Diabetes is a chronic health condition that affects more than 100 million people in the United States! Managing diabetes or prediabetes is difficult on its own but these conditions also increase your risk of heart disease and stroke. November is National Diabetes Month, an annual observance dedicated to raising awareness about diabetes. This month, make
Know the Signs of an Aneurysm
An aneurysm is a serious health condition that can lead to even more serious health complications or untimely death.
The cardiovascular specialists at HeartCare Associates of Connecticut provide comprehensive care for cardiovascular conditions that can increase your risk for having an aneurysm.
To help prevent you from facing the devastating consequences of an aneurysm, be aware of these risks and possible warning signs.
Understanding what an aneurysm is
An aneurysm is a condition that describes a weakening in the wall of your artery. This weakness can lead to a bulging or ballooning of the artery, and when it grows too large, the artery can rupture.
Any artery in your body can become weak and balloon out. The most common types of aneurysms that pose a serious threat to your health include aneurysms that affect your:
You can also develop a life-threatening aneurysm behind the knee or in your spleen.
Know your risks for having an aneurysm
While an aneurysm can develop in anyone, you may be at a higher risk due to your genetic history, existing health condition, and lifestyle. Some common risk factors that contribute to an aneurysm include:
You may also be at increased risk for an aneurysm if you have atherosclerosis, a condition where plaque builds up on the walls of your arteries and hardens. This causes your arteries to narrow and makes it difficult for blood to flow through.
If you have pre-existing factors that may increase your aneurysm risk, our team at HeartCare Associates of Connecticut may recommend preventive screenings.
Using imaging tests like an ultrasound or a CT scan, our cardiology team can locate weaknesses in your arteries that can rupture.
Be aware of aneurysm warning signs
Artery weakness that leads to aneurysms tends to develop slowly over time and may not cause symptoms until the vessel bursts.
In some cases, you can see a noticeable bulge in an artery if it’s close to the surface of your skin. However, you won’t be able to see that in other veins.
Other signs of a possible aneurysm include:
- Rapid heartbeat
- Low blood pressure
An aneurysm can also cause you to go into shock, a condition that develops when there isn’t enough blood circulating throughout your body to support the function of your major organs. Untreated shock can lead to organ failure and other long-term health complications.
What to do if you notice signs of an aneurysm
While any of these signs can occur due to other underlying health conditions, it’s vital that you don’t ignore them. Seek immediate medical care if you experience one or more of these symptoms.
If you’re having an aneurysm, the medical team can begin any necessary treatment for an existing aneurysm. They can also rule out an aneurysm quickly, so you can move forward with other diagnostic testing for your symptoms.
Options for treating aneurysms
Typically, treatment for an aneurysm involves immediate surgery to repair the ruptured artery and control bleeding.
You may also be a candidate for surgery before an arterial rupture. During this type of surgery, your provider places a stent in the blood vessel to increase the efficiency of blood flow.
While surgery isn’t needed for everyone, your provider can discuss other preventive therapies to reduce your aneurysm risk. This may involve taking medicines to lower your blood pressure and cholesterol levels and making changes to your lifestyle to boost your overall health.
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