Vascular disease can be a serious medical condition that can affect the blood vessels in the body. When the arteries and veins have an abnormal condition, it can lead to several different kinds of vascular diseases. A variety of common vascular diseases include peripheral artery disease (PAD), strokes, carotid artery disease, arteriovenous malformation, pulmonary embolisms (otherwise known as blood clots), varicose veins, deep vein thrombosis, and arteriovenous malformation.
What is Vascular Disease?
Vascular disease occurs when there is an abnormal condition of the blood vessels in the body. The vascular system includes the capillaries, veins, and arteries that move the blood from the heart of the rest of the body and back again. When there are problems of the vascular system, it can be serious and even deadly.
Arteries can stiffen and become thick in the disease called atherosclerosis. Blood clots can cause severe damage if they travel to the lungs or the brain. Even weak blood vessels can cause huge detrimental health effects if they burst, causing internal bleeding.
Who is at Risk for Vascular Disease?
Everyone is at risk for vascular disease, especially with the increase in type II diabetes and obesity. Vascular diseases have become an epidemic among Americans and it affects millions of people every year.
Both men and women are equally affected by vascular disease, though the different kinds of diseases affect the genders differently. It can happen at any time, regardless of age. However, there are some factors that may make vascular disease more likely.
If your family has a history of heart disease or vascular disease, you are more at risk for developing a disease as well. If you are pregnant or have long periods of sitting or standing, you are more at risk of developing vascular diseases. Smoking and obesity can also put you into a higher risk category.
It is also important to consider if you or your family has a history of high blood pressure, diabetes, or high cholesterol. Having a family history of kidney disease can also put you at greater risk for vascular disease.
What are the symptoms of vascular disease?
Though there are different symptoms of for each kind of vascular disease, if you notice any of the following symptoms, make sure you contact your doctor immediately. Many people have no symptoms or only notice mild symptoms.
If there is claudication, you may experience cramps in your arms or legs when you exercise. The pain will disappear after a few minutes of rest. Calf pain is one of the most common locations of claudication.
You may also notice cramping in your thighs, hips, or calves after certain activities like climbing the stairs. If you notice any numbness in your legs or weakness, you should consider going to your physician.
Make an appointment at one of Metro Vascular Centers locations to receive an individualized treatment plan. Metro Vascular Centers and their notable surgeons will take care of vascular, peripheral arterial disease, and deep vein issues, customized to your individual health needs.