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Alzheimer's Society explains what vascular dementia is

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Small vessel disease, otherwise known as microvascular endothelial dysfunction, occurs when the small arteries in the heart muscle are not working properly. When the arteries in the heart are not functioning at their best, the flow of oxygen-rich blood to the heart is reduced, as pointed out by the Mayo Clinic. There are four warning signs of small vessel disease, which includes chest pain.

The chest pain (i.e. angina) can feel as though the chest is being squeezed.

Such an uncomfortable sensation might get worse during periods of activity or periods of emotional stress.

Another sign of small vessel disease is when the chest discomfort travels to either the left arm, jaw, neck, back or stomach.

It is also a sign of the disease when a person experiences shortness of breath.

In addition, small vessel disease can lead to a feeling of tiredness intertwined with a lack of energy.

Notoriously “difficult to detect”, blopress 8 mg side effects the symptoms can be attributed to other health conditions.

“The condition is typically diagnosed after a health care provider finds little or no narrowing in the main arteries of the heart despite the presence of symptoms that suggest heart disease,” the Mayo Clinic stated.

Experts believe that high blood pressure, high cholesterol, obesity, and diabetes all contribute to small vessel disease.

These risk factors may be compounded by:

  • An inactive lifestyle
  • Family history of the disease
  • Polycystic ovary syndrome
  • Tobacco use
  • Unhealthy diet
  • Older than 45 years of age.

While small vessel disease can make it harder for the heart to pump blood around the body, it can also lead to vascular dementia.

In order to reduce your risk of small vessel disease – and dementia risk, you need to exercise regularly.

Working out not only improves heart muscle function, it is a great way to maintain a healthy weight.

“Excess weight strains the heart and can contribute to high cholesterol, high blood pressure and diabetes,” the Mayo Clinic elaborated.

Meanwhile, doing at least 150 minutes of moderate activity each week, such as walking, can help promote blood flow through the arteries.

Looking after your heart and brain also involves eating a “heart-healthy diet” rich in whole grains, lean meat, fruits and vegetables.

It is also strongly suggested to not use tobacco products at all.

The Mayo Clinic added: “Find ways to help reduce emotional stress.”

Stress management techniques may include getting more exercise, practising mindfulness, listening to music and connecting with other people.

Furthermore, in order to help reduce your vascular dementia risk, the Alzheimer’s Association suggests you “limit alcohol consumption”.

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