Understanding Aortic Aneursyms

Aortic aneurysms are a very serious condition. They are characterized by a blood-filled bulge on a weakened wall of a blood vessel. The blood vessel is located in the aorta. The aorta is the largest artery in the body and responsible for supplying the most amount of blood to the body. When the bulge continues to fill with blood, the blood vessel becomes weaker. Sometimes the bulge will rupture and cause other health conditions to occur.

Aortic aneurysms can occur in any part of the aorta. The aorta runs from the chest, through the diaphragm and ends in the abdomen. It then branches off into two smaller arteries known as the iliac arteries. The upper portion of the aorta is responsible for supplying the upper half of the body with blood, whereas the lower half of the aorta supplies the lower half of the body. An aortic aneurysm usually happens in the upper half of the aorta closer to the heart. When it is in the lower half, it is referred to as an abdominal aneurysm. An aortic aneurysm can become very dangerous, especially if it is located in close proximity to the heart.

If the aortic aneurysm is just forming and hasn’t ruptured it could be very difficult to diagnose. In many cases, there are no symptoms at all. Sometimes you will notice some slight signs or symptoms. The most common symptom of an unruptured aortic aneurysm is back pain. This is common for aneurysms in both the upper and lower aorta. Another common symptoms is a pulsing sensation. This is more common in the abdominal area and will feel like a heartbeat. Chest pain or palpitations could also be a sign of an aortic aneurysm.

Once the aortic aneurysm has ruptured, you will notice symptoms. Severe pain radiating through the chest, abdomen, back and legs is the first symptom of a ruptured aortic aneurysm. You will also notice nausea, vomiting low blood pressure and in some cases, shock. Since a ruptured aortic aneurysm is very severe, if you notice any of these symptoms you will need medical attention immediately. Doing so could save you life.


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