While high cholesterol (either as a high LDL or “bad” cholesterol; or low HDL or “good” cholesterol) certainly contributes to the risk of atherosclerosis and cardiovascular disease, it is not the only contributor. Each year it seems that I have one or two patients that have “no excuse” for having coronary artery disease but they do anyway.
In the same period of time, however, I will see hundreds of patients that have an obvious cause. When doctors see the cause they feel better. When families and patients know the reasons for the disease (have something to blame), they also seem happier. But life doesn’t always work that way. And when it doesn’t, it is sometimes hard to accept therapies that seem to be for diseases that we don’t think that we have.
Some reasons for major blockages that don’t necessarily involve high cholesterol or imbalanced cholesterol numbers include the following partial list:
High blood pressure , ...
Peripheral artery disease (P.A.D.) is a common circulatory problem, where narrowed arteries reduce blood flow to your limbs. P.A.D. is more common in African-Americans than any other group. This may be because some of the conditions which increase the risk of developing P.A.D., such as diabetes and high blood pressure, are very common among African-Americans.
“ P.A.D. occurs when extra cholesterol and other fats circulating in the blood collect in the walls of the arteries that supply blood to your limbs. This buildup—called plaque—narrows your arteries, often reducing or blocking the flow of blood… P.A.D. is most commonly seen in the legs, but also can be present in the arteries that carry blood from your heart to your head, arms, kidneys and stomach.”
For an illustration of a normal and affected artery click here .
So, what causes P.A.D?
While the cause of plaque buildup in the limbs are unknown for most individua...
<p><strong>What Is Coronary Heart Disease?</strong></p>
<p>Coronary heart disease (CHD)—also sometimes called coronary artery disease—is the most common form of cardiovascular disease, a group of disorders that involve the heart and blood vessels. CHD is a narrowing of the coronary arteries, the vessels that supply oxygenated blood (fuel) to the heart muscle. </p>
<p>Physical activity increases the oxygen needs of the body, and the heart responds to the greater demand by pumping blood more vigorously and more quickly, which in turn increases the oxygen needs of the heart muscle. In CHD, narrowed coronary arteries limit the supply of oxygenated blood to portions of the heart muscle. If narrowing is not extensive, difficulties may occur only during physical exertion, when the narrowed arteries are unable to meet the increased oxygen requirements of the heart. However, as the disease worsens, the narrowed arteries m...
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