Healthy blood vessels: When to do vascular testing
The only time your blood vessels are given any thought is likely when you have concerns about your cardiovascular health. But blood vessels play a critical role in your overall health by transporting oxygen and nutrients to your organs and removing waste products from your body. Without your blood vessels, the rest of your body could not perform its functions. Vascular testing can help your blood vessels stay healthy, but when should you do vascular testing?
While most people have healthy vascular systems, your blood vessels can become weak or damaged over time; after all, they are in constant use! To assess the health of your blood vessels and keep your body in top shape, there are some situations in which you may want to consider vascular testing.
- You have a family history of vascular disease. If your family has a history of conditions like heart disease, peripheral artery disease or strokes, you may have an increased risk of developing these conditions yourself. A doctor can perform vascular tests to assess your level of risk and determine what steps you can take to improve your overall cardiovascular health.
- You have symptoms of vascular disease. Leg pain, including cramping or numbness, can be a sign of vascular disease. Pain in the extremities, heart palpitations, high blood pressure or varicose veins can also be warning signs. Vascular testing can help your doctor diagnose vascular disease so they can develop a treatment plan to address your symptoms.
- You have diabetes. Diabetes can increase your risk of developing vascular disease, as well as neuropathy and difficulty healing from wounds. Vascular testing can assess your blood flow to monitor for issues that need to be addressed.
- You are a smoker. Smoking can damage your blood vessels, increasing your risk of vascular disease. If you smoke, your doctor can use vascular testing to assess the condition of your blood vessels. Your doctor can also help you develop a plan to quit smoking to prevent further damage.
- You’re getting older. As you age, your blood vessels become less flexible, making them more prone to damage. Vascular testing can be used as a preventative measure to monitor for any declines in your vascular health.
If you meet any of the criteria above, you should speak to your doctor about vascular testing. Your doctor may recommend carotid artery testing, aortic aneurysm screening or circulatory testing to diagnose abnormalities in your arteries and veins before they turn into something more serious. To schedule an appointment with Westgate Family Physicians, call (864) 574-0070.