Vascular disease refers to the affliction of an individual's blood vessels that subsequently results in disease. The vascular systems comprise two main parts, which are the arterial system and the venous system. The arteries function to ensure that blood is pumped from your lungs to your heart. Your veins, on the other hand, are tasked with transporting blood from the heart to the lungs where the blood is infused with oxygen. The onset of vascular disease is quite dangerous, as it could impede on the functioning of your cells, as they will not be receiving an adequate supply of oxygen. Since the arteries are the vessels that provide oxygenated blood to your body, most vascular disease will stem from the arteries becoming compromised.

What is arterial disease?

This type of vascular disease will affect your arteries. It typically comes about when there is a gradual accumulation of fat and cholesterol within the arteries. The excess fats will cause the formation of plaque within your arterial walls, which makes their diameter much smaller than it should be. As the arteries narrow, they lose their inability to sufficiently transport blood to the different areas of your body that require it.  There are several types of arterial disease that one could develop, including the following:

  • Strokes: This is one of the most common ways that arterial disease will manifest. With increased accumulation of cholesterol within the arteries, they eventually become blocked, which causes the artery to burst and will lead to some of your brain cells to die.

  • PAD: This is also known as Peripheral Artery Disease. If there is a blockage in the arteries, it could cause chronic pain or cramps in your legs. Other symptoms of PAD include changing of your skin colour, the formation of sores and chronic fatigue due to decreased blood circulation. If PAD is not addressed, it could lead to the development of gangrene in your limbs and eventual amputation.

  • Renal arterial disease: As the name suggests, this type of vascular disease will occur when there is a blockage in the renal arteries. One of the main symptoms of renal arterial disease is the development of hypertension since the blood pressure will be high due to the constricted arteries. Renal arterial disease can also impede on the functionality of the kidneys, as they will not be receiving sufficient blood supply. If renal arterial disease does not receive medical attention, it could result in heart failure.

For more information about vascular disease and what you should do if you have it, contact a vascular surgeon in your area.