Cardiovascular Disease is characterized by blood vessels being narrowed or blocked, and can lead to a heart attack, chest pain (angina), or stroke. If you have a family history of cardiovascular disease or believe you may have cardiovascular disease, it is critically important to receive early diagnosis and treatment to prevent worsening progression. With early detection, healthy habits such as diet and exercise can prevent worsening or even improve cardiovascular disease.
Common Symptoms of Cardiovascular Disease
- Chest pain, chest tightness, chest pressure and chest discomfort (angina)
- Shortness of breath
- Pain, numbness, weakness or coldness in your legs or arms
- Pain in the neck, jaw, throat, upper abdomen, or back
Atherosclerosis prevents adequate oxygen and nutrients from reaching the limbs, caused by a buildup of hard, fatty material inside the artery walls which narrows the artery. It is critically important to be aware of common signs and symptoms of atherosclerosis, before a heart attack or stroke occurs. Chest pains, shortness of breath, and numbness or pain in the extremities are all possible signs of atherosclerosis. Make sure to discuss any possible symptoms with your doctor to improve the likelihood of diagnosing cardiovascular disease early.
Since atherosclerosis is the primary cause of cardiovascular disease, preventing it is essential to protect your heart. Thankfully, atherosclerosis is highly preventable with proper diet and exercise habits. Speak to your doctor for advice on what you can do to change your lifestyle to avoid cardiovascular disease.
Have you ever wondered what causes a heart attack? A heart attack occurs when blood flow to the heart is severely restricted or blocked. Multiple arteries nourish different sections of the heart muscle, and affected areas of the heart can start to die if blood cannot reach them.
Call 911 immediately if you or someone close to you is experiencing symptoms of a heart attack. These symptoms can include chest discomfort, shortness of breath, and/or discomfort in the upper body such as the back, shoulders, neck, jaw, or upper part of the stomach. Fortunately, most people survive their first heart attack and can return to their normal lives. Lifestyle changes and choices are the most important factor when it comes to heart attack prevention.
Just as the heart needs proper nourishment, so does the brain. When blood supply to the brain becomes blocked to the point where the brain cannot receive oxygen, brain cells will begin to die within minutes. This is known as a stroke. This blockage can lead to a loss of functions and make it difficult to do normal things like speaking and understanding, raising both arms equally, trouble walking, difficulty seeing in one or both eyes, and/or a sudden, severe headache.
Seek medical attention immediately if you notice any signs or symptoms of a stroke, even if they fluctuate or disappear.