5 Signs You May Have Clogged Arteries
Arteries are the blood vessels in charge of transporting blood rich with oxygen from your heart to all the other tissues of your body. From this sentence, you can see how important healthy arteries are for the health of our bodies. When the arterial system doesn’t function properly, the blood cannot be transported to all the organs in the body effectively. Clogged arteries can lead to a series of health conditions, some of which can be fatal if not treated on time. Among those conditions lurk heart attack, stroke and cardiovascular disease, loss of vision, chronic pain and arthritis.
Detecting potentially clogged arteries can be a difficult task, but looking at the symptoms and seeing the signs, you can check if you’re reading them right and if you are – get medical help on time, before there’s a chance of developing serious health conditions. Here are the signs you should never ignore.
1. Lower back pain
Lower back pain is commonly the first sign that you may have clogged arteries, mainly because the arteries in that part of the body accumulate plaque most easily. When an insufficient amount of blood gets to your lower back, the disks that cushion vertebra are weakened and as a result you feel back pain.
Clogged arteries in the lower back area are the most common and they occur even in very young people. Around ten percent of the entire population has reduced blood flow to their lower back and by the age of twenty they already have advanced arterial blockages.
Never underestimate the pain in your lower back – if it’s chronic and persistent it is important to see your doctor and receive timely treatment.
2. Discomfort in your feet and/or legs
If you feel discomfort or pain in your legs, and the feeling is frequent or constant, it is a sign which should not be disregarded. Sometimes, when plaque and cholesterol build up, they cause peripheral artery disease which can cause pain and discomfort in the extremity, and in severe cases even an inability to walk. If untreated, peripheral artery disease can lead to the loss of a limb.
If you feel the mentioned, make sure you go to your doctor and even during a routine examination the pulse in your feet will be checked and maybe even the amount of blood flow to your ankles. If something’s wrong, the doctor will see it, but it is important to notify him or her of how you’re feeling.
Smokers are at a higher risk of this disease than non-smokers, so if you smoke and you feel frequent discomfort in your legs or feet, go to the doctor as soon as possible.
3. Erectile dysfunction
As it was already mentioned, when arteries are clogged it means that blood cannot circulate throughout the body properly and that some organs and tissues may not get enough blood, so those parts of the body usually can’t be fully functional. When it comes to your private parts, they are no exception. Without enough blood in that area, erectile dysfunction is common and even expected, and for those body parts to function well, blood needs an unobstructed path in order to reach its destination. If you notice that you’re having problems in that area, make sure you visit your doctor, find the root of the problem and treat it on time.
A comprehensive study which included around 37 thousand men found that severe baldness at the crown of the head is a strong indicator that a person may have clogged arteries and coronary heart disease. Another study which included both men and women (around 3,000 men and 4,000 women) found that for both sexes even moderate baldness significantly increased the risk of dying from heart disease. If you notice that you’re losing hair rapidly, see your doctor as soon as possible and find the underlying cause. Tell your doctor about your suspicion of having clogged arteries and ensure that you get proper treatment before it’s too late.
5. Calf pain
Smokers are at a very high risk of having their arteries clogged. If you feel frequent pain in your calves, don’t delay your visit to the doctor. A medical expert will examine the pulses in your legs and measure blood pressure and blood flow in your legs to see if you’re dealing with poor circulation. It is important to react on time, because if you’re diagnosed early you can receive dietary and medical treatments that can reverse and entirely cure this condition. Even if your calf pain has nothing to do with any illness, having it checked by a doctor is a good prevention, and it’s always better to be sure that you have or don’t have a certain condition than to assume.