No matter the classification of artery disease, the cause is usually the same. Blood flow is slowed from a plaque buildup in the arteries themselves, which can affect the function of your heart, limbs, and brain. Strokes are for more likely when artery diseases are present, so it’s important to first address the primary risk factors for artery disease.
Fortunately, most of these can be improved or eliminated through lifestyle changes, but here are seven risk factors you must know.
Smoking - Smoking is among the worst risk factors for artery disease, more than doubling the risk when not curbed. While nonsmokers have far less reason to worry, they should also be wary of inhaling dangerous second-hand smoke. For regular smokers, quitting the habit is one of the best ways to limit your chances of future artery disease or treating the disease if diagnosed.
Lack of Exercise - While ensuring you’re in good enough shape to withstand your exercise regimens is important if you’re at risk of artery diseases, not exercising can worsen your risk. At minimum, you can exercise for a half-hour a day to keep your cardiovascular health in good shape. You don’t need to vigorously exercise at the gym, but making a point to briskly walk for a certain time daily can help you get your health on track.
Obesity - Body weight and body composition are primary indicators of overall health and can be a harbinger of chronic disease. Obesity is linked with heart disease and artery diseases, among other illnesses, but can be addressed with the right diet and a certain amount of physical activity.
Diabetes - The least controllable risk factor, diabetics should be careful to monitor their diet and blood sugar levels. Not addressing diabetes vigilantly could put you at greater risk of artery disease and could potentially be fatal.
Alcohol consumption - Like smoking, curbing or quitting alcohol will help you dramatically reduce your risk of artery disease. While the risk is not as staggering as smoking, alcohol is nevertheless a problematic risk factor that can be addressed by simply drinking lightly or not at all.
Stress - Stress can cumulatively stop your body’s ability to fight disease, which includes artery diseases. Finding effective coping methods to keep stress at bay is absolutely essential to maintaining good health and keeping your body in condition to prevent chronic disease.
Diet - Eating foods high in saturated fats, trans fats, and sugars will increase your chance of artery disease. Eating a more balanced diet, especially adding more fruits and vegetables, is one of the best methods for countering cardiovascular disease.
Scheduling Your Scan
While requesting a screening with no symptoms or one risk factor (i.e. high cholesterol) is not always advised due to the risk of misdiagnosis, showing signs of any of the symptoms of artery disease should prompt a scan. A family history of artery diseases is also a factor to consider and could warrant a scan if other risk factors, such as high blood pressure, occur.
To schedule your scan or ask questions, you can visit this page to learn more or call us at 918-879-6161.