Dr VK Srivastava explains if Diabetics are prone to develop heart attacks

Is there any relation between the two?

Dr VK Srivastava explains if Diabetics are prone to develop heart attacks

In the wake of deaths due to sudden heart attacks and cardiac arrests, experts call for increased awareness about heart health, especially for people with co-morbidities like diabetes. This is because they may be susceptible to silent heart attacks. Diabetes is a condition that causes high blood glucose levels owing to the body’s inability to either produce insulin or use it sufficiently to regulate glucose. “Those with diabetes can show signs such as increased thirst and urination, increased hunger, unexpected weight changes, persistent sores, numbness or tingling in the hands or feet, tiredness, and even blurry vision,”.

It has been estimated that as high as 50 to 60 per cent of diabetics do develop heart diseases, adding that a diabetic with high blood sugar is likely to develop blocks.

“Blocks mean slow obstructions in the blood flow of the coronary arteries, the brain arteries, and the kidneys. This entire continuum of diabetes causing obstruction to blood flow into the vessels of the entire body is called ‘atherosclerotic cardiovascular diseases’. These usually present together and include diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, kidney diseases, peripheral vascular diseases, and retina problems of the eye,”. Over time, high blood sugar levels can damage blood vessels and the nerves that control the heart.

The usual time of presentation (atypical symptoms of heart attack) is usually at least five to 10 years after diagnosis of the patient of type 2 diabetes. Diabetic patients experience a slow death of nerve endings, which causes pain. As a result, diabetics who develop heart attacks may not present with typical symptoms of chest pain. Instead, they may present with symptoms of fatigue, tiredness, breathlessness, feeling of lethargy, sweating, giddiness loss of consciousness, jobbing, back pain, etc. So, these are the atypical presentations of a heart attack.”

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