Stiff and Inflexible – Arterial Stenosis

atherosclerosis NIHSo why shouldn’t you eat all of the high fat foods that you want? They really do taste good. You know other people who eat those foods. So why shouldn’t you?

What can it hurt?

Your arteries are the part of your venous system that carry the clean, full-of-oxygen blood from your heart throughout your body. Your veins then carry the blood that has given up its oxygen to ‘feed’ your body and is now ready to go back to the heart to get a fresh supply.

In addition, your veins and arteries dilate (open up wider) or constrict (squeeze down tighter) based on the pressure needs in your body to keep the blood flowing. This ability to change how open they are is essential for blood pressure control, heart protection, kidney function, and more.

Arterial stenosis is a condition where those flexible, open tubes start to get thicker and less flexible. When this happens, they cannot respond to the body’s pressure needs as well. Specific areas where this thickening can be problematic is in the renal arteries (main arteries of the kidneys), carotid arteries (main arteries to the brain), and the aorta (main artery leaving the heart). This can cause quicker fatigue, decrease exercise tolerance, and increased risk of heart attack or stroke.

Those fatty foods can increase the cholesterol in your blood. That cholesterol can then ‘stick’ to the walls of your arteries making them even more thick and inflexible.

Too much cholesterol, too little exercise, smoking, diabetes, and being overweight can all increase risk of and worsen this condition.

So, making those good decisions about the food you eat, getting regular exercise, and not smoking can keep your blood flowing easily. This will keep your heart, your kidneys, your brain healthy and keep you living your dreams!

For more information, contact us at www.medsmash.com.  There you can find a short movie demonstration of a clean verses a stenotic artery.

Biblical Application

How often do we become too stiff and inflexible in our lives? Has God ever compelled you to do something, and you ignored or refused?

Have you ever had your feelings hurt and shunned the person who hurt you without trying to talk it through?

Do you know anyone who has stopped going to church or attending church functions because they don’t agree with some aspect of the service, or the people in leadership, or who sits where, or whatever reason?

Why do we get so caught up in small matters that we miss the BIG PICTURE of love and grace and eternity?

Like thickening of our arteries, sin, greed, jealousy, strife, self-interests can thicken our spiritual life-line causing us to be inflexible and obstinate.

God’s word mentions the stubbornness of us humans from the very first book.

Genesis 16:12 ESV

He shall be a wild donkey of a man, his hand against everyone and everyone’s hand against him, and he shall dwell over against all his kinsmen.”

Psalm 81:11-12 ESV

“But my people did not listen to my voice; Israel would not submit to me. So I gave them over to their stubborn hearts, to follow their own counsels.

Hosea 4:16 ESV

Like a stubborn heifer, Israel is stubborn; can the Lord now feed them like a lamb in a broad pasture?

2 Timothy 4:3-4 ESV

For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths.

Job 36:11 NIV

If they obey and serve him, they will spend the rest of their days in prosperity and their years in contentment.

The only way I will keep a pliable, obedient spirit in the larger decisions is to look to Him and to obey in the smaller ones.”  Catherine Marshall

Next time you’re feeling irritable and obstinate, take a minute to reconnect with the One who can keep your spiritual arteries clean and flowing. Let His love and acceptance flow unimpeded through you with prayer, time in the Bible, and fellowship with faithful people.

Blessings,

Michelle

Image source: National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute; National Institutes of Health; U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

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