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Vascular disease & the Heart

Medikoe Health Expert

Medikoe Health Expert

  Koramangala, bengaluru, karnataka, india, Bengaluru     Feb 9, 2017

   6 min     

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What is Vascular Disease?

Vascular disease is a condition that affects the veins and arteries of the circulatory system. Vascular disease affects the blood flow of the humans by weakening or blocking blood vessels, or by destroying the valves. The most common vascular diseases include Coronary Artery Disease (heart attack), Cerebrovascular Disease (stroke), Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm (AAA), Pulmonary Embolism (blood clots), Chronic Venous Insufficiency (CVI), Arteriovenous Malformation (AVM), Peripheral Artery Disease (PAD), Carotid Artery Disease (CAD), Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT), and Varicose Veins.

What Are The Causes of Vascular Disease?

There are plenty of situations that create different kinds of vascular diseases. However, some of the leading situations that cause vascular disease is a heart attack, stroke, or loss of limb. All the conditions mentioned above are correlated to the same cause, atherosclerosis.

Other causes of vascular disease

•Inflammation

•Embolus/ thrombus

•Trauma/ injury

What Is Atherosclerosis?

Atherosclerosis refers to a formation of plaque due to the deposit of cholesterol, fatty substances, calcium, cellular waste products, and fibrin in the artery's inner wall. This is a progressive, systemic, chronic vascular disease process that triggers the coronary arteries, carotid arteries, and the peripheral arteries. It overgrows and decreases the flow of the blood or completely blocks the blood flow.

The presence of atherosclerosis in the arteries leads to heart attack and other heart-related diseases. Therefore, it is essential to understand the factors that trigger the progression of vascular disease and also know how to control it.

Symptoms of Atherosclerosis

The symptoms of atherosclerosis in different arteries are:

Symptoms of Atherosclerosis in the coronary arteries – these arteries are responsible for supplying blood to the heart.

•Shortness of breath

•Angina (chest pain)

•Arrhythmias (abnormal heartbeat)

Symptoms of Atherosclerosis in the carotid arteries 

these arteries are responsible for supplying blood to the brain.

•Confusion

•Weakness

•Dizziness

•Breathing problems

•Numbness or paralysis in the face, legs, or arms

Symptoms of Atherosclerosis in the peripheral arteries

these arteries are responsible for supplying blood to the legs, pelvis, and arms.

•Numbness or paralysis in the face, legs, or arms

Symptoms of Atherosclerosis in the renal arteries 

these arteries are responsible for supplying blood to the kidneys.

•Itchiness

•Loss of appetite

•Changes in urination

•Nausea

•Fatigue

Treatments of Atherosclerosis

Treatment for atherosclerosis includes coronary angioplasty and coronary artery bypass graft surgery. However, the procedure may depend upon the patient's age, medical history, overall health, the location of the blockage, and other factors.

Coronary Angioplasty- It is known as percutaneous transluminal coronary angioplasty (PTCA). This procedure is performed to open the blocked coronary arteries that are affected by CAD. Then, it helps to restore the blood flow to the heart tissue without any open-heart surgery.

Coronary Artery Bypass Graft Surgery (CABG)- It is a procedure which involves a bypass of the blocked portions of the coronary artery with another piece of the blood vessel.

Moreover, you may need some modifications in your lifestyle to control the risk factors, such as proper nutritious food, regular exercise, and smoking cessation.

Common Types of Heart and Vascular Diseases

There are many various kinds of diseases which can affect the heart and vascular system. Below are some of the most common vascular conditions.

Coronary Artery Disease (CAD)

This kind of cardiovascular disease includes atherosclerosis—hardening and narrowing—of the coronary arteries, producing blockages in the vessels that carry blood to the heart. It causes damages or diseases in the heart's main blood vessels. Coronary artery disease can range from mild symptoms to chest pain, to a heart attack. Treatments for Coronary Artery Disease involve medication, surgery, angioplasty and lifestyle changes.

Heart Attack

Also known as "myocardial infarction" (MI), a heart attack occurs when the blood flow to the heart is cut off or extremely reduced, because of the narrowing and hardening of the coronary arteries from the build-up of cholesterol, fat and other substances, identified together as "plaque." A blood clot forms around the plaque, blocking blood flow. The consequences include permanent damage or death of part of the heart muscle.

Heart Failure

While a critical condition, heart failure does not necessarily imply that the heart is no longer functioning. Heart failure happens when the heart’s strength to pump becomes weaker than normal. Blood flows through the heart and body at a slower rate, pressure in the heart increases, and the heart can not supply sufficient oxygen and blood to the body’s cells, resulting in shortness of breath and fatigue.

Arrhythmia

This vascular condition indicates any change in the general sequence of your heartbeat. It includes the electrical impulses of your heart—not the blockages or arteries. These electrical impulses can happen extremely fast, excessively slow, or even irregularly, which is the reason for the heart to beat uniformly. When the heart is not beating regularly, it can not pump blood adequately to the lungs, brain, and other organs of the body, making them gradually shut down or become damaged.

Congenital Heart Defects

Different than other kinds of heart diseases, congenital heart defects are present since the time of birth. Such defects are not an illness, but rather an abnormality which occurs while the fetus is still developing. Examples of such defects include a leaky heart valve or malformations in the walls which separate the chambers of the heart. Some heart defects may show symptoms at birth or during childhood, while others are not surfaced until a person becomes an adult. Treatment may or may not be required, depending on the severity of the defect.

Cardiomyopathy

A progressive disease which prompts the heart to become abnormally thickened, enlarged and/or stiffened. Cardiomyopathy, also recognised as heart muscle disease restricts the heart muscle’s strength to pump blood efficiently. This frequently leads to other heart conditions, such as arrhythmia or heart failure.

Peripheral Artery Disease

A kind of vascular disease (diseases which affect the circulatory system), peripheral artery disease happens when cholesterol and fat deposits, or "plaque," build up in the peripheral arteries, which are the blood vessels outside the heart. This build-up (also known as atherosclerosis) narrows the artery walls, limiting the amount of blood flow to the body’s tissues. Depending on the arteries where the blockage happens, this can result in heart attack, stroke, renal (kidney) artery disease, and other critical conditions.

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Tags:  Vascular disease, Heart diseases, gangrene ,Vascular disease, Atherosclerosis, Cardiomyopathy, Arrhythmia , Symptoms of Atherosclerosis, •Breathing problems, heart disease, Peripheral Artery Disease, Coronary Artery Disease, heart attack, stroke, circulatory system

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