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Circulatory System Problems and Diseases

Circulatory System Problems and Diseases

The major parts of the circulatory system are the heart, blood vessels, and blood. There are many problems and diseases associated with them. Read on to know more...
Ningthoujam Sandhyarani
Last Updated: Mar 26, 2018
The lifeline of the body
A healthy circulatory system is necessary for the body, since it is responsible for supplying nutrients and oxygen to the body cells and tissues. With each heartbeat, blood is pumped into the blood vessels in order to deliver the essential nutrients to various organs of body. Due to the importance of the circulatory system for survival, it is often referred to as 'the lifeline of the body'.
As we all know, the circulatory system or cardiovascular system comprises the blood, heart, and blood vessels. The blood consists of red blood cells (RBCs), white blood cells (WBCs), platelets, and blood plasma. Blood vessels, on the other hand, comprise the veins, arteries, arterioles, and capillaries. All of these parts contribute a lot to the proper unctioning of the circulatory system. An abnormality in any of these components result in medical conditions, which may vary from a mild symptom to a life-threatening disease.
There are two types of circulatory system problems, viz. congenital (present at birth) and acquired (developed after birth). Common circulatory system problems and diseases include the following.
Aortic Aneurysm
Aortic aneurysm is bulging in the wall of the aorta, the largest artery of the body. It is caused due to aortic dissection (tear in the aortic wall) or defect in the aortic wall. A rupture of the bulging may cause heavy bleeding or hemorrhage. Aortic aneurysm can be developed as a complication of other diseases such as obesity, atherosclerosis, and high blood pressure.
Angina
Angina is pain or discomfort in the chest area, which is caused due to blockage in the blood vessels leading to the heart. The symptoms of angina are observed when there is insufficient supply of oxygen and blood to the heart muscles. Usually, chest pain lasts for about 10 minutes.
Arrhythmia
Arrhythmia is a heart problem, characterized by irregularity in the heart rhythm. Symptoms of this system may vary from very slow to fast heart rhythm. Arrhythmia can be a congenital or an acquired problem. In case of acquired arrhythmia, it can occur at any stage of life.
Atherosclerosis
Atherosclerosis is hardening of the arterial wall (usually medium and large arteries) due to formation of plaque or atheroma. The plaque is composed of cholesterol, calcium, and fatty deposits. Atherosclerosis may hamper the blood circulation or at times, stops the blood flow. A person suffering from this problem experiences sharp pain in the affected area.
High Blood Pressure
High blood pressure or hypertension is a condition, when the systolic pressure exceeds 140 mmHg and diastolic pressure exceeds 90 mmHg. It is mostly caused due to hereditary reasons or unhealthy lifestyle habits such as heavy drinking and smoking.
Peripheral Vascular Disease
Peripheral vascular disease is a disorder in the blood vessels that are not part of the brain and heart. This disease is caused due to fatty acid deposits in the arteries of the leg portion. It can be hereditary or develop as a complication of obesity, high blood pressure, and smoking.
In severe cases, heart disease can cause heart attack, heart failure, and several other fatal health problems. One word of advice for people who smoke cigarette and have circulatory problem would be to quit smoking, as it can worsen the existing condition by constricting the blood vessels.

Problems and diseases related to the circulatory system may also be caused due to intake of certain drugs like oral contraceptives and diuretics. To avoid such a case, it is always advisable to consult and seek advice from a qualified health practitioner before self ingesting any type of drugs.