Aortic Aneurysm

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An aortic aneurysm is called as such because it involves the aorta. The aorta is one of the large arteries that carry blood from the heart to the rest of the body. And when this passage is interrupted by an aneurysm, it becomes clotted. Then the walls of the aorta become inflamed and weak. Aortic aneurysms typically have a spindle shape.  And they usually involve the aorta below the arteries to the kidneys.

What are the symptoms?

Normally, the symptoms don’t begin to show or manifest until the aneurysm grows or disrupts the wall of the aorta.  And when this happens, the symptoms develop based on the size and location of the aneurysm.

When a bulging aorta suddenly ruptures, the blood clot that was collected on the arteries will break off and travel through the circulatory system until it lodges somewhere. And these blood clots can cut the flow of blood. So, symptoms will then manifest on the area of the body where there is deprivation of blood.
And the disruption of blood circulation can cause weakness, numbness, tingling, paleness or coldness in the arm or leg, loss of sensation, light-headedness, or localized pain.

In worst case scenarios, the broken off blood fragments can cause stroke or heart attack. And they can also disrupt the normal functions of one or more vital body organs like lungs, liver or kidneys.

Fatal internal bleeding may also occur upon the sudden rupture and dissection of the aneurysm. This requires immediate medical attention. Because when the bleeding continues, the blood pressure will go down dramatically, leaving the organs deprived of blood and the brain to lose consciousness.  And this can lead to shock or stroke.

Here are the common aortic aneurysm symptoms:

1. Chest pain
2. Back pain
3. Sweating
4. Fast heart rate and rapid breathing
5.  Dizziness
6. Abdominal pain
7.  Bloating
8. Nausea or lightheadedness
9. Vomiting
10. Rapid breathing/ shortness of breath
11. Fainting
12. Difficulty swallowing
13. Hoarseness
14. Weight loss
15. Bowel obstruction
16. Coughing up blood
17. Recurring gnawing and boring pain

What are the causes of aortic aneurysms?

1. Hereditary/ Genetics

Individuals with a family history are more likely to develop one. And they tend to develop it at a much younger age compared to people who don’t have a familial history of it. And the likelihood of an aneurysm rupture is higher, too.

2. Atherosclerosis

The inflammation of blood vessels caused by the advent of arteritis can lead to swollen aortas and blood clots.

3. Genetic disease

Connective tissue disorders that are inheritable can also factor in the development of aortic aneurysms in the long run.

4. Post-trauma

It will develop when the aortas suffered sudden trauma.

5.  High blood pressure

The irregular blood flow can cause stress on the aortas, which can lead to inflammation and thinning of the inner aortic walls.

6. Mycotic infection

This fungal infection that is associated with immunodeficiency, IV drug abuse, syphilis, and heart valve surgery can also cause them.

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