Are you at an increased risk for vascular disease?
Vascular disease is any condition that affects the blood vessels, which circulate blood throughout the body. When there is a problem with how the blood vessels function, serious and even life-threatening complications can occur. Therefore, it’s important to know when to visit our Grand Rapids, MI, cardiologist Dr. Ronald VanderLaan for a screening.
While there are certain risk factors such as obesity that can increase your risk for vascular disease, anyone at any time in their life can develop a vascular disease. Plaque can even begin to buildup in the arteries as early as your teen years.
Common Types of Vascular Diseases
Common vascular diseases include,
- Peripheral artery disease (PAD)
- Aortic aneurysm
- Pulmonary embolism (blood clot)
- Deep vein thrombosis (DVT)
- Chronic venous insufficiency (CVI)
- Varicose veins
Signs and Symptoms of Vascular Disease
Since vascular disease can happen to anyone it’s important to be aware of common warning signs so that you can visit your Grand Rapids, MI, heart doctor right away. While different types of vascular disease present with different symptoms it’s important to schedule an appointment with us if you are experiencing any of these issues,
- Painful cramping in your hips, calves or thighs during activity
- Weakness or numbness in the leg
- Coldness in your lower leg or foot compared to the other leg
- Sores or open wounds on the foot or leg that won’t heal
- Sudden weakness or numbness on one side of the body
- Changes in vision
- Speech problems (e.g. slurred speech), which is a sign of a stroke
Should you be screened for vascular diseases?
You may be at an increased risk for vascular diseases if:
- You’ve been diagnosed with diabetes
- You have high cholesterol
- You are a smoker
- You have high blood pressure
- You are obese
- You lead a sedentary lifestyle
- You have a family history of vascular disease
If you have any of these risk factors then it’s time to talk to your cardiologist about getting a vascular screening test to check the health of your arteries and blood vessels. Of course, everyone can benefit from routine vascular screenings.
Remember, even those without risk factors may still develop vascular disease so it’s important that you turn to our Grand Rapid, MI, heart specialists if you are experiencing any changes to your health. Call Grand Rapids Cardiology today to learn more.