How Vascular Disease Effects Veins and Arteries
The heart is literally at the center of vascular disease. When your heart beats, blood is carried away from the heart by your arteries, and the veins bring the blood back to your heart, in a never-ending circle of life. When there is a disruption in this constant circulation of blood, it is said that vascular disease is present. Vascular disease includes problems with veins, arteries, lymph vessels, and any disease process of the blood that can affect its circulation.
Arteries feed the body with oxygen rich blood and nutrients. When blood flow from the heart is compromised the tissues will suffer from insufficient oxygen and nutrients. Insufficient blood flow can injure the body, precipitate tissue damage, and can eventually lead to death.
The most common cause of vascular disease is atherosclerosis, or a hardening of the inside of the artery. The exact cause of atherosclerosis is not as yet known, but we do know that it usually starts in early adulthood, and the disease process increases as the person ages. With mild atherosclerosis, people are asymptomatic. The following risk factors place people at a greater risk for this disease:
-Family history of cardiac disease
-Living in a stressful environment
-Not eating a healthy range of foods
-Having elevated cholesterol levels