Heart and blood vessel disease includes numerous problems, many of which are related to plaque buildup in the walls of the arteries. This buildup narrows the arteries, making it harder for blood to flow through. If a blood clot forms, it can stop the blood flow. This can cause a heart attack or stroke.
While it is not known for certain why hardening of the arteries occurs, the risk factors include:
- High cholesterol
- High blood pressure
- Family history of CAD
There may not be symptoms in the early stages of carotid artery disease, and in fact your very first symptom could be a stroke.
Warning symptoms of a stroke include:
- Feeling weakness, numbness, or a tingling sensation on one side of your body
- Being unable to control movement of an arm or leg
- Losing vision in one eye
- Being unable to speak clearly or at all
Cerebrovascular refers to blood flow in your brain. A cerebrovascular disease includes all disorders where an area of the brain is affected by an inadequate blood supply or bleeding. Cerebrovascular disease includes stroke, carotid stenosis, vertebral stenosis and intracranial stenosis, aneurysms, and vascular malformations.
Warning signs may include some or all of the following symptoms, which are usually sudden:
- Dizziness, nausea or vomiting
- Unusually severe headache
- Confusion, disorientation or memory loss
- Numbness, weakness in an arm, leg or the face, especially on one side
- Abnormal or slurred speech
- Difficulty with comprehension
- Loss of vision or difficulty seeing
- Loss of balance, coordination or the ability to walk
Peripheral vascular disease (PVD) frequently goes undiagnosed due to the reality that only half the individuals with PVD have symptoms. Most often the symptoms are caused by the leg muscles not getting enough blood. Whether you have symptoms depends partly on which artery is affected and to what extent blood flow is restricted. When you develop this condition, your extremities — usually your legs — don't receive enough blood flow to keep up with demand.
- Pain or cramping in your hip, thigh or calf muscles when walking (intermittent claudication)
- Leg numbness or weakness
- Coldness in your lower leg or foot, especially when compared with the other side
- Sores on your toes, feet or legs that won't heal
- A change in the color of your legs
- Hair loss or slower hair growth on your feet and legs
- Slower growth of your toenails
- Shiny skin on your legs
- No pulse or a weak pulse in your legs or feet
Having symptoms while at rest is a sign of more severe disease.
Pulmonary vascular disease is any condition that affects the blood vessels between the heart and lungs. Blood travels from the heart, to the lungs, and back to the heart. This process continually refills the blood with oxygen, and lets carbon dioxide be exhaled.