Health problems can come in different ways, one of them being a vascular disorder. Vascular disorders affect the system carrying blood throughout the body. The problem can be localized, i.e., confined to an organ or a part of the body, or generalized – spreading throughout the body. Taking the importance of the blood and blood vessels into account, it is easy to determine that vascular disorders can be life-threatening. The Center for Vascular Medicine is raising awareness of this health problem and has identified the common vascular disorders.
General Risk Factors
Vascular disorders affect the arteries and veins that transport blood to and from the body. Victims may suffer serious cardiovascular complications like heart attacks, strokes, and blood clots when such health problems arise.
Identifying and understanding the problem can help to create a better treatment path. For people with a history of such problems, understanding the risk factors can also help.
Here are some of the general risk factors for vascular diseases.
- Being obese or overweight
- Being over 60 years old
- Living a sedentary life with little to no exercise
- Lifestyle choices like smoking
- Having a family history of vascular diseases
- Taking hormonal birth control
- Having high cholesterol, atherosclerosis, type 2 diabetes or being hypertensive
Types of Vascular Diseases
Vascular diseases are presented in various forms. Some of the common types include;
Peripheral vascular disease
This refers to vascular diseases affecting blood vessels outside the heart and brain. The fatty deposit, in this case, is commonly referred to as plaque. Plaque accumulates in the inner walls of the blood vessels, causing clogs that narrow the passage. The more the plaques, the harder it is for blood to flow through the vessels.
A common form of peripheral vascular disease is peripheral artery disease (PAD), affecting blood vessels anywhere in the body, especially the arteries in the legs.
Limb-threatening ischemia is an advanced stage of peripheral artery disease (PAD). This disease decrease blood flows to the limbs and can cause nerve damage, leg infections, and leg ulcer.
This disease is often characterized by painful symptoms, including severe pain in the affected limb, numbness or weakness in the affected limb, and paleness or coldness of the affected limb.
Carotid artery disease
This is a medical condition involving plaque accumulation in the carotid arteries. The carotid arteries are large arteries located on either side of the neck.
When blocked by plaque, the arteries are unable to function properly, thus limiting or cutting off blood supply to the head and brain.
Victims of such health conditions are likely to be unaware until extensive tests are carried out. The major indication of this problem is often a mini-stroke or a full-blown stroke.
Abdominal aortic aneurysm
An abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) is characterized by a bulge in the aorta of the abdomen. The aorta is the main artery transporting blood from the heart to the other body parts.
This disease is often common in the elderly population. The weakening of the aorta causes it. It is important to note that the aneurysm may not be harmful or present symptoms. However, it can be dangerous when it bursts open, leading to internal bleeding.
Chronic venous insufficiency
The body is designed to counteract blood pooling, an effect that may be caused by gravitational pull. However, blood pooling may become possible when the body loses its normal function.
When healthy veins become unhealthy, the chances that they may be unable to perform their full function exists. This may lead to chronic vein insufficiency. This venous disease is often characterized by blood clots, inflammation in the veins, as well as infections and ulcers.
Varicose veins are mostly in the leg region. They are swollen and enlarged veins and can be a complication arising from chronic venous insufficiency (CVI).
This disease can be addressed through medication and lifestyle changes. Medically, lifestyle changes surrounding rest, avoidance of excessive standing, elevated feet or affected areas when resting, and wearing compression socks can help.
Deep vein thrombosis
Deep vein thrombosis can be a genetically transmitted disease or can develop later in life. It is characterized by blood clots that affect the free flow of blood throughout the body. There are certain lifestyle choices that can predispose one to this health problem.
Risk factors include;
- Sitting in place for long periods without movement (e.g., long flights or lengthy road trips)
- Using hormonal birth control pills,
- Being overweight
- Recent surgery or injury to the leg.