What causes clogged blood vessels?

What causes clogged blood vessels?

Fatty material derived from our food gets deposited in the walls of blood vessels starting from childhood. As this process continues, part of the blood vessel (arteries which supply oxygenated blood to the organs) get narrowed. If a small break occurs in this fatty material, the inner layers of the vessel wall gets exposed. This causes clot formation in the region. A blood clot sticking to the fatty material causes clogged blood vessels, which may also be totally blocked. If this occurs in a blood vessel of the heart, it can cause a heart attack. If in the brain, it leads to a stroke with paralysis of one or more limbs.

High blood pressure, high blood sugar, obesity, sedentary lifestyle, smoking and genetic factors can increase the chance clogged blood vessels.

Clogging can also occur in the blood vessels returning deoxygenated blood to the heart known as veins. This usually occurs in deep veins of the legs and is known as deep vein thrombosis (DVT). If these clots move up into the blood vessels of the lungs, it can cause a potentially serious condition known as pulmonary embolism. DVT is more likely to occur after prolonged bed rest as after a major surgery or childbirth. Occasionally it can occur if you sit idle for a long period as in a long haul flight over several hours. It can be prevented by frequent leg movements, either active or passive depending on the situation.

How can clogging of your blood vessels (arteries) be prevented?

Clogged blood vessels can be avoided to some extent by following a healthy lifestyle. Avoid taking a lot of fatty food, take adequate exercise and try stress relaxation methods. If your blood pressure is high or blood sugar elevated, take appropriate treatment in consultation with your physician. Some medications like blood thinners may also be considered in high risk situations as per medical advice.