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Ways to Assess Vascular Disease

By Chelsea Andrews Subscribe to RSS | January 10th 2012 | Views:

As a person gets older, the chance of acquiring a vascular disease increases as well. Thick and rigid arteries, blood clots that block the vessels and hinder the flow of blood to the brain will not only cause the frailty of the vessels but also to the rupture of those vessels that can lead to internal bleeding. Aside from age, there are also other factors that contribute to this disease.

Family history can also affect the possibility of acquiring this condition. Situations like pregnancies, as well as illnesses and injuries can as well lead to a problem in the muscular arteries. Additionally, unavoidable long periods of sitting and standing can add to the trouble. Unhealthy lifestyle such as smoking and obesity are risk factors too. Healthy living can be a natural treatment but there are also medical and surgical treatments for worse cases.

There are various diagnostic tests and examinations available to detect the presence of this health problem. Here are some of them:

A Look at the Patient’s Health History

A patient is questioned on whether he had arterial disease before. Having symptoms such as leg pains or foot pains can be possible indications. There are pains that may just be a result of a strain in the muscles brought by exercise or arthritis. Consulting a vascular surgeon can help one determine if the symptoms can lead to vascular disease.

Moreover, an assessment of vascular history would also include an inquiry on aneurysms, previous heart attacks or angina, and respiratory problems. Some arterial disease can occur along with other diseases. Venous and lymphatic problems are also investigated to properly assess the situation. Varicose veins and swellings in the leg can be indications of a vascular problem.

Initial Examination

Preliminary assessment of vascular disease is usually performed by looking, feeling, tapping, and listening. However, a comprehensive arterial examination is highly suggested wherein the hands or fingers are carefully examined to detect traces of smoking and high cholesterol in the blood.

In analyzing the presence of venous disease, doctors give high consideration on the shape and color of the legs. The presence of pigmentation, eczema, swelling, and ulceration can be indicative of serious arterial problems.

Diagnostic Tests and Other Examinations

Ultrasound and other forms of angiography can help confirm the presence of a vascular problem. Duplex ultrasound particularly is used to see the blood flow in the veins and arteries. It gives a good view of aortic aneurysms, carotid arteries, and arteries to the legs.

Intra-arterial angiogram offers an anatomy of the blood vessels and helps identify which of the vessels are problematic. On the other hand, magnetic resonance imaging provides good images of the arteries.

Lifestyle modification can help lessen the risk factors of vascular disease. Exercise and diet are easy and natural means. One can also perform personal health monitoring including examination of blood pressure, blood sugar, body mass index, cholesterol levels, and even waist size. A man with a 40-inch above and a woman with a 35-inch above waistline are likely to have a higher risk.

Chelsea Andrews - About Author:
We offer accurate screenings for vascular disease. Find out if you're at risk as early as now in order to make the necessary lifestyle changes right away.

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