Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm: Causes, Symptoms And Prevention

Where And What Is An Aorta?

The aorta is the largest blood vessel in the body. The aorta runs from your heart through the center of your chest and abdomen.

An abdominal aortic aneurysm is an enlarged area in the lower part of the major vessel that supplies blood to the body (aorta).

Aneurysms can form in any blood vessel in your body. However, AAAs are considered particularly serious because of the size of the aorta.

Causes Of Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm(AAA)

A number of factors can play a role in developing an aortic aneurysm, including:

Vascular inflammation (vasculitis)

This happens very rarely. Serious inflammation within the aorta and other arteries can occasionally cause AAAs.

Hardening of the arteries (atherosclerosis).

Atherosclerosis occurs when fat and other substances build up on the lining of a blood vessel.

High blood pressure.

High blood pressure can damage and weaken the aorta’s walls thereby increasing the occurrence of aneurysm.

Blood vessel diseases.

These are diseases that cause blood vessels to become inflamed.

Infection in the aorta.

Rarely, a bacterial or fungal infection might cause an abdominal aortic aneurysms.

Risk factors

Abdominal aortic aneurysm are more likely to occur if you:

  • Are Aged(Especially above 65

years)

  • Smoke. Smoking is the strongest risk factor. It can weaken the aortic walls, increasing the risk not only of developing an aortic aneurysm, but of rupture.
  • A male gender can be a risk factor as men develop abdominal aortic aneurysms much more often than women do.
  • White. People who are white are at higher risk of abdominal aortic aneurysms.
  • Obese. Being obese or overweight can be a risk factor.
  • If you live a sedentary lifestyle
  • Family history. Having a family history of abdominal aortic aneurysms increases your risk of having the condition orIf you have a family history of heart conditions and diseases.
  • Having high blood pressure, especially if you’re between 35 and 60 years old
  • Having high cholesterol or fatty buildup in the blood vessels (atherosclerosis)

Signs and symptoms that your aortic aneurysm has ruptured can include:

  • Sudden, intense and persistent abdominal or back pain, which can be described as a tearing sensation
  • Low blood pressure
  • Fast pulse
  • Aortic aneurysms also put you at risk of developing blood clots in the area. If a blood clot breaks loose from the inside wall of an aneurysm and blocks a blood vessel elsewhere in your body, it can cause pain or block the blood flow to the legs, toes, kidneys or abdominal organs.

Image credit: Callista Images|Getty Images

Prevention

To prevent an aortic aneurysm or keep an aortic aneurysm from worsening, do the following:

  • Eat a healthy balanced diet. Watching what you eat will help prevent an aortic aneurysm. Eating fruits and vegetables, whole grains, poultry, fish and low-fat dairy products.Stop smoking. Don’t use tobacco products. Quit smoking or chewing tobacco and avoid secondhand smoke(don’t stay near a smoker). Avoid saturated fat, trans fats and limit salt. Keep your cholesterol and blood pressure under control. If your doctor has prescribed medications, take them as instructed.Do Activities to improve your heart health. Talk to your doctor for the activities to do, do things to improve your heart health.Visit your doctor. They may want to screen you or recommend other measures, such as medications to lower your blood pressure and relieve stress on weakened arteries when you turn 65 . The screening test uses an abdominal ultrasound to scan your aorta for bulges. It’s painless and only needs to be performed once.2 sources

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