Q: Are there any remedies for reversing atherosclerosis?

Our healthy arteries are flexible and elastic. Arteriosclerosis occurs when these arteries become thick, due to the buildup of fats, cholesterol and other substances and sometimes restrict blood flow to your organs and tissues. High blood pressure, high cholesterol, high triglycerides, smoking, insulin resistance, obesity or diabetes, inflammation from diseases such as arthritis, lupus or infections can initiate an atherosclerosis formation. Atherosclerosis develops gradually. The effects of atherosclerosis differ depending upon which arteries narrow and become clogged with plaque.

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When atherosclerosis narrows the arteries to the heart, one may develop coronary artery disease, chest pain (angina), a heart attack or heart failure. When it narrows the arteries to your brain, carotid artery disease, which can cause a transient ischemic attack (TIA) or stroke can result. When atherosclerosis narrows the arteries in the arms or legs, you may develop circulation problems in your arms and legs called peripheral artery disease while narrowing of arteries to your kidneys can result in high blood pressure or kidney failure.

Reversing atherosclerosis is possible, but it needs drastic changes in lifestyle and food habits too. Eating healthy foods, exercising regularly and maintaining a healthy weight, quitting smoking are recommended.

Atherosclerosis is treated with different herbal combinations in Ayurveda depending on the site of manifestation.

Meet an Ayurveda doctor for a prescription. There are several formulations that can help with atherosclerosis. Studies on these combinations show improvement in endothelial function of blood vessels and they improve other cardiovascular and metabolic parameters and biomarker levels.

Dr VL Shyam is a Dubai-based Ayurveda practitioner. Got a problem? Our fantastic panel of renowned experts is available to answer all your questions related to fashion, well-being, nutrition, finance and hypnotherapy. Email your queries to friday@gulfnews.com.