Cardiovascular disease is a broad description that refers to conditions involving the heart and blood vessels which affects the cardiovascular system such as Atherosclerosis (Plaque build up in-side arterial wall) and Angina (Chest pain resulting from impaired blood and oxygen flow to the heart).
Possible risk factors that may play a role in the development of cardiovascular disease are:
Hypertension is associated to atherosclerosis by a high diastolic reading alone of 100. Diastolic readings indicate the amount of pressure in the arteries when the heart rests between beats. A diastolic reading of 90 and higher is considered hypertension and if left untreated can result in atherosclerosis and angina upon exertion.
High total cholesterol and LDL levels are resultant from prior damage and inflammation to the endothelium being vulnerable to circulating fatty substances such as in this case LDL cholesterol particles which enter into the endothelial lining due to the white blood cells inability to mop excesses up; this results in a build up of plaque which gradually over time leads to artherosclerosis.
Free radical components of cigarette smoke are what is considered to impair the form; structure and functionality of the endothelium (inner lining of blood vessels) which results in atherosclerosis.
Poor sleep quality
Broken sleep and constant tiredness indicates a sign of unstable angina. Unstable angina occurs at rest with little to no physical exertion. It is the extreme amount of chest pain that results in broken sleep.
Diabetes mellitus/Insulin Resistance/Metabolic Syndrome
Impaired glucose metabolism coupled with cardiovascular disease has an increased risk of further cardiovascular events. Elevated risk is associated to hyperglycaemia and hyperinsulinemia with both being atherogenic in nature. Metabolic syndrome is related with an inflammatory state, higher level of clotting factors, decreased ability to break down clots and endothelial dysfunction that notably increases the risk of cardiovascular events.
Obesity and Diet
Obesity and consumption of saturated fats has no direct correlation to suggest a cause to cardiovascular disease. Obesity may increase the risk factors like hypertension and elevated blood cholesterol levels which if left untreated can lead to cardiovascular disease. Trans-fatty acids increase the risk of cardiovascular disease by promotion of pro-inflammatory responses and endothelial dysfunction. Nutritional deficiencies like B6, Folic acid and B12 are involved in the development of cardiovascular disease as they all lead to increasing homocysteine. Homocysteine when in excess stimulates inflammatory pathways in vascular cells.
Psychological stress and depression has potential to provoke or maintain inflammatory processes implicated in cardiovascular disease. Depression and stress along with isolation are separate risk factors for cardiovascular disease. After major depressive episodes there is a three to five fold increase in developing cardiovascular disease if left untreated.
Signs and symptoms
Cardiovascular disease does not align to one unified collection of symptoms. In saying this though given its association with obesity, hypertension and metabolic conditions, any diagnosis of either one or more should note the possibility of existing atherosclerosis and dyslipidemia.
A presenting symptom of chest pain could indicate atherosclerosis, dyslipidemia, angina, myocardial infarction, insulin resistance and/or metabolic syndrome.
Treating cardiovascular disease through nutritional medicine comes with many benefits without causing harm such as:
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