Atherosclerosis, Explained.

Have you heard of atherosclerosis before?  It is the culprit behind heart disease (cardiovascular disease), heart attacks (myocardial infarctions), and strokes. It is the term used when arteries get clogged. When you break down the word into it's compound words, it means gruel and hardening in Greek.

Sounds yucky, but it is the truth. As we age and as we spend our lives eating junk (gruel), eventually a (hard) plaque builds up inside our arteries, making it difficult for blood pass by.  If the plaque becomes big enough, it can obstruct blood passage completely.  Leaving parts of the brain, heart, or other places, starved of blood and oxygen (remember that blood carries oxygen). Without oxygen, these tissues can die; this type of death is called in infarction. In addition, the artery plaque can break off and travel along the blood stream, eventually getting clogged in a smaller artery, in the lung, or in the heart.

This is why many adults are prescribed baby Aspirin.  Aspirin thins the blood and if the blood is thinner, it has a much easier time passing through plaque-filled and narrowing arteries.

Happy Anniversary to J&P!  

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thanks for your comment!