Controlling These Risk Factors Can Help Prevent or Delay Carotid Artery Disease

Carotid artery disease is a serious problem that usually affects older adults and is one of the major causes of stroke in the US. This disease occurs when a large buildup of plaque causes the carotid arteries in your neck to become blocked, which keeps the blood from flowing to the brain. 

Fortunately, there are a number of known risk factors besides old age that you can control in order to prevent or delay this disease.

The highly skilled and compassionate vascular surgeons, along with the rest of the staff here at North Atlanta Vascular Clinic & Vein Center, are all happy to give you advice on preventing this condition, as well as on treating existing carotid artery disease.

What happens if you have carotid artery disease? 

According to the National Library of Medicine, carotid artery disease can cause a stroke as well as a transient ischemic attack (TIA), also known as a mini-stroke. These are often the only signs of carotid artery disease, as the condition usually prevents no symptoms before serious issues start to occur. 

If you do begin to notice the signs of a TIA or a stroke in yourself or in a loved one, it’s imperative that you call 911 immediately.

How can I prevent or delay carotid artery disease?

There are certain risk factors of carotid artery disease, including old age, a family history of atherosclerosis, and race, that you will not be able to change. 

However, you do hold sway over other factors, and working to change them is not only important but necessary to your continued health. They include: 

Smoking

Those who smoke regularly put themselves in much more danger of developing carotid artery disease. Smoking can actually damage the blood vessels, and it increases the amount of plaque that builds up in the arteries, which means it intensifies your chances of developing this illness (NYU Langone Health). One of the best ways to avoid it is to stop smoking entirely.

High blood pressure

If you have high blood pressure, you’re increasing your chances of stroke, heart disease, and heart attack, as well as overly damaged tissues in the body. Making changes to the way you live, including quitting smoking, exercising more, and eating healthy foods, can actually go a long way toward bringing your blood pressure down.

High cholesterol

Having high cholesterol is another way to invite blocked arteries, which can lead to carotid artery disease. Eating right, including cutting out sugary and fried foods and sticking to lean meats, fruits, and vegetables, is the best way to keep your cholesterol down.

Obesity

If you’re obese, you also have a higher chance of experiencing carotid artery disease, simply because obesity leads to high blood pressure and high cholesterol. The same actions, including eating right and exercising often, can help you bring your weight down and take some of the pressure off your body.

Diabetes

If you have diabetes, you should be working to maintain a healthy weight and eating foods that are safe and healthy for you. If you don’t have diabetes, or if you’re at risk for this disorder, making sure to prevent diabetes from happening is one of the best ways to protect yourself. 

After all, those who have diabetes are four times more likely to develop carotid artery disease, according to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute.

Carotid artery disease awareness and treatment

Are you ready to learn more about this disease, or would you like to learn about your treatment options for it? At North Atlanta Vascular Clinic & Vein Center, we’re happy to set you up with an appointment to see one of our several highly trained medical professionals. 

Just call 770-203-0870 for our Cumming office, 770-336-7710 for our Johns Creek office, 770-383-1571 for our Lawrenceville office, or 770-400-0030 for our Roswell office. You can also book an appointment online today. 

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