Vascular HealthWorthington, OH
Maintaining your vascular health is one of the easiest ways to lower your risk of contracting a serious health condition. For some patients, this can be as simple as making a few lifestyle changes. Taking care of your vascular health can help maintain brain function while also keeping heart conditions and other diseases at bay.
Vascular health maintenance is available at The Heart Attack & Stroke Prevention Center in Worthington and the surrounding area. We can help you take proactive steps to wellness. Call us today at 614-360-9386 to schedule an appointment or learn more about our services.
Understanding Vascular Health
With few exceptions, everyone is born with normal, healthy blood vessels that feed the brain. For most people, however, these vessels begin to accumulate plaque by the teenage years. As a result, there is less room for healthy blood flow, and the vessels' functionality becomes limited. The blood vessels narrow due to the buildup of plaque, meaning the heart must work harder to pump blood to the brain and the rest of the body.
Putting the heart under too much stress can have dire consequences. Damaged coronary arteries reduce blood flow to the brain, potentially contributing to memory loss and overall slower brain function. Additionally, patients with damaged coronary arteries face a higher risk of heart attack and stroke. Luckily, it is never too late to start taking care of one's vascular health.
Types of Vascular Disease
The vascular system is a system of blood vessels, including arteries, veins, and capillaries. Arteries carry oxygen-rich blood from the heart to the tissues and organs. In contrast, veins carry blood and carbon dioxide back to the heart to be pumped to the lungs and get re-oxygenated. Capillaries, on the other hand, are tiny blood vessels linking the small arteries to the small veins. Vascular diseases are conditions that involve any of these aspects of the vascular system.
There are several different types of vascular disease, existing on a spectrum of severity. However, all have the potential to turn deadly — meaning they should all be taken seriously. Some of the most common types of vascular disease include aneurysms, atherosclerosis, blood clots, coronary artery disease/carotid artery disease, Raynaud's disease, stroke, varicose veins, and vasculitis.
Causes and Risk Factors of Vascular Disease
Different types of vascular disease have different causal factors. However, common ones include genetics, heart diseases, infection, injury, and medicines (including hormones). Other potential causes may be blood vessel blockage, inflammation, and trauma or injury. Still, in some cases, the cause is unknown.
Additionally, certain populations may be at heightened risk for vascular disease. Some vascular diseases more frequently affect older people, for example. Those with diabetes, high cholesterol, or any other conditions that affect the heart and blood vessels may also be at increased risk if they do not manage them appropriately. Family history also plays a part, as does obesity, lack of exercise, pregnancy, smoking, and having a sedentary lifestyle.
Maintaining Vascular Health
Vascular health maintenance is a crucial component of preventive cardiology. Making healthy lifestyle choices is one of the easiest ways to prevent vascular disease. The first line of defense involves eating a heart-healthy diet and exercising regularly. Patients who use tobacco products should stop immediately, and patients who do not should continue avoiding them.
Along with reducing overall stress, these factors can work together to lower blood pressure, blood sugar, and cholesterol levels. Those with diabetes should be extra careful in monitoring such vitals. Sitting and standing for excessive amounts of time can be detrimental, so regular movement is vital for sedentary lifestyles.
Some patients require more intensive measures and may benefit from taking blood pressure medicines, blood thinners, cholesterol medicines, or clot-dissolving drugs. Angioplasty, stenting, vein ablation, and other non-surgical procedures may also be necessary, with the surgery itself being the last resort. For optimum results, patients should maintain an open and honest relationship with their healthcare professional and go in for regular physical exams.
Call Us Today
Vascular health should never be taken lightly. Our team at The Heart Attack & Stroke Prevention Center can help determine the right treatment path for you. Call us today at 614-360-9386 to learn more or to schedule an appointment.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are men or women more at risk for vascular disease?
Men are typically more likely to contract vascular disease between the ages of 50 to 60. In contrast, women generally are more likely to contract vascular disease between 65 to 70. However, there is no marked difference between which sex is more at risk.
What makes age a risk factor for vascular disease?
It is only natural for an individual's heart to undergo some changes as they get older. Many times, this means the chambers of heart stop pumping blood as efficiently as they did before. Age is also often correlated with higher blood pressure, which can lead to heart failure, heart attack, and stroke.
Can vascular disease affect all parts of the body?
Yes. As mentioned before, poor vascular health can affect the brain while also increasing a patient's risk of heart attack and stroke. When a vascular disease affects any blood vessels outside the heart and brain, this is known as peripheral vascular disease. Peripheral vascular disease usually affects blood vessels in the arms, legs, stomach, or kidneys.
Can I have vascular disease without knowing it?
Different types of vascular disease have different kinds of symptoms. However, it is not unheard of for people with peripheral vascular disease to not experience any symptoms at all. When they do appear, symptoms may be mild — such as achiness, cramps, and fatigue. This makes it all the more important to consult a doctor as soon as you suspect you may have vascular health issues.
How is vascular disease diagnosed?
Diagnosis begins with a full and comprehensive overview of your medical history, along with an assessment of your current condition. Having a CIMT ultrasound done can give be your window to your artery disease whether you are having symptoms or not. Our team will work closely with you to run any necessary tests while laying the groundwork for a successful doctor-patient relationship. If you do not have vascular disease, we can help you maintain your vascular health by coming up with a customized prevention plan for your specific needs.
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