Symptoms usually develop gradually with atherosclerosis. As the arteries become increasingly blocked, progressive symptoms frequently develop. The specific symptoms depend on which artery or arteries are obstructed. If the leg arteries are affected, then the symptoms are usually numbness, fatigue, or pain in the leg (claudication). Atherosclerotic obstruction of the coronary arteries may lead to symptoms of angina or even a heart attack. Other commonly—affected arteries include the carotid arteries in the neck (a situation that predisposes to stroke) and the abdominal aorta (which may become partially obstructed and cause claudication or become weekend and lead to aneurysm).Symptoms caused by progressive atherosclerotic narrowing of an artery are more likely to occur during exercise than at rest, at least initially. Early symptoms may occur only after great exertion, but as the narrowing worsens, less and less activity required. The symptoms develop during exertion because your arteries cannot supply your muscles with enough oxygen and nutrients. The more severe the blockage, the less exertion it takes to surpass the ability of the artery to supply adequate-’blood. When you stop and rest, the discomfort resolves in a few minutes. However, blockages can be so severe that even resting muscle does not get enough blood flow, and you may experience symptoms, such as claudication or angina, even when sitting still.Indeed, it is the symptoms caused by inadequate blood flow to a part of the body that may bring you to a physician, who then attempts to discover the cause. Atherosclerosis is the of chronic obstruction of the a in 95 percent of cases, but other causes are important to know about.*192\52\8*
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