The vascular system is in charge of transporting fluids and nutrients throughout the body. Also known as the circulatory system, it consists of several primary functions. The veins and arteries help blood carry nutrients and fluids to other parts of the body and the lymph vessels pull excess lymphatic fluid away from different sections of the body. The body excretes the excess fluid when the system is working properly.
Various health conditions can affect the vascular system. The use of vascular testing equipment may help health professionals diagnose and correct issues much faster. Improved technology has made it possible to have a better visual of what is going on in an individual’s body.
A few of the most common issues that affect the vascular system include:
Blood Clots: Blood clots develop when the blood in the body begins to collect abnormally. This can happen for several reasons. In pregnant women, the culprit is often the body producing too much blood. Blood clots can form following surgery or an injury. Blood clots may also form when blood encounters certain material, such as cholesterol. Doctors will look for blood clots after the presence of certain symptoms including pain in the affected area or difficulty breathing. However, the use of vascular testing equipment makes it possible to determine the exact location of the blood clot and to assess the damage.
Blood clots can be deadly because when the flow of blood is cut off, the body is unable to transport proteins and other nutrients throughout the body. A blood clot can also prevent blood from reaching the heart or brain.
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Atherosclerosis: This disease is identified by the narrowing and hardening of arteries. This hardening and narrowing of arteries makes it more difficult for blood to reach its destination. This can result in blood clots as well as numerous other issues.
Atherosclerosis is the primary cause of heart attacks and strokes and peripheral vascular disease. The cause of this disease is linked to several preventable behaviors including unhealthy eating, smoking and lack of physical activity. Over time, plaque begins to build up along the arteries. This disease does not begin over night. Consistent bad behaviors create too much cholesterol in the blood stream, which makes it easier for plaque to accrue along the vessel walls.
Blood clots can form when the blood is unable to travel through arteries. Other times the cholesterol cells will burst sending a blood clot to the heart of brain. This disease is treatable without permanent damage if it is caught early enough and if behaviors change. The use of vascular testing equipment makes it easier to see the clogs clearly, so that a proper course of treatment is prescribed.
Cardiovascular Disease: Symptoms of this disease are often silent, until they are not. Patients with cardiovascular disease may have a sudden stroke, heart attack or aneurism. This disease is linked to the buildup of proteins and cholesterol on the artery walls. The build-up results in one of a few scenarios including heart attack, stroke or ruptured clot.
This disease typically affects the heart, veins and arteries. Responsible eating habits, physical activity, and no smoking all reduce this risk of damage to the vascular system. Older patients are at a higher risk for this disease though diet and exercise certainly play a large role in the development of this illness. Heart disease was the number one cause of death in 2012 and a stroke placed number four on the list of top ten causes of death.
While there is a lot of progress made on this disease with an emphasis on healthier eating and lifestyles that are more active, many people are still dying. Treatment is typically available for this type of disease, if doctors catch it early enough.
Swollen Lymph Nodes: An infection can cause the swelling of your lymph nodes. If you do have an infection and it is not treated, there may be further complications. The lymph nodes are responsible for helping clear excess lymphatic fluid. If they cannot function properly, the excess fluid may not be excreted and this causes additional problems.
One of the most common complications is an abscess. The abscess is essentially a collection of excess fluids and pus that your body is unable to get rid of. Abscesses are usually treated with antibiotics and drainage.
Another side effect of a virus in the lymph nodes is a bloodstream infection. The bloodstream can be infected with an untreated virus, or sepsis. Because your blood stream literally affects every aspect of your body, a virus can be very deadly, especially if the virus travels through your bloodstream and reaches your heart.
Diagnosing Vascular Complications
Upper and Lower Arterial Doppler: This test will allow doctors to view arteries and veins to determine if there is any restricted blood flow to parts of your body. Physicians will prescribe this test in regards to specific symptoms such as pain and numbness in a specific limb or the feeling of heaviness in your limbs.
The Doppler can locate any blood clots and help determine whether your arteries are clogged. During the test, the physician records blood pressure as well as ultrasound shots of the affected areas. The doctor will review the test results and discuss possible diagnoses with the patient. The use of vascular testing equipment helps doctors treat their patients more accurately and quickly.
Physical Exam: Doctors will perform physical exams before they opt to use vascular testing equipment. A doctor will note symptoms and may often have you move around to show what causes pain. The date collected from a physical exam is just as important as information gained from other tests..
The vascular system is responsible for making sure your body has the proper fluids and the right amount of each fluid to function properly. By utilizing the physical exam, patient history and testing equipment, doctors will have a better-rounded view of a patient’s physical situation.
See how vascular testing equipment can help diagnose many health concerns today.