Tags: Health Topics | Heart Disease | High Blood Pressure | High Cholesterol | clogged arteries | heart attack | stroke

Warning Signs of Clogged Arteries

graphic shown 3-D illustration of a constricted and narrowed artery
3-D illustration of a constricted and narrowed artery (AP)

By    |   Wednesday, 18 September 2019 01:57 PM

Is your heart a ticking time bomb? Many people do not even realize they are at risk of heart disease. The CDC reports that 735,000 Americans have a heart attack each year and that one in four people will die from heart disease.

Many of these deaths can be prevented through early detection but the key is to be aware of the warning signs. When it comes to clogged arteries, the symptoms may start off as subtle but if left untreated they will manifest into more serious health issues and could eventually lead to coronary artery disease, heart attack and stroke.

The blockages that disrupt blood flow to the arteries can begin to form during your 20s, according to The Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine.

Over time the particles of fat, cholesterol and other cells that have been building up in the arteries form plaques that cut off the blood flow to the heart.

Healthy lifestyle changes can go a long way in fighting the onset of heart disease, as well as paying attention to what your body is telling you. Recognizing these 5 warning signs that your arteries may be clogged could also help:

1. Calf pain when walking – If you notice persistent calf pain while walking, it could mean that the arteries in your leg are blocked, said Joel K. Kahn, a clinical professor of medicine at Wayne State University and the director of cardiac wellness at Michigan Healthcare Professionals. "This symptom requires an evaluation without delay," he wrote for The Healthy.

2. Tight jaw – Poor blood flow to the heart could manifest in aches and pains in the jaw and neck. This is because the main nerve that carries pain signals from the heart, is linked to the left arm, jaw and neck, said Kahn.

3. Painful, numb or cold hands and feet – Another warning sign of clogged arteries is experiencing coldness, numbness and pain in the hands and feet. This occurs when plaque clogs the arteries leading to the arms and legs, according to Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine.

4. Lower back pain – Most of us tend to put this down to achy muscles but pain in the lower back may also hint at clogged arteries. Khan explained that the lower back is one of the first places where plaque starts to accumulate and the pain is a result of reduced blood flow to the area. This in turn leads to weakening of the discs that provide cushioning between vertebrae.

5. Fatigue and dizziness – Poor blood flow can lead to reduced oxygen which can cause feelings of dizziness and fatigue, The Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine noted. This could be a warning sign that you could have clogged arteries.

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Is your heart a ticking time bomb? Many people do not even realize they are at risk of heart disease.
clogged arteries, heart attack, stroke, center for disease control
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2019-57-18
Wednesday, 18 September 2019 01:57 PM
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