The condition where small arteries located in the heart are found to get narrowed is known as small vessel disease. Chest pain is the most common sign of this disease that can also lead to various complications of the heart. This disease is also known as coronary microvascular ailment and is diagnosed with blockages found in main arteries located in the heart. There is no narrowing found on large vessels that are also located in the heart but the symptoms are found to persist. The disease is very common in diabetic people, women and people who have high blood pressure. The detection of this disease is pretty difficult but it can be treated very easily.
Some of the symptoms of small vessel disease are:
- Discomfort or squeezing and chest pain.
- Chest pain accompanied with a feeling of discomfort in the left arm or the jaw.
- Chest pain that gets worsened with regular activities and even during emotional stress.
- Abdominal, shoulder, neck and upper back discomfort.
- Shortness of breath.
- Unusual fatigue.
- Energy loss.
- Trouble sleeping.
The large arteries of the heart carry out the process of pumping blood while the tiny vessels are found to expand when an individual is active and contract while at rest. The vessels that are large get blocked or narrowed through atherosclerosis which is a condition where fatty deposits are formed in arteries. In the disease called coronary microvascular the tiny vessels of the heart are narrowed in such a way that they are unable to expand when a person is active. This is the reason why the body is not able to get an adequate supply of blood that is rich in oxygen.
The inability of the tiny vessels of the heart to expand is known as endothelial dysfunction which can also result in making the vessels even smaller while a person is active or under any sort of emotional stress. The reduction in flow of blood that is found in the tiny vessels results in chest pain and various other symptoms that are very similar to the symptoms of heart attack and angina.
Some of the risk factors include:
- Use of tobacco
- High cholesterol
- High level of blood pressure
- Unhealthy diet
- Inactive lifestyle
- Insulin resistance
- Estrogen deficiency
- Ageing can also be a cause
The small vessel disease should not be left untreated because it plays an important role of pumping blood to various parts of the body. If this disease is not treated properly it can cause various problems including:
- Heart attack
- Heart failure
- Spasm of coronary artery
- Cardiac Death
By putting into consideration these major complications it becomes very important to treat this disease at the right time.