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How Diabetes Increases Heart Attack Risk
by admin | June 22, 2021 | Care | 2 comments

A chronic disease caused either due to pancreas’ inability to produce enough insulin or when the body is unable to use the insulin (a hormone that works to regulate blood sugar) produced in the body, diabetes contributed to around 1.5 million global deaths in 2019.

While diabetes, commonly known as high blood sugar, is a deadly medical problem in itself, it is also associated with increased risk of other serious complications, including heart diseases. It means diabetes and heart disease are connected as diabetes affects heart in multiple ways. Heart failure, coronary heart disease (CHD), and diabetic cardiomyopathy are a few to name.

Apart from diabetes, some other factors alone or in combination with diabetes can put your heart at risk, including:

  • Having a family history of heart disease
  • Being obese or over weight, especially around the waist
  • Being a smoker
  • Having high blood pressure
  • Having abnormal cholesterol levels

The Interrelationship between Diabetes and Heart Disease

Diabetes and heart disease are interrelated, in the sense that diabetes increases heart attack risk. Researchers suggest that people with diabetes have two-times higher risk of developing heart disease than those without diabetes.

Talking about the role of diabetes in causing heart ailments, high blood sugar increases the force of blood through arteries damaging artery walls. Over time, it impairs the functioning of blood vessels and the nerves associated with regulating heart functioning. And the biggest challenge is no symptoms appeared while this high blood sugar was weakening your heart.

Heart failure is one of the major problems that are associated with diabetes or high blood sugar. A serious condition, heart failure is characterized by heart’s inability to pump enough blood. It in turn may lead to swelling in legs and retention of fluid in lungs, causing difficulty in breathing.

High blood sugar may also lead to hardening of the coronary arteries, which is characterized by build-up of cholesterol plaques in the blood vessels involved in supplying oxygen and nutrition to the heart. The blockage of arteries stops the flow of blood, thereby terminating oxygen supply, which may result in a heart attack.

Diabetes Symptoms

  • Frequent urination, often during night
  • Unexpected weight loss
  • Persistent thirst
  • Feeling hungry after short intervals
  • Having blurry vision
  • Feeling numbness or tingling in hands or feet
  • Persistent tiredness
  • Slow healing of sores or wounds
  • Experiencing higher incidence of infections than usual

Heart Attack Symptoms

  • Breathlessness or shortness of breath
  • Chest pain or pressure, especially during an activity of physical exertion
  • Unexplained, excessive sweating
  • Feeling of dizziness
  • Experiencing pain in the jaws, shoulders and left arm
  • Nausea

It is important to note here is these classic symptoms of heart attack may not appear in everybody, so it is advisable to go for physical examination at regular intervals, especially if you are overweight, are under consistent stress, have a family history of heart attack, and/or is diabetic.

You can visit Making India Heart Strong website, anytime, for any heart-related testing or treatment for high heart rate or heart stroke treatment.

 

References:

https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/diabetes

FAQ

Q. Why do diabetics have silent heart attacks?

Having diabetes increases the risk of heart attack and the bigger problem is diabetes is associated with silent heart attacks owing to reasons, including:

Increased Risk of Heart Disease – People with diabetes are more vulnerable to the risk of silent heart attack as higher levels of blood glucose tend to increase cholesterol levels and promote obesity, which in turn puts more stress on the heart.

Autonomic Neuropathy – Another serious side effect of diabetes include nerve damage. In the view that nerves are responsible for controlling different functions of the body including breathing, heart rate and digestion, nerve damage impairs a patient’s ability to experience the painful symptoms associated with heart attack, which may makes heart diseases largely asymptomatic.

Q. How can diabetes cause a heart attack?

People with diabetes are more vulnerable to hardening of the coronary arteries or atherosclerosis, a condition characterized by a cholesterol plaque buildup in the blood vessels, engaged in supplying oxygen and nutrition to the heart.

As the cholesterol plaques rupture of break apart, the body sends platelets to seal it up in an attempt to repair the plaque rupture. But due to small size of artery the platelets end up blocking the flow of blood, thereby restricting the oxygen delivery and cause heart attack.

Q. How to control heart attack in Diabetics?

People with diabetes are more vulnerable to suffer heart attacks than those without diabetes. Here are some effective measures to control heart attack in diabetics.

  • Exercise or stay physically active every day by way of a daily 30-minute walk or a similar activity to lower your risk.
  • Follow your meal plan. Eat small meals that should contain more fruits and vegetables.
  • Being obese raises the risk of heart attack. So, try to lose weight if you fall in overweight or obesity category.
  • Smoking is a single largest risk factor to cause heart attack. So, talk with your doctor to quit smoking if you are not able to do it by yourself. Also, it is important to avoid second hand exposure to cigarette smoke.
  • Take your medicines the way your providers recommend.
  • Go for regular physical examination, which may include gauzing blood sugar and cholesterol levels.

Q. Why Diabetic Patients can’t feel pain in heart attack?

Diabetic patients have higher risk of several complications, with heart disease being a major one. High blood glucose levels in a diabetic can cause damage to blood vessels, leading to poor blood circulation.

It in turn may lead to nerve damage, a condition referred to as neuropathy, which can cause tingling and pain as well as loss of sensation especially feet and toes. In addition, it can also damage nerves even inside the body, affecting autonomic nerves (called as autonomic neuropathy) that serve respiratory, circulatory, and digestive among other systems without the patient realizing it.

The blood vessels in and around the heart affects patient’s ability to feel the pain, due to which they may not feel the most classic symptom of a heart attack i.e. chest pain.

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