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Arteriosclerosis

Arteriosclerosis

Description

Arteriosclerosis is a health condition whereby the artery wall thickens, hardens, and loses elasticity, leading to altered function of tissues and organs. Hence, its common name: "hardening of the arteries".

Rather like plumbing pipes, or kettles, in hard water areas, this form of build-up consists primarily of calcium.

Causes

Arteriosclerosis has often been viewed with passive acceptance, as age-related. However, the modern Western lifestyle seems to be a significant factor.

High stress and low activity levels correlate even more significantly with hypertension and arteriosclerosis than simply age.

In some health conditions, like scleroderma, there may also be a genetic predisposition for nephrosclerosis as well as arteriosclerosis.

Atherosclerosis may be regarded as a related condition, although the terms are often used interchangeably.

There is some debate, although the point is somewhat moot, whether the condition of the artery wall must deteriorate in order for the plaque to build-up within the artery (i.e. atherosclerosis), or if the build-up within the artery must inevitably extend to the walls.

Finally, there is some discussion about some forms of plaque being more easily deposited, related to the process of oxidation.

Signs & Symptoms

It is often difficult to decide whether hypertension precedes arteriosclerosis and atherosclerosis, or if it is the other way around, or the processes are simply too interwoven to decide?

There may be minor symptoms, like headaches, or overt signs like a change in color (often accompanied by shortness of breath upon exertion), or clinical signs like bruits. A decreased blood supply means less oxygen and nutrients as well as impaired absorption. If symptoms are eliminated by vasodilator medications, a correct diagnosis is confirmed.

Nutritional Supplements

Structure & Function: Cardiovascular Support

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General Supplements
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Beta Carotene*
Bioflavonoids*
Calcium1,500 mg
CoQ10100 mg
Magnesium750 mg
Melatonin2 - 3 mg
Proanthocyanidins50 mg bid
Selenium200 mcg
Vitamin A25,00 IU
Vitamin C5,000 - 20,000 mg
Vitamin E1,000 IU



*Please refer to the respective topic for specific nutrient amounts.

Note:

All amounts are in addition to those supplements having a Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA). Due to individual needs, one must always be aware of a possible undetermined effect when taking nutritional supplements. If any disturbances from the use of a particular supplement should occur, stop its use immediately and seek the care of a qualified health care professional.

Dietary Considerations

A high fiber, low fat diet is typically recommended, with an emphasis on fruits and leafy vegetables.

Homeopathic Remedy

Ambra grisea
Aurum metallicum
Baryta iodata
Bryonia alba tinct.
Cocculus indicus
Conium maculatum
Galium
Kali iodatum
Nux vomica

Treatment Schedule

Over-the-counter homeopathic remedies may be single strength (of fairly weak potency e.g. 6X ) or a blend of several weaker strengths (6X, 8X, 10X).

This may comprise a single remedy, or several remedies.

Doses are administered on a 3 times daily (tid), between meals,schedule and continued for 3 days.

Liquid preparations usually use 8-10 drops per dose.

Solid preparations are usually 2 or 3 pellets per dose.

Children use 1/2 dose i.e. 1 pellet.

If there is aggravation of the symptoms, stop taking the remedy and consult a homeopath.

References

Murphy, R. : Homeopathic Medical Repertory. Hahneman Academy, Pagosa Springs, Colorado. 1993.

Murphy, R. : Lotus Materia Medica. Hahneman Academy, Pagosa Springs, Colorado. 1995.

Pert, J.C.: Homeopathy for the Family. The Homoeopathic Development Foundation, London. 1985 edition.

Herbal Approaches

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Herbs
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Cayenne (Capsicum)
Chickweed
Ginkgo Biloba
Hawthorn Berries
Pau D'Arco

Note: The misdirected use of an herb can produce severely adverse effects, especially in combination with prescription drugs. This Herbal information is for educational purposes and is not intended as a replacement for medical advice.

References:

Hoffmann, D: The New Holistic Herbal. Element, 1983. Third edition 1990.


Aromatherapy - Essential Oils

Garlic Essence,
Juniper Essence,
Lemon Essence,
Onion Essence.

Related Health Conditions

Atherosclerosis
Coronary Heart Disease
Heart Disorders

Abstracts

References

Abbey-M: Dietary supplementation with orange and carrot juice in cigarette smokers lowers oxidation products in copper-oxidized low-density lipoproteins. Journal-of-the-American-Dietetic-Association. 1995 Jun; 95(6): 671-5. (48 ref)

Buzzard-IM: Monitoring dietary change in a low-fat diet intervention study: advantages of using 24-hour dietary recalls vs food records Journal-of-the-American-Dietetic-Association. 1996 Jun; 96(6): 574-9. (33 ref)

Dustan-HP: Nutrition and cardiovascular diseases of women Public-Health-Reports. 1987 Jul-Aug; ( ): Suppl: 22-5 (20 ref).

Gale-CR et al: Vitamin C and risk of death from stroke and coronary heart disease in cohort of elderly people [see comments]. BMJ. 1995 Jun 17; 310(6994): 1563-6.
Grundy-SM: Oxidized LDL and atherogenesis: relation to risk factors for coronary heart disease. Clin-Cardiol. 1993 Apr; 16(4 Suppl 1): I3-5.

Harris-JE: Interaction of dietary factors with oral anticoagulants: review and applications Journal-of-the-American-Dietetic-Association. 1995 May; 95(5): 580-4 (76 ref)

Hrboticky-N; Sellmayer-A: [Nutrition in prevention of coronary heart disease]. Z-Arztl-Fortbild-Jena. 1996 Feb; 90(1): 11-8.

Jialal-I & Fuller-CJ: Oxidized LDL and antioxidants. Clin-Cardiol. 1993 Apr; 16(4 Suppl 1): I6-9.

Mancini-M et al: Antioxidants in the Mediterranean diet. Can-J-Cardiol. 1995 Oct; 11 Suppl G: 105G-109G.

McAbee-R: Primary prevention of hypertension: a challenge for occupational health nurses AAOHN-Journal, 1995 Jun; 43(6): 306-12. (79 ref)

Motulsky-AG: Nutritional ecogenetics: homocysteine-related arteriosclerotic vascular disease, neural tube defects, and folic acid [editorial; comment]. Am-J-Hum-Genet. 1996 Jan; 58(1): 17-20.

Nestel-PJ: Controlling coronary risk through nutrition. Can-J-Cardiol. 1995 Oct; 11 Suppl G: 9G-14G

Nolan-R: Childhood hypercholesterolemia: implications for nurse practitioners Pediatric-Nursing. 1994 Jan-Feb; 20(1): 46-50 (27 ref)

Oliver-MF: Antioxidant nutrients, atherosclerosis, and coronary heart disease [editorial]. Br-Heart-J. 1995 Apr; 73(4): 299-301.

Ornish-D & Denke-M: Dietary treatment of hyperlipidemia. J-Cardiovasc-Risk. 1994 Dec; 1(4): 283-6.

Richter-WO: [Nutrition and atherosclerosis] Fortschr-Med. 1995 Jun 10; 113(16): 243-6

Schaefer-EJ: Lipoproteins, nutrition, aging, and atherosclerosis. American-Journal-of-Clinical-Nutrition. 1995 Mar; 61(3S): Suppl: 726S-40S.

Schettlerballot G: Arteriosclerosis. Eur J Med Res, 1997 Jun 16, 2:6, 233-5.

Stender-S: The influence of trans fatty acids on health: a report from the Danish Nutrition Council [see comments]. Clin-Sci-Colch. 1995 Apr; 88(4): 375-92.

Virmani R et al., Causes of sudden death in young and middle-aged competitive athletes. Cardiol Clin, 1997 Aug, 15:3, 439-66.

Watson KE et al., Active serum vitamin D levels are inversely correlated with coronary calcification. Circulation, 1997 Sep 16, 96:6, 1755-60.

Watts-GF et al: Relationships between nutrient intake and progression/regression of coronary atherosclerosis as assessed by serial quantitative angiography. Can-J-Cardiol. 1995 Oct; 11 Suppl G: 110G-114G.

Wynder-EL: Nutrition: the need to define "optimal" intake as a basis for public policy decisions American-Journal-of-Public-Health. 1992 Mar; 82(3): 346-50 (42 ref).