Heart Diseases Don’t Just Affect Your Heart

· July 7, 2017
We mustn't forget that heart diseases can affect our whole cardiovascular system and lead to complications that can even be life-threatening.

The Society for Vascular Surgery based in Chicago explains that heart diseases are normally linked to atherosclerosis. These diseases don’t just affect the heart. They can reach the legs, the feet, the kidneys and even the brain.

Furthermore, they advance progressively as plaque accumulates in the arteries. All this leads to what is known as peripheral artery disease (PAD).

When the arteries get blocked, it becomes more and more difficult for oxygen-carrying blood to circulate throughout the body.

Heart ailments and peripheral artery disease

Of all the types of heart disease, PAD is one of the most common in the United States.

These peripheral artery diseases arise when heart disease reaches the feet and legs.

When the blood doesn’t reach the extremities, the feet develop a kind of wound that doesn’t heal. In more serious cases, there can even be a risk of amputation.

Patients who feel pain when they walk should speak to their doctor and have a non-invasive test.

This will measure the blood pressure in the ankles so that other subsequent complications can be prevented.

See this article: Lower Blood Pressure without Medication

Good habits to prevent heart diseases

Overall, the best way to keep the arteries and veins in healthy condition is to bear in mind some basic health guidelines.

A good starting point is to know your own statistics. For example, this includes blood pressure, blood sugar levels and cholesterol.

In addition, among the factors that can lead to these diseases are:

  • Tobacco use
  • Stress
  • A sedentary lifestyle
  • A diet rich in fats, proteins and carbohydrates

Of course, regular physical exercise is one of the best prevention measures.

It is important for those who suffer from heart diseases to see specialists. The expert will assess the risk factors of the specific case and will provide the patient with lifelong treatment.

If non-invasive treatments are not effective, the next step is to unblock the blood vessels. Then, surgical practices are used to divert the blocked arteries.

Heart diseases and cardiovascular diseases

Although these two types of disease can be confused, they do in fact refer to different parts of the body.

Heart disease affects the heart and the blood vessels of the heart.

As you may know, your heart is a strong muscle that acts as a pump and is the size of a fist. It continuously pumps blood around your circulatory system with constant flow to all parts of the body.

In reality, illnesses and problems of the heart and blood vessels do not come on suddenly.

Over time, the arteries that carry the blood to the heart and brain can get blocked, mostly due to the accumulation of cholesterol and fat.

This reduction in blood flow to the heart due to these obstructions in the arteries can lead to heart attacks. On the other hand, insufficient blood flow to the brain due to a blood clot is the cause of brain hemorrhages.

Heart diseases in women

Some women think that heart diseases are a men’s problem. However, the reality is that these diseases affect women, too. 

Do you want to find out more? 8 Bad Habits that Damage Your Heart

Types of heart and cardiovascular diseases


This disease appears when the arteries get thinner and thinner and harden.

As we get old, it is normal for the arteries to harden to some extent. However, in people who suffer from atherosclerosis, the inner walls of the arteries narrow more due to the accumulation of plaque.

Brugada syndrome

This is a genetic disease.

It is caused by changes in the genes that direct the formation of cardiac proteins, which regulate the flow of ions through the cellular membrane (ion channels).

Idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura

This hemorrhaging disorder arises when the platelets of our immune system are destroyed.

These platelets are essential for normal blood clotting.

Make sure to stay informed about heart diseases. Eat healthy, get plenty of exercise, and take care of your health. It’s worth it!