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Common diseases of the circulatory system

The circulatory system is an important part of the body. It is made up of the heart, arteries, capillaries and veins. The system itself is responsible in bringing oxygen and important nutrients to all parts of the body. If it is not functioning properly, problems can occur that might even be life-threatening. We enumerate the common diseases of the circulatory system.

What may happen

Below are common diseases of the circulatory system which can affect human beings.

  • Venous disorders

If you ever wondered why compression stockings are recommended for long haul flights, it is because you might run the risk of contracting deep vein thrombosis. Prolonged sitting, obesity, pregnancy and being bed ridden are a few of the factors leading to deep vein thrombosis, one of the disorders that can occur with a malfunction of the circulatory system. When you have this condition, blood clots in the deep veins can occur on the thigh or calf.

This condition does not exhibit symptoms, but those who are affected might experience pain in the legs, swelling and even discoloration of the skin in the affected area. Deep vein thrombosis can be life threatening if the clot moves up to the lungs (pulmonary embolism). Other disorders that can occur include varicose veins and arteriovenous fistula.

  • Atherosclerosis

This is a condition where ‘deposits of fatty material’ occur in the large and medium-sized arteries reducing or blocking blood flow. Risk factors include smoking, diabetes, obesity, physical inactivity and high blood pressure. If the flow of blood supply is reduced, chest pain (angina) can occur. However, if the arteries are blocked, a heart attack can happen. Heart failure is also a possibility.

Additional diseases

Finally, other common diseases of the circulatory system include aneurisms and aortic dissection. The aorta which is the biggest artery in the human body receives oxygen-rich blood for distribution to the organs except the lungs where it is pumped from the right ventricle. Aneurysm (bulging of the aorta) can occur which reduces blood flow leading to blood clots. In aortic dissection, the consequences may include stroke, heart attack and nerve damage.

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