Circulatory System Disorders

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Overview

The circulatory system is an organization of vessels that transport blood from the heart to other organs and then back to the heart. Any problem within these vessels, or the system as a whole, is termed as circulatory system disorder. Some of the common disorders are listed below:

  • Atherosclerosis
  • Hypertension
  • Arteriosclerosis
  • Vasculitis
  • Aneurysms

Causes

The specific cause of each disorder is slightly different, but the following are the general causes and risk factors that contribute to all of the disorders:

  • Unhealthy diet
  • Lack of exercise
  • Cigarette smoking
  • Hereditary abnormalities in the vessel walls
  • High salt diet
  • Immune system dysfunction

Symptoms

The symptoms of vascular disorders vary with the disorder, below are listed some of the more characteristic symptoms of each disorder:

  • Atherosclerosis – Chest pain, heart attack, Stroke
  • Hypertension – Headaches, swelling, heart disease
  • Arteriosclerosis – leads to hypertension
  • Vasculitis – bleeding, vessel wall damage leading to atherosclerosis, pain
  • Aneurysms – pressure symptoms on surrounding structure, bleeding due to rupture of an aneurysm

Diagnosis

The diagnosis of such circulatory system disorders is made mainly on the basis of history and physical examination of the patient. Some of the following blood tests can aid the diagnosis further:

  • Blood Cholesterol profile
  • Measurement of blood pressure
  • Immunofluorescence testing
  • Doppler ultrasound

Treatment

The treatment depends on the specific disorder, however, changing form an unhealthy to a healthy lifestyle seems to play a major role in the treatment of most circulatory system disorders.

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