Arterial plaque is the substance made up of primarily of cholesterol, fat, and calcium that builds up in your arteries over time. This is commonly referred to as clogged arteries. Everyone has plaque formations in their arteries; the formation of plaque is a natural part of the body’s processes. However, in many people the accumulation is enough to eventually block blood flow which leads to stroke, heart attack, and even sudden death.
There are three ways plaque can become harmful. When plaque blocks the arteries that carry blood to your heart, this can result in coronary artery disease . Coronary artery disease leads to heart attack, which is one of the leading causes of death in the US. When the arteries that supply the blood and oxygen to your brain clog up, this is called carotid artery disease (CAD). CAD can lead to stroke, the third leading cause of death in the US. The third and least dangerous condition caused by plaque buildup is peripheral artery disease (PAD) . When plaque build up constricts the passage of blood to your legs, it can reduce the amount of oxygen delivered which can lead to pain, numbness, or serious infection in your legs and feet.
Although arterial plaque is not completely preventable, there are actions you can take to help slow down the progression of blockage to your arteries. Achieve or maintain a healthy weight through exercise and a heart healthy diet low in saturated fats and cholesterol and rich in fruits and vegetables. Manage your stress levels though meditation, yoga, or other relaxation techniques. Another way to prevent plaque buildup is through alternative treatments such as oral EDTA chelation therapy. Chelation therapy cleanses the arteries by removing unwanted metals and excessive mineral deposits which cause plaque buildup. Following these steps will help reduce your risk of heart disease and improve your overall health!