Cardiovascular Diseases

Cardiovascular diseases are diseases of the heart and the rest of the body’s blood vessels. The main cause for the disease is blockage of your arteries, known as atherosclerosis. You get different symptoms depending on where in the body arteriosclerosis is most developed.

Types of cardiovascular diseases

Cerebrovascular Accident (Stroke)
Cerebrovascular disease
Congestive Heart Failure
Coronary Artery Disease
Myocardial infarction (Heart Attack)
Peripheral vascular disease

Cardiovascular Disease Symptoms

Most common is that you get symptoms of atherosclerosis of the heart, brain or leg arteries.

The symptoms of heart is mainly angina, which you get when the blood supply to the heart is insufficient, or in severe cases, a blood clot in the heart, called myocardial infarction. Atherosclerosis in the brain may also lead to a clot, which in turn can lead to paralysis or speech disorder. Atherosclerosis in the legs can lead to “claudication” (intermittent claudication), which is severe pain when walking.  It progresses to rest pain and may even end up with gangrene.

What causes heart disease?

Calcification of arteries is the leading cause of cardiovascular disease. Atherosclerosis involves a narrowing of the blood vessels so that blood flow is impaired, leading to the areas affected may be too little oxygen and nutrients. The calcified vessel is often broken and blood starts forming small clots.

Risk Factors
All people may get heart disease. It starts in your 20’s and increases with age. But there are a number of known risk factors contributing to the exacerbation of atherosclerosis and leads to disease at an early age:

Tobacco smoking
If atherosclerosis in the family.
Diabetes, type 1 and type 2
High blood pressure
High cholesterol content in blood
Obesity, especially abdominal obesity
Too little exercise

Early atherosclerosis has no symptoms. In more severe atherosclerosis can get chest pain and angina. If a calcified area in one of the coronary artery defects, can cause a blood clot in the heart. A typical warning sign is oppressive chest pain that may radiate to the left arm. The pain often comes with exertion, but can also show up during sleep.

Atherosclerosis of cerebral arteries can lead to cerebral thrombosis or cerebral haemorrhage (stroke), symptoms of impaired brain function, weakness, or speech disorders and is then called a TIA (transient ischemic attack), or cause permanent failure of brain function.

Arteriosclerosis in the leg arteries can get “claudication”, or intermittent claudication. When you exercise you get sore legs, especially in the calf muscles. The pain disappears after 5-10 minutes rest. More severe atherosclerosis can cause ulcers and possibly gangrene of the toes and feet.

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