Circulatory disorders

What are circulatory disorders?

A circulatory disorder is any disorder or condition that affects the circulatory system and can occur because of problems with the heart, blood vessels or the blood. There are many circulatory disorders including coronary artery disease, hypertension and stroke. These conditions can arise due to a variety of factors such as genetics or lifestyle

What are the symptoms of a circulatory disorder?

Signs and symptoms of a circulatory disorder may include:

  • Chest pain, including tightness, pressure and discomfort
  • Breathlessness
  • Pain, numbness or weakness in your legs or arms
  • Cold intolerance
  • Ulcers, which do not heal 

Which diseases can affect the circulatory system?

The diseases that can affect the circulatory system include:

  • Atherosclerosis - the hardening of the arteries
  • Heart attack - when the blood supply is cut off from the heart
  • Mitral valve prolapse - the mitral valve does not close properly 
  • Mitral valve regurgitation - where the mitral valve leaks
  • Mitral stenosis - the valve is abnormally narrow
  • Angina pectoris - 'pain in the chest' when the heart is not receiving enough blood
  • Arrhythmias and dysrhythmia - abnormal heart rates
  • Cardiac ischemia - the heart is not receiving enough oxygen
  • High cholesterol - which blocks blood flow
  • Heart failure - the heart is not pumping blood correctly
  • Hypertension - the blood pressure is flowing with a high force 
  • Stroke - a vessel to the brain is blocked 
  • Peripheral artery disease - narrowing of the arteries leading to the legs, stomach, arms and head
  • Venous thromboembolism - blood clot stuck in a vein
  • Aortic aneurysm - the artery become enlarged. 

What increases the risk of a circulatory system disease?

Some risk factors can be modified, such as being overweight, lack of exercise, smoking, excess alcohol consumption, being highly-stressed and poor diet. 

There are some risk factors that cannot be controlled, including older age, family history of heart disease and certain ethnicities.

How can circulatory disorders be prevented?

There are many things that can be done to lower the risk of a circulatory disorder. Many of these diseases are linked to one another, for example, high blood pressure can damage the blood vessels and that can lead to other circulatory problems.

In order to prevent a circulatory disorder, you can eat a healthy well-balanced diet to reduce your weight, start regularly exercising and if one of your family members has a diagnosed heart problem, you should make sure you have regular check-ups with your doctor to monitor your own heart health with screenings

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