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Vascular Diseases

Vessels are responsible for carrying the oxygen required by the organs and sending the dirty blood back to the heart. Each vessel has a specific task in the circulation system. Vessels carrying the clean blood are defined as the arteries and those carrying the dirty blood as the veins. There are also vessels, which are responsible for carrying the defense cells of the body and are defined as lymph.

Vessels may be damaged due to several reasons and loose their function. This ultimately affects the overall health status of the patient significantly. Vascular diseases generally develop over the age 50 and are fatal.

What are the vascular diseases?

Vascular diseases are described as the blockage, narrowing or ballooning of the vessels and thus the consequent disruption of blood circulation. Main vascular diseases are coronary artery disease, cerebrovascular disease and peripheral vascular diseases.

In coronary artery diseases, the arteries feeding the heart are blocked or narrowed. They lead to severe problems such as heart attack or heart pain named as angina.

Cerebrovascular diseases are caused by the problems in the vessels supplying blood to the brain. Stroke or paralysis may develop as a result of blockage or narrowing of the carotid artery.

Peripheral vascular diseases are caused by the problems in the vessels supplying blood to the organs other than the heart and the brain and providing circulation to these regions. Gangrene may develop as a result of this disease, which mainly occurs in the legs.

Risk Factors for Vascular Diseases

The following are the risk factors for vascular diseases:

  • Smoking
  • Hypertension
  • Diabetes
  • Genetic factors
  • Being overweight and obese
  • Advanced age
  • Hormonal changes during pregnancy and menopause
  • Irregular use of oral contraceptives

How to prevent vascular diseases?

Main cause of vascular diseases is the blockage and narrowing of the vessels in a way to disrupt the normal flow of blood. Atherosclerosis (arterial stiffness) develops as a result of fat deposition, known as cholesterol, within the vessel and narrowing of the vessel due to this deposition. It takes long years for this condition to develop. It is possible to prevent vascular diseases by adopting a healthy life-style beginning from childhood, eating healthy food and making regular exercises.

The following steps will help to prevent vascular diseases:

  • To adopt a lifestyle free from smoking and other tobacco products.
  • To avoid alcohol consumption.
  • To control hypertension and diabetes.
  • To be always at ideal weight.
  • To adopt Mediterranean type nutrition.
  • To avoid fast food and processed food.
  • To regularly make exercise and sports as a part of lifestyle.
  • To pay attention to hygiene. (Buerger’s disease)
  • To avoid sudden transition between very hot and very cold conditions.

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