Circulatory System Diseases are interruptions, blockage, or diseases that affect the way the heart or blood vessels pump blood. They can cause complications like heart disease or stroke.
The heart and blood vessels are part of the circulatory system. It plays a very important role in keeping your body functioning. Furthermore, this finely tuned system carries electrolytes, oxygen, hormones, and nutrients throughout the body.
Furthermore, the oxygen we breathe gets mixed into the blood in our lungs, and the heart pumps this blood to every part of the body. Each heartbeat is a contraction of the heart as it pumps blood throughout the body.
The heart has four chambers. The left atrium, right atrium, right ventricle, and left ventricle make up these chambers. One-way valves separate them, meaning that blood flows in one direction only. The veins carry blood to the heart while the arteries carry blood to the rest of the body.
In addition, these complications can come up because of a host of factors. These factors could be a result of either genetics or lifestyle.
Circulatory System Diseases
In this part of the article, we would take a look at some Circulatory System Diseases and also what their symptoms are.
Some of these Circulatory System Diseases are:
#1. Heart Attacks
A heart attack happens when enough blood does not get to the heart. It can happen when there is artery blockage. The technical term for a heart attack is Myocardial Infarction (MI).
Also, heart attacks destroy the heart muscle and are medical emergencies.
Call 911 or have someone else call if you notice symptoms like:
- Pain in the center or left side of the chest that feels like mild or severe discomfort, pressure, fullness, or squeezing
- Pain that comes from the jaw, shoulder, arm, or across the back
- Shortness of Breath
- Irregular Heartbeat
Additionally, women usually experience heart attacks slightly differently. It comes with pressure or aching in their back and chest.
#2. High Blood Pressure
To begin with, Blood Pressure is the measurement of the amount of force used to pump blood through the arteries.
Another name for High Blood Pressure is Hypertension. It means the force used in pumping blood through the arteries is higher than it should be. Also, it can destroy your heart and cause heart disease, stroke, or kidney disease.
Furthermore, this circulatory system disease is often called “the silent killer” because it has no symptoms that let you know something is wrong.
However, you can check your blood pressure from time to time so it doesn’t take you unawares.
For more info, you can read our article on ways to reduce high blood pressure here.
#3. Heart Failure
Sometimes called Congestive Heart Failure, Heart Failure is a Circulatory System Disease. Heart failure happens when the muscle of the heart is weak or destroyed. Thus, It is no longer able to pump the volume of blood required through the body.
Also, Heart Failure usually happens when you have had heart issues like a heart attack or Coronary Artery Disease.
Furthermore, early symptoms of this circulatory system disease are swelling in your ankles, fatigue, and an increased need to urinate at night. Additionally, there are other severe symptoms like chest pain, rapid breathing, and fainting.
For more info on Heart Failure, you can read this article by Health Line.
#4. Atherosclerosis and Coronary Artery Disease
Atherosclerosis is also seen as the hardening of the arteries. It happens when plaque builds upon the walls of your arteries which will eventually block blood flow. Plaque is made up of cholesterol, calcium, and fat.
It is usually caused by a diet high in fat. They leave fatty deposits on the lining of the blood vessels. As these fatty deposits stick together, they make the arteries hard and less flexible.
Also, this circulatory system disease can cause high blood pressure, which can damage the heart and kidneys. And, it can even lead to strokes.
Coronary Artery Disease (CAD) shows that the buildup of plaque in your arteries has made your arteries to narrow and harden. Also, blood clots can block the arteries.
Furthermore, CAD develops over time. It is very possible to have it and not be aware of any symptoms.
Additionally, at other times, it might cause chest pain or the sensation of heaviness in the chest.
#5. Abdominal Aortic Aneurisms
Abdominal Aortic Aneurism can be described as a bulge in a weakened part of the aorta. It is the largest blood vessel in the human body.
Furthermore, it is responsible for carrying blood from your heart to your abdomen, legs, and pelvis. If for any reason the aorta ruptures, it can lead to heavy bleeding which is life-threatening.
An abdominal aortic aneurism can stay small and never cause problems. In this case, your doctor might use the “wait and watch” approach.
However, when it becomes bigger, you might feel pain in your abdomen or back. Rapidly large growing Abdominal Aortic Aneurisms have a higher risk of rupturing. These need immediate attention.
A Stroke is a Circulatory System Disease that usually occurs when a blood clot blocks an artery in the brain and reduces the blood supply.
Furthermore, they can happen when a blood vessel in the brain breaks open. These two events prevent blood and oxygen from getting to the brain. Thus, parts of the brain are likely to be destroyed.
Additionally, a stroke needs immediate medical attention. You can identify this circulatory system disease with a F.A.S.T test where:
- F – Face Drooping
- A – Arms Weakness
- S – Speech Difficulty
- T – Time to Call 911
#7. Peripheral Artery Disease (PAD)
Peripheral Artery Disease (PAD) is Atherosclerosis that occurs in a very severe degree, usually in the legs. It reduces the flow of blood to the legs, as well as to the brain and heart.
If you have this Circulatory System Disease, you’re at high risk of getting other Circulatory system diseases.
Furthermore, a lot of people have no symptoms with this circulatory system disease. However, if you do, symptoms could include:
- Feeling coolness in your legs or feet
- Redness or other changes in skin color
- Pain or cramping in the legs, especially when you are walking
- Sores that do not heal on the feet or legs
#8. Mitral Valve Prolapse
This is a circulatory system disease in which the two valve flaps of the Mitral Valve do not close smoothly. Instead, they prolapse (bulge) upwards into the left atrium.
In other words, Mitral Valve Prolapse means that the mitral valve bulges out or prolapses because it does not evenly close. Furthermore, the mitral valve is responsible for pumping freshly oxygenated blood out of the heart to other parts of the body.
In addition, Click-Murmur Syndrome, Barlow’s Syndrome or Floppy Valve Syndrome are other names for Mitral Valve Prolapse.
Furthermore, this circulatory system disease has been linked with symptoms like:
- Passing out or fainting
- Fluttering or very fast heartbeat called palpitations
- Panic and Anxiety
- Numbness or tingling in the hands and feet
- Shortness of breath, especially when it comes to exercise
When these symptoms occur together, they are sometimes called mitral valve prolapse syndrome. However, experts don’t know if mitral valve prolapse itself causes these symptoms. Since these symptoms and mitral valve prolapse are so common, they could often occur together by chance.
When these symptoms appear together, they are sometimes referred to as Mitral Valve Prolapse Syndrome.
However, experts are yet to find out if Mitral Valve Prolapse is the root of these symptoms.
#9. Angina Pectoris
Angina Pectoris is also another name for Stable Angina. It means “pain in the chest” and occurs when the heart does not receive enough blood. People usually describe it as a crushing sensation or feeling like their chest is in a vice.
Also, this circulatory system disease usually leads to an uncomfortable pressure, fullness, squeezing or pain in the center of the chest region. You might also feel some discomfort in your arm, back, neck, jaw or shoulder.
Emotional stress, exposure to very hot or cold temperatures, heavy meals, and smoking are triggers of Angina Pectoris.
If you experience chest discomfort, visit your doctor for a complete evaluation and, if necessary, tests. Then, if you have stable angina and begin to get chest pain more easily and often, see your doctor immediately. This is because you might be going through early signs of unstable angina.
#10. Cardiac Ischemia
Cardiac Ischemia refers to the lack of blood flow and oxygen to the heart muscle. It occurs when an artery narrows or blocks for a short period. This stops oxygen-rich blood from getting to the heart.
In other words, Cardiac Ischemia means the heart muscle is not receiving enough oxygen to function well. A person with Cardiac Ischemia usually experiences Angina-like pain and might like they are having a heart attack.
Severe or long-lasting Ischemia can lead to a heart attack (myocardial infarction) which can result in heart tissue death. In a lot of cases, a temporary blood shortage to the heart can cause the pain of Angina Pectoris. However, in other cases, there is no pain. Such cases are referred to as Silent Ischemia.
Furthermore, Silent Ischemia might also disturb the rhythm of the heart. Abnormal rhythms like Ventricular Tachycardia or Ventricular Fibrillation can cause interference with the heart’s pumping ability and cause fainting or sudden cardiac death.
Silent Ischemia does not have any symptoms. Nevertheless, researchers have discovered that if you have episodes of noticeable chest pain, you might also be having episodes of Silent Ischemia.
Some circulatory system diseases, like Stroke and Heart Attacks, are life-threatening and require immediate medical attention.
Furthermore, people who experience heart pain should visit their healthcare team as soon as possible.
Lastly, people concerned that they are at risk of developing circulatory system diseases can ask for how to make healthful lifestyle changes from their doctor.
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