The role of calcium has been taught to us since childhood. It is an essential mineral to make bones and teeth strong. Only 1 percent of calcium is found in the blood stream, tissue and organs, rest all is stacked in the human skeleton.
When excess of calcium accumulates in the blood, and when it combines with fatty material cholesterol, it has devastating effect on human health. It forms plaques which adhere to the walls of arteries. The deposit so formed can cause partial or complete blockage of artery. It also hardens the walls of the artery.The vessel which was flexible and elastic becomes hard and stiff.
In medical terminology, such deposits of calcium and fatty material in the arteries is called atherosclerosis. Buildup of calcium deposits in the arteries increase the risk of coronary artery disease. People with raised level of calcium in their blood are much more susceptible to heart attacks and stroke.
What Causes Calcium Deposits In Arteries?
Researchers are unable to find the exact mechanism for calcium deposits in arteries, but they have concluded certain triggering factors as the main cause. Atherosclerosis develops over a period of time.It occurs due to chronic damage in the arterial wall.
The damage can be as a result of various factors. Smoking is one of the main reasons. You will find high level of calcium in arterial blood in people who smoke. Excess amount of fat, cholesterol add up to the problem. Constant raised blood glucose level in diabetes also damages the arteries. During the healing process, calcium as well as other substances begin to deposit on the lining of the arterial wall.
Obesity, chronic and heavy drinking also increases the risk of high calcium deposits in the arteries.
Symptoms Of Calcium Deposits In Arteries
Calcium deposits in the arteries can only jeopardize the normal blood flow if it partially or completely blocks the concerned artery. The symptom manifestation may depend on which artery of the body is blocked.
If the coronary artery is blocked, the symptoms are pain in the chest with slightest exertion, breathlessness, heaviness in the chest, slow or fast heart beat etc.
In case of calcium blockage in the artery supplying blood to the brain the symptoms are dizziness, slurred speech, memory loss, weakness in hands and legs, sudden and severe headache, imbalance of the body etc.
Calcium deposit in peripheral artery of legs and arms or pelvis may produce symptoms such as numbness in the legs, tingling sensation in the affected area, pain and spasm of the muscles, deep seated ulcers etc.
How To Reduce Calcium Deposits In Arteries Naturally
The way to reduce calcium deposits in arteries is similar to treating atherosclerosis. It involves lifestyle change and medications.
- Kick the habit of smoking. It will prevent further damage to the internal lining of arteries as well as complications arising from it.
- Eat a balanced diet composed of all essential nutrients.
- It is possible that exercise can decrease the buildup calcium and cholesterol inside the artery. Exercise burns the fat and it also does not allow the fat to stay for a long time in the blood.
- Reduce the intake of salt which is responsible for hypertension. High blood pressure damages the arterial wall and makes it weak. It makes the arteries susceptible to calcium buildup.
- Vitamin K found in green vegetables is beneficial in blocking calcium buildup in the arteries. Broccoli, brussels sprouts etc are natural sources of vitamin K.
- Patient should avoid too much of dairy food which is high in calcium.
With the invention of coronary calcium scan, it is possible to know the calcium score affecting coronary arteries. Detecting signs of early calcification may help to abort diseases such as heart attack, stroke etc.