Food, water, exercise, sleep: Your body needs a lot of different things to keep it going. One of those things happens every single time you breathe — every “in” breath pulls oxygen into your lungs, where it enters your blood. It then travels throughout your body in your blood vessels, veins and arteries.
Some of those blood vessels are big, just like highways. Others are small, just like the back roads. However, if any of them gets stopped up, you have a serious problem referred to as ischemia. This means that some parts of your body isn’t getting enough blood, so it’s not getting enough blood, so it’s not getting enough oxygen, either. It can happen in your brain, legs, and just about everywhere in between.
Usually, you get ischemia due to the build-up or blockage in your arteries. What it feels like and how it affects you depends on where you get it. However, it can lead to life-threatening problems such as heart attack or stroke.