Atherosclerosis is a common condition that develops when a sticky substance called plaque builds up inside your artery. Disease linked to atherosclerosis is the leading cause of death in the United States. About half of Americans between ages 45 and 84 have atherosclerosis and don’t know it.
Atherosclerosis develops slowly as cholesterol, fat, blood cells and other substances in your blood form plaque. When the plaque builds up, it causes your arteries to narrow. This reduces the supply of oxygen-rich blood to tissues of vital organs in the body. Atherosclerosis can affect most of the arteries in the body, including arteries in the heart, brain, arms, legs, pelvis, and kidneys.
Atherosclerosis leads to poor oxygen-rich blood supply, as well as symptoms that can affect your quality of life. Symptoms depend on which arteries are affected and how much blood flow is blocked.
Chest pain (angina), cold sweats, dizziness, extreme tiredness, heart palpitations (feeling that your heart is racing), shortness of breath, nausea and weakness are all symptoms of coronary heart disease.
· Pain, aching, heaviness, or cramping in the legs when walking or climbing stairs are the main symptoms of peripheral artery disease. The symptoms also go away after rest.
· Problems with thinking and memory, weakness or numbness on one side of the body or face, and vision trouble are all early symptoms of vertebral artery disease. Transient ischemic attack (TIA), commonly called a mini-stroke, is a more serious symptom.
· Severe pain following meals, weight loss, and diarrhea are symptoms of mesenteric artery Ischemia of the intestines.
· Erectile dysfunction (ED) is an early warning sign that a man may be at higher risk for atherosclerosis and its complications.
Acupuncture (AP) has significant clinical treatment for restoring nerve function, improving brain blood supply, dilating brain blood vessels, and improving blood circulation ability, with encouraging therapeutic effects for atherosclerosis.
One study was designed to investigate the clinical efficacy and long-term prognosis of acupuncture (AP) combinedwith atorvastatin (ATO) in treating senile essential hypertension (EH) complicated with carotid atherosclerosis (CA). In that study, 108 elderly EH patients with CA were enrolled into the study,consisting of 67 patients who received treatment of AP with ATO (AP +ATO group) and 41 patients who received treatment ofATO alone (ATO group). Comparative outcomes included clinical efficacy, blood pressure (BP), the levels of blood lipids and in.ammatory factors, carotid intima media thickness (IMT), the number of unstable carotid intima plaques, the carotid plaque area, and the incidence of adverse reactions. All patients were followed up for 3 years to evaluate their quality of life and the recurrence rate of CA.
Main acupoints used in the study were: ST36 (Zusanli), GB20 (Fengchi), ST40 (Fenglong), ST9 (Renying), PC6 (Neiguan), GB37 (Yanglingquan), and DU20 (Baihui). Acupuncture was conducted twice a week for 12 weeks.
The authors found that additional acupuncture increased clinical efficacy and safety, reduced blood pressure, blood Lipids and plaque formation, attenuated Inflammatory response, provided a better quality of life, such as bodily pain score, vitality score, mental health score, social function score, physical function score, pole-physical, role-emotional, general health, and atherosclerosis recurrence rate.
Doing acupuncture regularly is good for health of cardiovascular system.
Jiefang Li, Dan Wu, Jun Liu, Xi Li. Additional Acupuncture Confers a Favorable Long-Term Prognosis for Elderly Hypertensive Patients with Carotid Atherosclerosis after Atorvastatin Treatment. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2022 :7479416. doi: 10.1155/2022/7479416. eCollection 2022.