Varicose Veins

Blood Vessel Symptoms


Healthgrades Editorial Staff

What are the signs of blood vessel problems?

Blood vessel symptoms are common when there is an alteration to normal blood flow in an artery or vein. This includes underlying blood vessel conditions, such as atherosclerosis or an aneurysm. In atherosclerosis, blood vessel symptoms result when plaque builds up in the arteries that carry blood to the head, organs and limbs. Most commonly, people develop atherosclerosis as a result of diabetes, genetic risk factors, high blood pressure, a high-fat diet, obesity, high blood cholesterol levels, and smoking.

The signs and symptoms of atherosclerosis are not usually apparent until blood flow becomes significantly restricted. The course of the disease varies among individuals. Some people with atherosclerosis have no symptoms at all, while others may have severe hypertension, aneurysm, blood clots, and pain caused by coronary or peripheral artery disease.

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An aneurysm is an abnormal widening or ballooning of an artery due to weakness in the wall of the blood vessel. Aneurysms are dangerous because they may burst, spilling blood into the area surrounding the blood vessel. The disease can occur in the aorta, the artery that leads from the heart to the abdomen, in a blood vessel in the brain, or in a peripheral blood vessel.