Heart and vascular disease

Heart and vascular disease


Cardiovascular disease is the collective name for all heart diseases and vascular diseases. Below you will find most cardiovascular diseases including a short explanation. Let’s see about Heart and vascular disease.

What are cardiovascular diseases and how does it arise?

The development of cardiovascular disease differs per condition. It is often a combination of different risk factors. Common causes of cardiovascular disease are:

  • To smoke
  • Being overweight
  • Diabetes
  • High cholesterol
  • High bloodpressure
  • Heredity
  • Much stress
  • A great age

Gingivitis increases the risk of cardiovascular disease

Severely inflamed gums increase the risk of cardiovascular disease by increasing arteriosclerosis. The chance of someone with severe gingivitis developing cardiovascular disease is sixty percent. The bacteria from the mouth can enter the bloodstream through the spaces between the gums and teeth and cause inflammatory reactions. Arteriosclerosis can increase due to this inflammatory process.

All cardiovascular diseases

The following cardiovascular diseases are divided into the categories Heart diseases and cardiac disorders, Vascular diseases and Stroke. The associated symptoms are common complaints. Click on the disease for a more complete picture of the cardiovascular disease.

Heart disease and arrhythmias

  • Myocardial infarction. Constrictions in the coronary arteries block the blood supply, resulting in damage to the heart muscle (myocardial infarction). Symptoms: sudden and severe chest pain, nausea, sweating, vomiting, confusion, unconsciousness, shortness of breath, fast or irregular heartbeat, and cold, pale skin.
  • Heart failure. A chronic condition in which the heart pumps too little blood through the body. This can be due to illness or damage to the heart. Symptoms: shortness of breath, fluid accumulation in the lungs, legs, and ankles, ticklish cough, fatigue, restless sleep, and frequent urination at night.
  • Heart valve defect. The heart valves do not close properly or open properly, forcing the heart to work harder to pump enough blood. Symptoms: chest pain, shortness of breath, fatigue, swollen feet, dizziness on exertion, and irregular heartbeat.
  • Cardiac arrhythmia. A recurring disturbance of the heart rhythm: the heart beats too fast, too slow, irregularly or the atria and ventricles do not work well together. Symptoms: sweating, palpitations, heartbeats about, trouble, lightheadedness, squeezing or pain in the chest, nausea, and feeling anxious.
  • A life-threatening situation: the heart no longer pumps blood around. Cardiac arrest is often the result of a heart attack. The only chance of survival is through quick help from bystanders. Symptoms: unconsciousness, no breathing or abnormal breathing.
  • Heart cramps (angina pectoris). The heart does not get enough oxygen. In many cases, the cause of heat cramps is a narrowing of the coronary arteries due to arteriosclerosis. Due to narrowing, less blood flows through the veins. Symptoms: nausea, sweating, stuffy, oppressive, or oppressive pain in the middle of the chest, shortness of breath, tiredness, poor sleep, dizziness. The pain around the chest often radiates to other parts of the body, such as the arms, back, shoulder blades, neck, stomach area or lower jaw.
  • Heart muscle disease (cardiomyopathy). The heart muscle does not relax enough or contracts properly. This reduces the pumping function of the heart and / or cardiac arrhythmias. Symptoms: tiredness, tightness, chest pain, dizziness and fainting, irregular or fast heartbeat, frequent urination at night, and fluid retention.
  • Heart inflammation (endocarditis). A rare, dangerous condition in which the inner lining of the heart and heart valves is inflamed. Heart infection is caused by bacteria that enter the heart through the bloodstream. Symptoms: mild fever, chills, moderate anemia, loss of appetite, fatigue, sore joints, mild spleen enlargement, and small red dots on eyes, nails and oral mucosa due to blocked blood vessels.
  • Heart muscle inflammation (Myocarditis). Inflammation of the heart muscle is rare. Heart muscle inflammation occurs among other things with infections, such as diphtheria, mumps or toxoplasmosis. Symptoms: chest pain, shortness of breath. In severe cases, heart failure develops.
  • Pericardial inflammation (Pericarditis). The pericardium is a membrane around your heart. This ensures that the heart remains in the right place. In a pericardium inflammation, fluid often builds up between the heart and the pericardium. Symptoms: shortness of breath, tightness, and fatigue.
  • Atrial fibrillation. A heart rhythm disorder, in which the heartbeat is much too high and irregular. When atrial fibrillation is left untreated, the arrhythmia damages the heart. Symptoms: irregular heartbeat, dizziness, sweating, and pounding heart.
  • Bradycardia. This arrhythmia is characterized by a low heart rate. Normally, the heart beats sixty to seventy times per minute in an adult. In bradycardia, the heart beats less than fifty times per minute. Symptoms: fainting, dizziness, tiredness.

Vascular diseases

  • Aneurysm. A bulge or widening of an artery. The wider the aneurysm, the greater the chance of a rupture, which can cause bleeding. Symptoms: An Aneurysm itself usually does not cause any complaints. However, it can press on surrounding organs, causing, for example, swallowing problems (when the esophagus is compressed).
  • Raynaud’s syndrome. Small arteries cramp temporarily, which reduces the supply of blood. Often this happens with small blood vessels in the protruding parts of the body (fingers and toes). Symptoms: fingers first color white, then blue-purple and then red. Furthermore, your fingers and toes may feel cold and feel less.
  • Pulmonary Hypertension. Abnormally high blood pressure in the pulmonary artery. The pulmonary artery pumps deoxygenated blood from the right ventricle of the heart to the lungs. Pulmonary hypertension causes the right ventricle of the heart to work extra hard. Symptoms: chest pain, shortness of breath, palpitations, fainting, fluid build-up, fatigue, and painful joints.
  • Thrombosis. A blockage of the blood vessels by blood clots, so that the blood no longer flows properly. Thrombosis mainly occurs in the legs. A pulmonary embolism can develop if thrombosis is left untreated. Symptoms: Pain in the calf and above the knee, swelling in the leg, and a reddish-purple discoloration in the leg.
  • Varicose veins. Swollen and twisted veins in your legs. Varicose veins can appear anywhere in your body but are usually in your legs. Symptoms: tired and heavy legs, night cramps, burning sensation in the ankles and feet, swollen ankles, and blue serpentine lines that disfigure your legs.


  • Stroke (cerebral infarction). Part of the brain receives too little blood so that the underlying brain tissue does not receive enough oxygen. Result: part of the brain dies. Symptoms: problems with talking, severe dizziness, balance problems, sudden loss of feeling, tingling in the legs, arms and/or face, double vision, blindness in one eye, headache.
  • TIA. A TIA is much like a stroke. The difference between the disorders is that with a TIA the symptoms disappear again because the blood starts to flow again. This is not the case with a stroke, so the consequences are permanent.
  • Cerebral hemorrhage. Bleeding from one of the blood vessels around or in the brain. The brain tissue is damaged by blood accumulation. Symptoms: Dizziness, crooked mouth, double vision, severe headache, blindness in one eye, spasms, paralysis of part of the body or unconsciousness.

When to the doctor?

When exactly you have to go to the doctor for complaints differs per cardiovascular disease. In the case of cardiac arrest, the environment must intervene immediately, while you do not have to immediately call the doctor with one chest pain (which disappears after a few minutes). Are certain complaints (suddenly) more frequent or long-term? Then contact your doctor to find out the cause.

If your body shows complaints that you did not have previously, it is wise to contact your doctor. If in doubt, also contact your doctor.

Research into cardiovascular diseases

The cause of the cardiovascular disease is investigated in various ways. Your doctor may refer you for an examination in the hospital. The choice for research is partly based on your complaints. Examples of common studies are:

  • Heart film (ECG)
  • Echo of the heart
  • Exercise test
  • Cardiac catheterization

Treatment of cardiovascular disease

There are many different types of treatments for heart or vascular disease. Treatment varies by condition. Examples of treatments are:

  • Medicines, for example, blood pressure-lowering medicines or anticoagulants
  • Pacemaker
  • Ablation is used in cardiac arrhythmias. Electric stimuli that disturb the heart’s rhythm are blocked
  • Myectomy is used to restrict blood flow through the aortic valve. In myectomy, part of the wall between the right and left ventricles is removed
  • Alcohol injection is used for the thickening of the heart muscle. The thickened area thins due to the alcohol injection
  • Heart transplant and possibly a supporting heart
  • The operation, for example, bypass surgery, doping, valve replacement, or aneurysm surgery
  • Cardiac resynchronization therapy (CRT) is used in heart failure. A CRT device makes the two ventricles contract again at the same time

What can you do about Heart and vascular disease yourself?

You have an influence on some causes of Heart and vascular disease. For example, a healthy lifestyle is very important. A healthy lifestyle mainly consists of three important elements: eat varied and healthy, do not smoke, and exercise sufficiently. As for the food, be careful with saturated fat and salt and eat plenty of fruits and vegetables. If your blood pressure is too high, do not drink more than two glasses of alcohol a day. Do you have diabetes? Then, in addition to a varied and healthy diet, medicines can help regulate the sugar level in your blood.

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