaves had an anticancer immediate effect on the breast cancer cell line.

Experts know it as a “promising candidate” for treatment for breast cancer and stated that further assessment should be made. They also stated that Muricata ‘s potency and anticancer activity may differ based on where it was grown.

Pancreatic Cancer

Researchers used cancer cell lines for a Muricata extract study in 2012. They discovered that tumor growth and metastasis of pancreatic cancer cells were inhibited.

Prostate Cancer

The leaf extract of Muricata may negatively affect the growth of breast cancer tumors. In cell lines and rat studies, the water extract from Muricata leaves has been shown to cut the size of the prostates of rats. Another study also found that the extract of ethyl acetate from Muricata leaves could inhibit prostate cancer cells in rats.

Colon cancer

Colon cancer research demonstrates a considerable inhibition of colon cancer cells using Muricata leaf extract. A 2017 research used the Muricata extract against the colon cell line. The study found that Muricata may possess an anticancer effect. They observed that more research is needed to understand which part of the leaves generated this effect.

Liver cancer

Laboratory studies have shown that Muricata extracts can kill certain types of chemoresistant liver cancer cells.

Lung cancer

Studies have found that Muricata can hinder lung tumors growth.

Get in Touch with Your Doctor

Even if Muricata has anticancer properties in humans, there is significant variation in Muricata depending on its origins. It is impossible to know if OTC (over-the-counter) products contain more or less the same compounds like the one analysed in laboratory conditions. There is also no guidance on the safety of Muricata.

If you plan to supplement your cancer treatment with Muricata and any other dietary supplement, talk to your physician first. Herbal products like Muricata can try to interfere with cancer treatments such as;

  • blood pressure readings
  • blood glucose tests
  • nuclear imaging
  • platelet count

Talk to your doctor about any OTC products that claim to diagnose and treat or prevent cancer. Make sure you buy any food supplements from a trusted source and contact your pharmacist before using them.

Muricata Side Effects and Risks

Muricata supplements are commonly found in some Caribbean countries for people with breast, colon and prostate cancer. However, it carries some risks. When using for a long time, it may result in;

  • Neurological problems
  • Liver and kidney toxicity
  • Nerve cell damage
  • Myeloneuropathy (which may lead to Parkinson’s disease-like symptoms)

Steer clear of Muricata supplements if you;

  • have liver or kidney disease
  • have a low platelet count
  • are pregnant
  • take blood pressure medications
  • take medications for diabetes
  • have low blood pressure

But if you get any unusual symptoms, stop taking Muricata and see your doctor right away.

Conclusion

The FDA (U.S food and drug administration) regulates dietary supplements as food rather than as a medicine. They do not meet the same safety and effectiveness requirements as drugs. Even though some research shows the real potential of Muricata, the treatment of any type of cancer has not been approved. You should not replace it with your doctor- approved treatment plan.

If you would like to use Muricata as an additional therapy, talk to your oncologist. They can help you through individual benefits and risks.

 

References

  1. Science Direct – Annona muricata: Is the natural therapy to most disease conditions including cancer growing in our backyard? A systematic review of its research history and future prospects. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1995764517306302
  2. Pinto, Q. De, M. Cordeiro, De Andrade, F. SRM Ferreira, H. Filgueiras, et al.Annona muricata J.T. Williams (Ed.), Annona species, taxonomy and botany inter-national centre underutilised crops, University of Southampton, Southampton (2005), pp. 3-16 https://www.scopus.com/record/display.uri?eid=2-s2.0-79961242089&origin=inward&txGid=fa9c9af1a1426e97a1f127118d256845
  3. BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine – Anti-cancer effect of Annona Muricata Linn Leaves Crude Extract (AMCE) on breast cancer cell line. https://bmccomplementalternmed.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12906-016-1290-y
  4. gov – Effect of Annona Muricata Leaves on Colorectal Cancer Patients and Colorectal Cancer Cells https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT02439580

5 Steps to Reverse Diabetes

The 2017 National Diabetes Statistics Report states that more than 30 million people in the U.S. have diabetes. That’s equivalent to almost 10% of U.S. population! Diabetes is the seventh leading cause of mortality rate in the U.S. alone, with over 250,000 deaths in 2015.

We’ve got some good news for you. Did you know that it is possible to prevent or reverse diabetes so that you can lead a more normal life? Whether you are prediabetic or currently grappling with it, you now have the option to take steps to reverse diabetes and its epidemic. Here’s how:

 

  1. Holistic Long-Term Approach

One of the main reasons for an increased incidence of acquiring diabetes is an inactive lifestyle.  A holistic, long-term approach combined with a modified diet and physical activity could help prevent or reverse this condition. In fact, a study found that test subjects who acquired type II diabetes underwent intensive lifestyle-based weight loss intervention or ILI had the higher chance of making partial diabetes remission as compared to test subjects who just got diabetes education thrice a year. The individuals who underwent ILI programs made the following changes:

  • Increased physical activity
  • Reduced total fat intake in general
  • Cut the calorie intake for up to 1800 kcal per day

 

  1. Glucose Control Diet

Finding a suitable diet is the key to a better glucose control in persons with diabetes and prediabetes. To avoid blood sugar level fluctuations, keep lipid levels in the right condition and to lose weight, you can try to follow these dietary approaches:

  • A Kapha-Balancing Ayurvedic Diet

Studies showed that the Ayurvedic principle helps improve the major symptoms of diabetes. People who use this approach has shown an incredible result in their diet and lifestyle modification. Examples of foods that contain Kapha-balancing Ayurvedic diet includes barley, bitter gourd, green gram, pointed gourd and cooked vegetables. Aside from these foods, you can also try to incorporate the following into your daily diet:

  • Bitter melon
  • Hot ginger tea
  • Foods rich in protein
  • Millet, corn or rye

 

  1. Diabetes Superfoods

The American Diabetes Association (ADA) suggests foods that help for a better glycemic control. These superfoods include the following:

  • Citrus
  • Beans
  • Berries
  • Green leafy vegetables
  • Fatty fish
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Nuts and seeds
  • Whole grains

 

  1. Low Fat Vegan Diet

Did you know that cardiovascular problems are one of the leading causes of mortality among people with diabetes? Studies show that a low-fat vegan diet is beneficial to those who have cardiovascular problems as well as those who have higher lipid and glycemic control. To go for a low-vegan diet, here are simple rules to follow:

  • Cut any form of poultry, meat, fish, and dairy
  • Consume protein from plant-based and non-dairy sources such as nuts, beans, tofu, and seeds
  • Avoid refined carbohydrates and those that can raise triglyceride levels like foods rich in white flour or even processed foods
  • Fiber-rich foods and low-glycemic index foods such as legumes, fresh vegetables, fruits, and beans. These can also help improved lipid control.

 

  1. Homeopathic Remedies

Homeopathic medicine is the use of small amounts of natural substances like minerals and plants to help stimulate the healing process of the body. This type of remedy is especially recommended for people who have type II diabetes and is also found to be very useful for treating particular problems a diabetic person has to deal with. Here are some of the specific problems and its homeopathic remedy:

  • Plumbum (lead) – helps lessen numbness and hypersensitivity
  • Calendula (marigold) – for infected ulcers. Can be applied as a lotion or taken internally
  • Hemlock or conium – helps lessen numbness due to nerve damage
  • Sulfur, lycopodium or muriaticum (salt) – helps improve renal function and any severe kidney damage

 

Have you already implemented lifestyle or food modifications to reverse diabetes? Share your story with us. Write your comments below.

How to Better Manage Diabetes

What is Diabetes?

Diabetes has 3 main types:  Type 1, Type 2 and Gestational diabetes.

  • Type 1 diabetes – persons who have type 1 diabetes means their body does not make insulin. Insulin is needed every day for a person to live. You need insulin to take the glucose or sugar from the foods you eat. This sugar will later turn into energy which your body needs for day to day work.
  • Type 2 diabetes – this is the most common type of diabetes. People who have type 2 diabetes means their body does not make or use enough insulin to support their body. People who acquire this type of diabetes take pills or insulin to control their diabetes.
  • Gestational diabetes – Pregnant women usually get this type of diabetes. Diabetes may go away after the baby is born. However, they may have greater chances of acquiring diabetes later in their lives even if it goes away after giving birth.

 

Managing Diabetes

Managing diabetes requires total awareness. It’s important to know what makes your blood sugar fall and rise and learn how to control several factors that affect your diabetes. Here are some of the actions you can take to manage your diabetes.

  • Be active

One of the most important parts of diabetes management plan is physical activity. Regular physical activities help the body use insulin more efficiently.  Exercising uses muscles to release glucose for energy. Insulin and physical activities work together to help lower the blood sugar level. Light activities at home such as gardening and household chores help improve blood sugar. Here are the steps to better manage your diabetes through exercise:

  • Talk to your doctor about your exercise plan
  • Stick to your exercise schedule
  • Check your blood sugar levels before exercising
  • Always stay hydrated
  • Adjust your diabetes treatment plan if needed
  • Eat Well
  • Choose foods that are low in saturated fats, calories, trans fat, salt, and sugar.
  • Foods rich in fiber such as pieces of bread, cereals, rice, pasta, or whole grain are also proven to help.
  • Drink water instead of soda or juice.
  • Know what to do every day
  • Always take your medications even when you feel good.
  • Ask your doctor if you need to take aspirin to prevent stroke or heart attack.
  • Always check your feet if there are red spots, blisters, cuts or welling. If there is, call your healthcare team immediately.
  • Keep your mouth, teeth, and gums healthy by brushing and flossing at least twice every day.
  • Stop or better yet, do not smoke.
  • Always check your blood sugar level. Check it at least twice each day.

Coping with Diabetes

Stress is one main factor that can raise your blood sugar. To lower stress, try some simple and effective activities such as gardening, deep breathing, meditating, taking a walk, listening to your favorite song or working on your own hobby.

If in case you’re feeling down, it is never wrong to seek professional help. You may ask advice from mental health counselor, a close friend or a family member who will always listen to you to help make you feel better.

2018 High Blood Pressure Cures and Treatments

High blood pressure, also called hypertension, is a dangerous condition. If left untreated, it can lead to stroke, heart attack, and/or kidney issues. A doctor might diagnose you with hypertension if your systolic blood pressure (the top number) exceeds 130 mmHg, or diastolic blood pressure (the bottom number) exceeds 80mmHg. It is normal to have fluctuations throughout the day, however, 46% of all Americans have high blood pressure, even without activity or stress. This increases the risk of deadly problems like stroke and heart attacks. The risk is compounded for those with diabetes, high cholesterol, or those who smoke.

If you have high blood pressure, there’s no need to worry. A chat with your doctor will result in a treatment plan to solve your issue. There are also a lot of natural remedies you can implement to gradually get your blood pressure down to its optimum level.

Natural Remedies:

  1. Swap Coffee for Green Tea

Some studies have shown that green tea catechins are able to reduce blood pressure and cholesterol. The antioxidants in the tea add a health boost as well.

  1. Consume More Vitamin D

If you spend a considerable amount of time indoors, a vitamin D deficiency could be contributing to your high blood pressure.Vitamin D can be consumed through eating eggs and fish. It can also be created through exposing yourself to sunlight.

  1. Eat Chocolate

We all know that excessive consumption of anything, including chocolate, is harmful. However, numerous studies have shown that cocoa products and dark chocolate in particular can lower blood pressure due to the presence of flavonoids, a chemical that widens blood vessels. If you consume approximately 50g of dark chocolate per day, studies show that you could achieve a 2-3mm HT reduction in your blood pressure. Make sure, however, that you are eating chocolate with a large amount of cocoa and minimal dairy and sugar content as this will simply add to your problem through weight gain.

  1. Lose Weight

While this is easier said than done, for most people, losing weight is the best way to reduce high blood pressure. Even small amounts of weight loss can significantly reduce your blood pressure as there is less body mass for your heart to pump blood to. Beware of crash diets as they can often do more harm than good. For best results, be sure to follow a healthy diet with less calories that includes physical exercise.

  1. Eat More Potassium

Potassium is one of what seems like an endless list of nutrients your body needs to stay healthy. You can get a good dose of potassium by eating more bananas. When you eat more, your blood pressure goes down which reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease. This goes hand in hand with eating more fruit and vegetables which give your body the nutrients it needs, lowers cholesterol, and helps you lose weight.

  1. Exercise More

It doesn’t matter whether you walk more, run regularly, go for a ride on a bike, or visit the gym, exercise is important. The more you exercise, the lower your blood pressure. By doing just thirty minutes of exercise each day, you can reduce your blood pressure by 4-9mm HT.

  1. Drink Less Alcohol

Alcohol in small doses does provide some health benefits, including lowering your blood pressure. But when you consume alcohol in large quantities, it has the opposite effect. Moderate drinking is recommended to ensure your blood pressure is kept under control which means two drinks per day for men under the age of 65 and one drink per day for women and for men over the age of 65. Not only that, but alcohol can reduce the effectiveness of some medications you might be taking to help reduce your blood pressure and contribute to weight gain, a risk factor for high blood pressure.

  1. Drink Less Coffee

Drinking less coffee will help reduce blood pressure, as will drinking less caffeine in general. If you rarely consume caffeine, you can see an increase in 10mm HT if you begin drinking it as caffeine causes a dramatic spike in blood pressure. Avoid caffeine as much as possible, or cut it out completely if you are struggling with hypertension.

  1. Eat More Garlic

Garlic has been shown in numerous studies to lower blood pressure and do wonders for your heart. The root contains a sulfur compound that is released when it is crushed or broken down. It is thought that this compound may reduce the narrowing of arteries and in turn reduce blood pressure. You can buy garlic extract which can be taken daily or simply incorporate more garlic into your diet. In other words, eat more Italian food.

  1. Eat More Fatty Acids

Omega-3 fatty acids are vital to the body. It helps cell regeneration and the growth of healthy hair. Of course, these fatty acids do much more than that, including helping to maintain a healthy blood pressure level. Research has shown that the omega-3 fatty acid, known as DHA, taken in combination with omega-6 essential fatty acids, such as primrose or flaxseed oil, can help reduce blood pressure and protect your heart. Consuming a lot of fish and other foods containing DHA is a great preventative of high blood pressure when combined with a generally healthy lifestyle, a balanced diet, and regular exercise.

When lifestyle changes, such as those noted above, aren’t enough, prescription drugs can help reduce hypertension. However, according to the American Heart Association, almost half of all Americans find that medications and lifestyle changes simply aren’t enough.

If you are one of those, there are two new therapies being tested that could help.

The SPYRAL trial is trying a new therapy which targets the nerves in the kidney responsible for signaling the brain. These nerves play a role in raising blood pressure. During the procedure, a small opening is made in the groin to gain access to blood vessels in the kidney using a catheter. A device is then used to change these nerves around the kidney artery to reduce the signals they send to the brain. Recent research shows that this therapy, called renal denervation, can reduce blood pressure an average of 10 points, a significant positive change.

The CALM trial targets a different area responsible for regulating blood pressure. This technique looks at the carotid artery, the main artery in the neck. Microscopic sensors in the wall of this vital artery sense blood pressure levels and signal the brain if those levels get too high. Here, a catheter is positioned in the carotid artery and a small device is inserted to manipulate the signals to the brain, resulting in a lowering of the blood pressure.

Hypertension has no obvious symptoms. This is why it is called the “silent killer.” The best first step is to discover your blood pressure and then talk with your doctor about controlling your hypertension, if necessary.

DANGERS OF BLOCKED ARTERY

Arteries are types of blood vessel that carry oxygenated blood to various organs of the body. A healthy artery has a smooth inner wall and that blood easily flows through them. However, some people develop blocked arteries. A blocked artery results from buildup of plaque on the inner wall of the artery. An arterial plaque can therefore reduce blood flow.

A blocked artery greatly increases the chance of a stroke or a heart attack that can cause disability and even death.

Arteries located in the neck called the carotid artery can become blocked which can result to stroke. This may result to temporary or permanent damage to the brain. The person suffering from stroke can experience weakness, headache, confusion and trouble speaking.

Renal arteries supply blood to the kidneys. Blockages to the renal arteries can cause high blood pressure and high blood pressure.

The femoral artery which supplies blood to the leg, if blocked, may result to weakness and pain in the leg. Numbness and sores may also develop on the foot if the femoral artery is blocked.

Because of the dangers, it is very important to be aware of its causes and treatment to prevent further consequences.

CAUSES OF BLOCKED ARTERIES

A disease of the artery called atherosclerosis is one of the major causes of death in the United States.

Atherosclerosis is the hardening and narrowing of the arteries that silently and slowly blocks the arteries.

Blocked arteries result from the buildup of plaque in the inner walls of the arteries. Arterial plaque reduces the flow of the blood.

The accumulation of fat, calcium, cholesterol, fibrin and cellular waste in the inner walls of the artery is called plaque. Plaque growth results to atherosclerosis.

High blood pressure increases the risk of having plaque buildup because it hastens the hardening of clogged arteries.

Diabetes is also a culprit in plaque buildup.

High level of bad cholesterol contributes to arterial plaque formation.

Other risk factors may include sedentary lifestyle, obesity, and family history.

 

SYMPTOMS

Blockages usually do not cause any symptoms until a major heart attack or major stroke occurs.

At other instances, symptoms may include chest pain, sweating, nausea, heart palpitations, weakness or dizziness, and shortness of breath. Chest pain called angina is a result of reduced blood flow to the heart.

Blocked arteries in the carotid artery may produce symptoms such as slurring of words, loss of vision, inability to move a leg or an arm and weakness and numbness on one side of the body.

Blocked arteries in the peripheral artery may cause gangrene, cold feet and leg pain.

PREVENTION AND TREATMENT

A number of medications can controlthe accumulation of arterial plaque. Doctors often prescribe cholesterol lowering drugs such as Atorvastatin, Fluvastatin and Lovastatin. Blood pressure lowering drugs such as beta blockers and renin inhibitors are also widely available in all drugstores.

Aspirin is scientifically proven to reduce the likelihood of blood clot formation. It is a salicylate that works by reducing substances in the body that is most likely to cause fever, pain and inflammation. It is also used to treat and prevent heart attack, chest pain and stroke. Aspirin is recommended by doctors to be used for cardiovascular conditions. It is important to note that all medications must be taken under the supervision of a licensed doctor.

There are also several surgical procedures that treat clogged arteries and prevent additional plaque formation such as stent replacement, bypass surgery and balloon angioplasty.

The major way to prevent plaque buildup is to practice a healthy lifestyle. Make major lifestyle changes such as eating a healthy diet with low saturated fats and cholesterol. Eat foods with low sugar and simple carbohydrates. Eat fresh fruits and vegetables to maintain a healthy weight. Make it a habit to exercise regularly. Keep your cholesterol and blood pressure down. Have a good amount of sleep. And most importantly stop or avoid smoking. Always remember that prevention is better than cure.