Treatments for Atherosclerosis

The treatment of Atherosclerosis aims to relieve symptoms and reduce the risk factors in an effort to slow, stop, or reverse the build-up of plaque. Treatment will include lowering the risk of blood clots forming, widening or bypassing clogged arteries and preventing diseases related to atherosclerosis, along with lifestyle changes.

If cholesterol levels are high a doctor may recommend Therapeutic Lifestyle Changes (TLC) - a three-part program that includes a healthy diet, physical activity, and weight management.

With the TLC diet, less than 7% of daily calories should come from saturated fat found mainly in meat, poultry and dairy products and no more than 35% of daily calories should come from all fats, including saturated, trans, monounsaturated, and polyunsaturated fats and less than 200 mg of cholesterol daily.

Foods high in soluble fibre are also part of a healthy eating plan as they help block the digestive track from absorbing cholesterol. These foods include: whole grain cereals such as oatmeal and oat bran, fruits such as apples, bananas, oranges, pears, and prunes, legumes such as kidney beans, lentils, chick peas, black-eyed peas, and lima beans.

A diet high in fruits and vegetables can increase important cholesterol-lowering compounds in the diet called plant stanols or sterols, which work like soluble fibre.

Fish is also an important part of a heart healthy diet as fish is a good source of omega-3 fatty acids, which may help protect the heart from blood clots and inflammation and reduce the risk for heart attack - two fish meals should be eaten each week - fish high in omega-3 fats are salmon, tuna (canned or fresh), and mackerel.

It is also good to limit the amount of sodium (salt) that is eaten by choosing low-sodium and low-salt foods and "no added salt" foods and seasonings at the table or when cooking and examining food labels for sodium content.

There are also a range of medications which can be used to treat Atherosclerosis - these include anticoagulants, aspirin, beta blockers, bile acid sequestrants, calcium channel blockers, Ezetimibe, Fibrates, Glycoprotein IIb/IIIa Receptor Inhibitors, Niacin (Nicotinic Acid), Nitrates, Platelet Inhibitors, Statins (HMG-CoA Reductase Inhibitors) and Thrombolytics


Further Reading

Last Updated: Oct 21, 2013

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