Posted by jimmy | Posted in Cancer & Illness | Posted on 19-06-2013-05-2008
The cardiovascular system distributes nutrient-rich blood throughout the body, and consists of the heart and blood vessels. Through this process, life-sustaining oxygen is delivered to every cell.
The cycle begins when oxygen-depleted blood is pumped from the heart to the lungs. When breathed in, oxygen travels to the lungs where it mixes with oxygen-depleted blood. Oxygen-rich blood is then circulated throughout the body, delivering oxygen. Once depleted, the cycle begins again.
Cardiovascular disease is also known as heart disease, and affects the heart or blood vessels. When they become damaged and do not function properly, areas of the body may not be able to receive as much nutrient-rich, oxygenated blood as they should. Affected organs and tissues can suffer severe complications.
Sometimes, a person is born with heart abnormalities which necessitate a close relationship with a heart specialist from the very beginning. More often, problems with the cardiovascular system build up more slowly over time. For example, arteries or veins can become narrowed or blocked by a buildup of fatty plaque, caused by a lifelong diet high in saturated fat.
Along with maintaining poor nutrition, smoking, a sedentary lifestyle, and keeping an unhealthy weight are common causes of hardened arteries. This condition can cause chest pain, heart attack, or stroke.
High blood pressure, excessive drinking, recreational drug use, and overwhelming stress can also be contributors to cardiovascular disease. Its symptoms can include chest pain, shortness of breath, numbness in legs or arms, slow or racing heartbeat, bloating or swelling in various body parts, and fainting.
Medical specialists help treat, as well as strive to prevent, this life-threatening disease. A cardiologist specializes in disorders of the heart. When other organs are affected, such as the brain after a stroke, other specialists may need to be called in to provide additional expertise, support, and treatment.
To seek out a specialist, obtain a referral from a trusted doctor. Online research is also an option. It is helpful to narrow down the results by specifying location, for example cardiovascular disease specialists in Maine.
Depending on the specifics of the situation, a neurologist, thoracic surgeon, vascular surgeon, or interventional radiologist may become involved. Cardiovascular disease can be treated in different ways, depending on the unique situation and its severity.
For example, if the arteries are narrowed or blocked, treatment may include maintaining a low-sodium and low-fat diet, moderate exercise, medication, and medical procedures such as an angioplasty or artery bypass surgery. If the patient suffers from heart arrhythmia, an implantable cardioverter-defibrillator may be an option.