From the 1st September to 30th September it is Vascular Disease Awareness Month, and we here at Bud & Tender would like to do our bit in helping to raise that awareness.
Currently, the general public’s understanding of vascular disease is quite often poor, despite the fact that cardiovascular disease is one of the UK’s leading causes of death a disability. 27% of UK deaths are caused by heart and circulatory diseases, and it has been found that 44,000 people of under the age of 75 die every year from it. However, there are also around 7.4 million living with these diseases which shows the improving survival rate.
What is Vascular Disease?
Vascular disease is not one condition, however, it is any abnormal condition that affects your blood vessels, such as your arteries and veins. Blood vessels within the human body are used to circulate blood, and this network is referred to as the vascular or circulatory system. Any issues that arise within this network can lead to severe disabilities and death. Vascular disease can include issues with the body’s arteries, veins and vessels to issues with the body’s blood flow. Some issues can lead to the body’s tissues not getting enough blood, which is referred to as ischemia, that is just one of many other serious and life-threatening conditions that can occur. The most common vascular disease types are; varicose veins, abdominal aortic aneurysm, arteriovenous malformation, chronic venous insufficiency, stroke, carotid artery disease, deep vein thrombosis, pulmonary embolism, and peripheral artery disease.
Causes of Vascular Disease
Everyone is at risk of vascular disease, however, there is an increased chance in obesity and type II diabetes. Other high-risk factors are a family history of vascular disease, heart attacks or strokes, men are also at higher risk compared to women, high blood pressure, lack of physical activity, smoking or stress. Actual direct causes of vascular disease can be a build-up of plack in the arteries, blood vessel blockages by a mass of debris (embolus) or blood clot (thrombus), inflammation, and trauma or injury.
What is the treatment?
The way that vascular disease is usually treated is through lifestyle changes, this can be by switching to a healthy diet to lower blood sugars and cholesterol, managing stress, quitting smoking, increasing physical activity. Some vascular disease patients may also need some type of medication which can include drugs that prevent blood clots, cholesterol medication, and blood pressure medications.
Some serious cases may lead to patients needing medical procedures such as angioplasty, which is the widening and clearing of a blood vessel. However, if you have not been diagnosed with vascular disease, by making healthier lifestyle choices and changes it can help to keep you healthy and be, to a certain extent, a preventative measure.
We hope that this helped in building understanding and awareness when it comes to vascular disease and that you will go out of your way this month to show further support.