What is the Most Common Atherosclerosis Treatment?

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  • Written By: wiseGEEK Writer
  • Edited By: O. Wallace
  • Last Modified Date: 15 January 2020
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The most common atherosclerosis treatment tends to depend on how far the condition has progressed. When it is diagnosed early, this plaque build-up in the arteries is typically addressed through a variety of behavioral changes which may help slow down more plaque build-up in the future. If the condition doesn’t come to the attention of medical professionals until later, in addition to behavioral changes, doctors might have a variety of planned interventions they could undertake.

It is arguably the case that the most common atherosclerosis treatment has to do with changing many aspects of behavior. One thing people may be encouraged to do is to quit smoking, as continued smoking can result in additional plaque build-up. Though difficult, this one suggestion can make a big difference in how people progress with this disease.

Another piece of advice people often receive in changing behavior is that they need to change diet. Diet may address two common issues with this condition, that it raises blood pressure and increases cholesterol. A common atherosclerosis treatment diet is low in salt and high fat foods. It should contain a calorie range that supports weight loss if needed, or that maintains a healthy weight. Along with diet, people are usually asked to limit consumption of alcoholic drinks, though some doctors recommend having a glass of red wine daily for heart health.


Another important behavioral change is to make sure that people get regular cardiovascular exercise. This also helps to reduce risk of heart disease and may lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels. When people are fit, eat a healthy diet, get exercise, and refrain from smoking, it’s possible that the progression of atherosclerosis is halted or slowed.

This isn’t always the case, and sometimes people require additional interventions that are part of common atherosclerosis treatment. Some people take drugs that can help reduce blood clotting or address plaque build-up. People might need anti-hypertension medicines or statins to lower blood cholesterol. More significant treatment might be needed if arteries have narrowed so much that they are occluded. Some people require things like scraping of the arteries, or dilation of them with balloon valvuloplasty or stent placement.

The reason many people progress to needing these interventions is because atherosclerosis is often a hidden disease that doesn’t cause problems until it is advanced. It therefore makes good sense for people to adopt healthy behavioral changes whether or not they’ve been diagnosed with the condition. Ultimately, the best atherosclerosis treatment is prevention, and healthy diet, refraining from smoking, maintaining a good weight, and committing to exercise may be useful preventatives.



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