When the blood vessels carrying oxygen and nutrients from the heart to the rest of the body thicken and stiffen, the condition is known as arteriosclerosis. The condition at times restricts the flow of blood to the organs and tissues. Although the arteries are flexible and elastic but, with time the walls in the arteries can harden. Arteriosclerosis is a specific kind of arteriosclerosis. However, the terms can be used interchangeably. The plaques can burst which can lead to blood clot. Though the condition usually affects the heart but, it can take place anywhere in the body. It is a preventable and treatable condition.
The condition develops slowly and usually does not have any symptoms. A person does not have symptoms of arteriosclerosis until an artery gets so narrowed or clogged that it stops supplying sufficient blood to the organs and tissues. The symptoms of moderate to severe arteriosclerosis depend on the arteries which have been affected.
A physical exam will be conducted by a doctor who will diagnose the condition. The physician shall look for signs of narrowed, enlarged or hardened arteries. Along with the following will be checked by the doctor:
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