Atherosclerosis Specialist

Frontenac Cardiovascular Center

Cardiologists located in Frontenac, MO

Atherosclerosis, or clogged arteries, is a common cause of cardiovascular health issues ranging from high blood pressure to heart attack. At Frontenac Cardiovascular Center, in Frontenac, Missouri, the team of expert cardiologists diagnoses and treats atherosclerosis to improve your cardiovascular health and reduce your risk of heart attack and other severe cardiovascular problems. Call Frontenac Cardiovascular Center or schedule an appointment online today.

Atherosclerosis Q & A

What is atherosclerosis?

Atherosclerosis is a condition in which fatty plaque builds up on the insides of your blood vessels, making them thick and stiff. Over time, your arteries harden and inhibit your circulation. The condition is a precursor to a range of severe cardiovascular events including:

  • Coronary artery disease
  • Heart attack
  • Aneurysm
  • Kidney disease

Atherosclerosis also increases your risk of stroke. If the plaque inside your blood vessels bursts,  it can create a blood clot.

Atherosclerosis doesn’t usually cause noticeable symptoms in its early stages. However, as your condition progresses, you may develop:

  • Chest pain
  • Numbness or weakness in your arms or legs
  • Leg pain (claudication)
  • High blood pressure

Many patients don’t know they have a problem until their condition is so advanced that their organs aren’t receiving enough blood or they have a heart attack or stroke.

What causes atherosclerosis?

Many factors contribute to your risk of atherosclerosis. For example, if you have a family history of the disease, your chances of developing it increase. Other factors that contribute to artery wall damage or plaque buildup include:

  • High cholesterol
  • High blood pressure
  • Smoking and other types of tobacco use
  • Insulin resistance or diabetes
  • Obesity
  • An unhealthy diet
  • A sedentary lifestyle

Inflammation from diseases such as lupus, arthritis, or infections can also contribute to your risk of atherosclerosis.

What methods diagnose atherosclerosis?

During a cardiovascular health assessment, your doctor may notice signs of atherosclerosis such as a weak or absent pulse or lower blood pressure in your extremities or a whooshing sound in your arteries, which could indicate atherosclerosis.

The doctors at Frontenac Cardiovascular Center use a variety of tests to diagnose atherosclerosis, including:

  • Blood tests
  • Doppler ultrasound
  • Ankle-brachial index
  • Electrocardiogram
  • Stress test
  • Cardiac catheterization and angiogram

Your cardiologist may also suggest imaging studies such as CT scans and MRIs to study your arteries and locate the hardened or narrowed sections.

What is the treatment for atherosclerosis?

The cardiologists at Frontenac Cardiovascular Center provide comprehensive, customized treatment plans for atherosclerosis. Your treatment plan may include medication to control your cholesterol levels, blood pressure, or to reduce your risk of blood clots or stroke.

They may also suggest a surgical procedure to remove the plaque from your arteries or to open your blood vessels and place a stent.

The team at Frontenac Cardiovascular Center is also committed to preventive care and will help you make lifestyle adjustments to improve your health and reduce your risk of cardiovascular health problems.

Call or schedule a consultation online today.

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