- The main symptom of clogged arteries is chest pain, also called angina.
- Other symptoms may include shortness of breath, fatigue, and pain in the arms or legs.
- If not treated, clogged arteries can lead to heart attack or stroke.
Clogged arteries are a serious condition that should not be ignored.
What people don’t realize is that their arteries can get clogged even if they don’t have high cholesterol levels.
In fact, there are a number of different things that can contribute to clogged arteries, such as:
- A sedentary lifestyle
- And even certain medical conditions
That’s why it’s important to be aware of the potential signs of clogged arteries, so you can get treatment before it’s too late.
What are clogged arteries?
The arteries are blood vessels that carry oxygen-rich blood from your heart to the rest of your body.
Over time, these blood vessels can become clogged with plaque, a sticky substance made up of cholesterol, fat, calcium, and other substances found in the blood.
Plaque can narrow the arteries and make it difficult for blood to flow through.
This condition is known as atherosclerosis.
If plaque builds up in the arteries leading to your heart, it can cause a heart attack.
If it builds up in the arteries leading to your brain, it can cause a stroke or even death. (1)
Simply put, clogged arteries are dangerous.
What are the warning signs of clogged arteries?
The most common warning sign of clogged arteries is chest pain, also known as angina.
Angina occurs when the heart muscle isn’t getting enough oxygen-rich blood.
This can cause a squeezing sensation in the chest, as well as pain in the shoulders, arms, neck, jaw, or back.
Angina is often mistaken for heartburn or indigestion, so it’s important to see a doctor if you experience any chest pain that doesn’t go away after a few minutes.
Other warning signs of clogged arteries include:
- Shortness of breath
- Pain or numbness in the legs
- Cold feet or hands
- Dizziness or lightheadedness
- Swollen ankles, feet, or legs
- Heart attack
- Erectile dysfunction (ED)
If you experience any of these symptoms, it’s important to see a doctor right away.
They can order tests to check for clogged arteries and determine the best course of treatment.
How are clogged arteries treated?
Treatment for clogged arteries will vary depending on the severity of the condition.
For example, if you have mild clogged arteries, your doctor may recommend lifestyle changes, such as:
- Quitting smoking
- Eating a healthy diet
- Exercising regularly
They may also prescribe medications to help lower cholesterol levels and improve blood flow.
If you have more severe clogged arteries, your doctor may recommend a procedure to open up the blocked arteries.
This includes angioplasty and stenting, which involves using a balloon to widen the artery, or surgery to bypass the blocked arteries altogether. (2)
No matter what treatment approach is recommended, it’s important to make sure you follow your doctor’s instructions and take all medications as prescribed.
Making lifestyle changes can be difficult, but they’re necessary to prevent the condition from getting worse.
The bottom line
Clogged arteries are a serious medical condition that can lead to heart attacks, strokes, and even death.
That’s why it’s important to be aware of the warning signs and seek treatment if you experience any of them.
Making lifestyle changes, such as eating a healthy diet and getting regular exercise, can help reduce your risk of developing clogged arteries.
If you think you may have clogged arteries, it’s important to see a doctor right away.