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Heart failure in Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus
by admin | May 27, 2021 | Causes | 2 comments

We’ve all heard of the big signs that have always been associated with type 2 diabetes (T2D) such as developing retinopathy, foot ulcers or amputation due to nerve damage, and about the possibility of getting kidney disease. But, there’s one prime complication of diabetes that is mostly overlooked and less-talked about, even today heart failure is a condition in which heart fails to efficiently pump oxygenated blood to the rest of the body. Yes, in people who have T2D the chance of developing heart failure is two to four times more expected than those without diabetes.

The good news is that understanding more about the link between heart failure and diabetes can help you to protect your heart and manage your diabetes, thus preventing the worse outcomes. Let us break-down in detail the connection between heart disease and diabetes, including the leading hypothesis of why diabetes increases heart failure risk, what is heart failure. Also, learn to identify the signs of this often-forgotten complication and practical ways to reduce the risk

Diabetes and Heart disease: What’s the connection?

The link between diabetes and heart disease starts with high blood sugar levels and eventually leading to other complications. In diabetics, sugar resides in the bloodstream and can also leak out from the liver, eventually damaging the blood vessels and nerves that control your heart. Thus, in diabetics when glucose-levels are uncontrolled or fluctuate frequently, it causes heart complications.

Additionally, diabetes has some common conditions such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, high BMI index that also raise the risk for heart disease.

Heart failure and its signs and symptoms

When your heart muscle weakens to the point where it doesn’t pump enough blood to your body, heart failure occurs.

Heart failure is a slowly developing long term condition, therefore, initially no physical symptoms are observed. However, the inability of heart to pump blood around the body causes fluid to build up in tissues, and over time it leads to:

  • Breathing difficulty
  • Fatigue
  • Reduced ability to exercise
  • Swelling in legs, ankle and feet
  • Difficulty in walking
  • Rapid weight gain due to fluid retention
  • Coughing pink, foamy mucus

Tips to reduce heart failure risk in type 2 diabetes people

To reduce your risk for heart disease, make sure to:

  • Eat a well-balanced diet. A diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans, nuts, seeds, healthy fats and less in salt benefits in managing both diabetes and heart health.
  • Stay active and exercise: Exercise for at least 30 minutes, five to seven days a week may help reduce your blood pressure, cholesterol, and abdominal fat.
  • Say no to stress. Elevated stress hormones increase your blood glucose, blood pressure, and body fat levels, thus leading to complications like heart failure, sudden heart attack in diabetes patients so avoid stressing.
  • Keep your blood glucose levels in control: Eating a healthy diabetic diet, staying active, managing stress, getting enough sleep, and taking your recommended medications to maintain will help to maintain your blood sugar but also reduce associated complications.
  • Go for regular health check-up: Doctor will ask for A1C test, every three months, to assess your blood glucose levels and may also suggest other tests for proper diagnosis and treatment. Therefore, diabetics, especially, should never miss upon their routine health-checkups.
  • Take your medications without a fail: Always adhere to your prescribed medications, as directed, for hypertension, cholesterol, blood sugar. Never stop your medicines even if your numbers are in control.
  • Sleep for 7 to 8 hours every night: This may help prevent high blood pressure and high blood sugar. It’s also important for your overall well-being and energy levels, working as a miracle for people with diabetes and heart disease.
  • Stop smoking: Go for smoking cessation program and take your medications as directed.

Remember, both diabetes and heart failure have a much higher risk of worse health outcomes leading to more emergency room visits, earlier death, and overall poorer quality of life, hence make sure to always adhere to your prescribed medicines and follow-up regularly with your healthcare providers to get the treatment you need to protect your health.

Stay mindful to stay heart healthy!

 

Reference:
  1. Martín-Timón I, Sevillano-Collantes C, Segura-Galindo A, Del Cañizo-Gómez FJ. Type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease: Have all risk factors the same strength?. World J Diabetes. 2014;5(4):444-470. doi:10.4239/wjd.v5.i4.444
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