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Hi.

I've read reports of inflammation is one of the causes of Heart Diseases, or High Blood Pressure. I would like to know how it exactly happens, in layman terms.

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Hi chenxiang1

I can answer part of your question at least.

Those cholesterol 'plaques' that block up your arteries are actually your body's healing response to an original wound on the wall of your artery.

When blood leaves your heart its travelling at high force. Sometimes cells or other components of your blood crash into the wall of your artery, creating a small wound (lesion). Your body attempts to heal the wound, but in the meantime a sticky cholesterol molecule can come along and get stuck to it. Your body then attempts to paste over the whole situation (rather like forming a scab over a skin wound), but too much cholesterol in your bloodstream keeps getting in the way. You end up with a large sticky inflamed 'plaque' over the original lesion.

If your blood pressure gets too high this plaque can tear off your artery wall and travel through your bloodstream, potentially blocking a vital artery elsewhere, and certainly releasing lots of inflammatory messengers that affect what your blood vessels and heart muscle cells do.

Hope this helps, and that it wasn't too much in laymans terms. If you would like me to direct you to the scientific paper that explains this process in much more detail just let me know.

Regards, Olwen :-)
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The cholesterol 'plaques' are made up of what components?

The lesion that you mentioned, is it something that always happens? Or is due to some problem then it will happen? Also, you mentioned cholesterol molecules that will stick, is it the same as cholesterol 'plaques'?

A link to the scientific paper would help. It is an additional benefit to helping me understand this.
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Hi Chenxiang1

The plaques are made up of fat molecules, immune components and toxins.

'Lesions' can happen all the time, to all of us. When your body is healing well it will fix itself naturally, and quickly. When there's too much sticky fat in your bloodstream, and your body isn't healing fast, the plaque can start to form.

The paper is titled "The role of shear stress in the pathogenesis of atherosclerosis" Written by Kristopher S Cunningham and Avrum I Gotlieb. It was published in 'Laboratory Investigation' in Jan 2005, volume 85, issue 1, page 9. Although I can't give you a direct link to the article, you should be able to locate it easily through Google Scholar. If you have access to a university library, or know someone who is studying university, they will be able to access the full document for you.

Another way to find out more about this process is to read a medical textbook on 'pathophysiology'. If you have a university or medical school nearby you should be able to drop in and read up on atherosclerosis.

Hope this helps

Regards, Olwen :-)
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Based on whatever you have said, can it be said that Cholesterol is still part of the problem in High Blood Pressure?

With this being the case, then if blood circulation is increased, would it mean that more Cholesterol would clog up the blood stream too?
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Hi chenxiang1. High blood pressure and high cholesterol don't always appear together. You can have high blood pressure without high cholesterol, and vice versa.

Higher blood pressure doesn't automatically increase the amount of cholesterol, but it does increase the danger of one of the plaques breaking off (the best analogy I can think of is turning the garden hose tap up to 'full on' rather than 'just steady'. More force = more pressure = more chances of plaques tearing off the artery wall.)

Hope this helps!

Regards, Olwen :-D
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Increase in Blood Circulation means from either Exercises or other methods which speeds up blood flow due to smoother flow of blood, not HBP. In this case, will it affect the cholesterol plaques build up due to more molecules flowing through there.
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Hi Chenxiang1

Did you look up that research paper I mentioned a couple of posts ago?

Regards, Olwen :-)
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I'm not sure if I understand what you mean by this question. Can you clarify? I am sor tof sure I understand but not entirely. Thanks!
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It just means that if let's say, today we exercise, and our blood circulation speeds up, will there be more cholesterol plaques build up?
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Hi Chenxiang1

Its useful to think of the garden hose analogy when analysing arteries. If you turn the tap on for more water, it doesn't change what's coming through the hose, but it does change the force with which the molecules inside the water hit the hose wall.

So, no, exercise doesn't increase the rate of cholesterol plaque build-up.

Hope this helps

Regards, Olwen :-)
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Hi Chenxiang1

Easy answer to that one.....no!

Regards, Olwen :-)
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Just what Olwen said--nope. In fact, exercise usually makes it more difficult for plaque to cling to the walls of the arteries, so that's why exercise is such a good thing to do. Did you know about that?
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In fact, how does exercise really makes it harder for the plaques to cling onto the arteries walls?
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Well think of it as how fast the blood is traveling through the body. If the heart isn't pumping as often, the blood isn't traveling at as quick a rate, nor is it circulating as much. Think of a creek versus a river. Which one is more likely to be overrun with sticks and rocks?
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