Small vessel disease is a kind of condition which affects the heart. More specifically, it affects the arteries of the heart. When you have small vessel disease, the walls of your small arteries sustain damages. It's quite challenging to diagnose this condition. This is because it manifests symptoms similar to heart disease.
You may also know small vessel disease as microvascular disease. Doctors will be able to diagnose this condition through various tests. Your doctor may discover a narrowing or constriction of your heart's main arteries. It's a fact that small vessel disease occurs more in women. It's also frequent with people suffering from high blood pressure or diabetes. It's possible to treat this condition even though it's quite difficult to detect.
The very first and most common symptom of the condition is chest pain. You may feel a squeezing sensation, such as discomfort or pain in your chest. When you're stressed or doing strenuous activities, the feelings may get worse. Chest pain is a common symptom felt by a lot of people. It can be an indication of many different diseases. Also, the pain or discomfort felt may vary from person to person. For one person, it may seem like a dull ache while feeling like a sharp pain to another. There are medications you can take to get relief from this symptom. For one, you can take vasodilator sprays, patches or tablets. This helps relax the arteries, therefore, improving the flow of blood. Beta-blockers may also be helpful as they slow down the heart rate and lower blood pressure.
Another common symptom is a feeling of discomfort in other parts of the body. You may feel it in your jaw, neck, shoulder, back or even your left arm. Such discomfort usually comes with the chest pain. It starts in the chest and radiates to your other body parts. Many people experience this, but when they do, they may just ignore the symptoms. But if it keeps on happening after you experience chest pain, you may have small vessel disease.
When it comes to small vessel disease, treatment usually involves different medications. You may try to take calcium channel blockers. These relax the muscles surrounding your coronary arteries. It then enhances blood flow to the heart. When you take such medicines, chest pains may lessen.
Another sign of small vessel disease is shortness of breath. This is a common symptom which isn't exclusive to this condition. When you experience this, you may feel breathless or have trouble breathing normally. It's a worrisome symptom which usually comes with chest pains too. The intensity of this symptom depends on the person as well as the severity of the condition. If you have this symptom along with all the other ones, you should go to the hospital to have yourself checked.
Another symptom of this condition is fatigue. We don't mean feeling tired once in a while. This refers to feeling extreme tiredness and a total lack of energy. Even though you haven't done strenuous activity, you'd be feeling tired and drained. When this happens a lot, you need to think about the root cause of it. You may already have small vessel disease, and you don't even know it.
To treat this symptom, you need to learn how to manage stress effectively. Stress is a big cause of fatigue. Find healthier ways to deal with problems to lessen the feelings of fatigue. But if you've done everything, and you're still fatigued, consult with your doctor.
When you have small vessel disease, you may also experience nausea and dizziness. These symptoms may also come out when you have high blood pressure along with the condition. When you're dizzy, you can focus, and you might not even be able to walk properly. If you're feeling nauseated, you'll feel like your stomach is queasy and you want to throw up. When you experience these feelings, try having your cholesterol levels checked. If your cholesterol is high, it may be the reason for this symptom. Otherwise, it may be an indication of a more serious condition such as small vessel disease. Either way, it's best to visit your doctor to make sure.
This is another symptom, though quite uncommon. You may notice that you're sweating more than you normally do. This may be a manifestation of what's happening to your heart and its arteries. However, just like the other symptoms, sweating is a common sign. So try to notice if this happens with the other symptoms. To overcome this symptom, you can try to relax. You may be sweating because you're nervous or you're feeling anxious.
If you're suffering from small vessel disease, you may start to have trouble sleeping. This is a harmful symptom because it may weaken your body. If you aren't able to sleep each night, you may end up feeling more fatigued.
This symptom can indicate a lot of different things. Try some sleeping techniques to see if they will help. If this symptom is starting to disrupt your life, consult with your doctor.
Another area you can feel discomfort in is your abdomen. Abdominal discomfort is another symptom of small vessel disease. Of course, everybody has experienced this at least a few times. This is because a lot of different things may cause abdominal discomfort. Therefore, it can be an indication of conditions apart from small vessel disease. To be sure of your diagnosis it may be important to receive a second opinion.
With small vessel disease, symptoms come suddenly. They may happen at any time, whether you're resting or doing something active. You need to observe your body to catch the symptoms. Otherwise, you might not even know that you're suffering from a condition. To avoid these symptoms from emerging, you can make lifestyle changes like diet and exercise.
Diagnosing small vessel disease can sometimes be a challenge for doctors. This is because the symptoms aren't very obvious. Aside from that, the symptoms are similar to those of heart disease.
Therefore, if you notice any of these symptoms, it's best to consult with your doctor. It's better to be sure that you're healthy rather than ignore symptoms completely.
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