Circulation-blood vessel disease
Circulation refers to blood circulating throughout the body. The major cause of circulation problems is usually a heart attack, but can also be caused by injury, breathing problems, shock, etc. If the person is not breathing than circulation will also stop, therefore, CPR must be started as soon as possible.
It simply refers to the narrowing of the blood vessels by plaque build up. This will cause poor blood flow to any part of the body, including the heart which can cause a heart attack, or the brain which can cause a stroke. In the case of a heart attack the blood vessels (coronary arteries) have become blocked and no longer allow blood to flow through to the heart muscle. As a result the heart muscles can not function properly and will soon die.
Non-Modifiable Risk Factors, meaning you can not control these. They include; age, gender (male or female), type I diabetes, heredity/genetics. Modifiable Risk Factors, meaning you can control these. They include: smoking, obesity, sedentary life style, high blood pressure/hypertension, and diet (e.g. fat/cholesterol intake).
More on risk factors:
- Age: as we get older there is a bigger risk of heart disease simply because weíve had more time to damage our bodies
- Gender: men have a higher chance for two main reasons:
- men carry excess fat higher up in the bodies which affects internal organs. The belief is that this causes higher blood sugar and higher cholesterol
- Estrogen (which men donít have) has been shown to reduce the chance of heart disease in women
- Diabetes: this disease, over years, will cause damage to small blood vessels which affects circulation. This can lead to heart disease, kidney failure, blindness, and amputations
- Genetics: as unfair as this may seem there are some people genetically predisposed to developing heart disease. If heart disease has been a problem with older family members then this may also be a problem for you
- Smoking: there is no doubt that smoking is harmful. What some people donít realize is that it is not just a risk for lung cancer. The poisonous chemicals in smoking are absorbed by the blood and carried throughout the body. These poisonous chemicals cause high blood pressure, cause your arteries to become very stiff, and cause plaque to build up in the arteries
- Obesity: having excess fat puts a lot of stress on your body. It also causes high blood pressure, high triglycerides, and is associated with high sugar levels in the blood. Losing excess fat is not easy but following a healthy eating style and being physically active is the best approach
- Sedentary lifestyle: Exercise is one of the best things you can do for your body. It strengthens the heart muscle, lowers blood pressure, controls excess calories from being stored as fat, strengthens bones and muscles, etc. To stay healthy exercise should be done almost daily. So, go for a walk, jog, swim, play tennis, squash, do an aerobic class, etc. Whatever you need to do to get your body moving
- High blood pressure (HBP): this is defined as the force the blood is exerting on your arteries as it flows through them. It is also called hypertension. If the pressure is too great the blood vessels stretch beyond their capacity which will lead to small cracks. These small cracks are wounds which must heal. This means that as they heal there may be scar tissue that develops in the area which may impede blood flow. Or, if pressure is too high, the blood vessel may simply burst causing an aneurysm. Despite contrary belief there are no warning signs for HBP except to have it checked by your physician at least once a year
- Poor diet: most people in North America have poor eating habits. Way too much processed, refined, and high saturated-fat foods, too much sugar, etc. And, not nearly enough fresh fruits and vegetables. Poor diets can easily lead to high cholesterol, obesity, HBP, type 2 diabetes, etc
- The more risk factors you have the higher your chance of developing blood vessel disease. There is no cure for blood vessel disease. That is why it is so important to start regular life style habits early on
Tiring easily, chest pain when physically active, out of breath when moving around, etc.
Treatment involves having a physical check up. If there is a problem then your physician will discuss possible treatment options.