What are Cholesterol Clogged Arteries?

Cholesterol clogged arteries can eventually lead to serious heart conditions such as a heart attack. LDL cholesterol, which is known as the bad cholesterol in our body, is the one responsible for heart disease. It leaves plaque on the inside walls of the arteries, which harden overtime causing a blockage in the blood carrying artery. Oxygenated and deoxygenated blood is carried to and from the heart through these arteries, so it is extremely important for these arteries to be free of any cholesterol plaque.

What is Atherosclerosis?

The process in which plaque builds up in the arteries causing cholesterol clogged arteries is known as atherosclerosis. It simply means that the arteries are hardening, limiting blood flow to the various extremities of your body. The causes of clogged arteries are mainly attributed towards cholesterol and the plaque that builds up on the inner walls. Atherosclerosis occurs in the body without you knowing, so it’s vital that you have your cholesterol level checked regularly.

Cholesterol clogged arteries are the common culprit for medical conditions such as strokes, heart attacks and peripheral arterial disease. These types of heart conditions are the number one killer in North America, as nearly a million people suffer from it annually. A good way to avoid cholesterol clogged arteries is to limit the amount of fat you intake.

What many people don’t know is that the development of cholesterol clogged arteries start as early as adolescents. If young children and teens are fed high cholesterol foods from an early age, it could lead to quicker plaque buildup in the arteries. There is no apparent clogged artery symptom that can be used to determine whether you have atherosclerosis. However, those with cholesterol clogged arteries will notice chest pain and some level of discomfort in that area. This is mainly because your heart is not getting enough oxygen-rich blood.

Other common clogged artery symptoms include pain in the chest moving towards the shoulders, arms and back. You may also experience shortness of breath because of a minor heart failure where your heart doesn’t pump enough blood. Not everyone who has cholesterol clogged arteries will experience these symptoms, so it is very important to have a routine physical annually.

There are a number of ways cholesterol clogged arteries can affect someone who has slow developing plaque. The following are three common ways by which cholesterol plaque can affect someone:

  • Cholesterol plaque could grow very slowly in the arteries and could never cause blockage.
  • Cholesterol plaque could one day stop growing or it could grow away from the path of the blood, preventing any further heart condition.
  • Cholesterol plaques can rupture and will lead to a blood clot which causes serious conditions such as a heart attack or stroke.