How is carotid artery disease treated?
Carotid artery disease is treated by:
- Lifestyle modification
To prevent further progression of carotid artery disease, lifestyle modification is recommended to limit all risk factors for coronary and carotid artery disease. These include:
- Quit smoking and using tobacco products
- Control high blood pressure and diabetes
- Have regular check-ups with your doctor
- Have your doctor check your lipid profile and get treatment, if necessary to reach a lipid goal LDL less than 100 and HDL greater than 45
- Eat foods low in saturated fats and cholesterol
- Achieve and maintain a desirable weight
- Exercise regularly
- Control other stroke risk factors: limit the amount of alcohol you drink and if you have atrial fibrillation, you should be on blood-thinning medications
- Talk to your doctor about circulation problems that may put you at risk for stroke
Blood-thinner (anticoagulant) medications – all patients with carotid disease should be on aspirin to decrease the risk of stroke due to blood clots. In some cases, Coumadin (warfarin) or other blood thinners may be prescribed. If so, blood work may need to be checked regularly to ensure you are on the proper dose. Please see your doctor for a consultation regarding your treatment, never self-medicate.