While relating heart disease and diabetes, a renowned Cardiologist from Gurgaon says:
“People having diabetes develop a cardiovascular disease called as ‘diabetic heart disease’ (DHD). When compared to non-diabetics, people having diabetes at a younger age are at higher risk of heart disease.”
This statement applies to both type 1 and 2 patients- both female and male. The increase in blood glucose levels increases the risk. The high glucose level in the blood leads to deposition of fatty materials on inside walls of blood vessels leading to hardening of blood vessels and clogging a condition known as atherosclerosis.
Just like alcohol, smoking, diabetes and high blood cholesterol, diabetes increases the risk of heart attacks. When these elements are combined with different risk factors, like obesity, diabetes causes harmful. Patients with diabetes are less receptive to heart treatment like bypass surgery and angioplasty.
How are Diabetes and Heart Disease Related?
There are four types of heart diseases common in people with diabetes:
1. Ischemic Heart Disease: This is caused by thickening or hardening of walls of the arteries which are blood vessels that carries blood to the heart. Plague gets deposited on the walls of blood vessels and is known as atherosclerosis.
2. Congestive Heart Failure: It happens when a heart is not able to adequately pump the blood to meet the needs of the body. This occurs due to congestive heart failure where the fluid builds up inside the body cells.
3. Cardiomyopathy: This is a situation where the heart muscles get damaged, thereby leading to improper functioning of the heart.
4. Peripheral Arterial Disease (PAD): This disease takes place when the blood vessels become narrow in the legs due to blockage by fat deposits resulting in an inadequate blood circulation in the feet and legs. This may lead to amputation of the feet or leg, or even increase the chances of heart attack.
What’s the outlook? – Diabetes and Heart Disease
Patients who have diabetes can reduce their risk of heart diseases by talking with the doctor about any prescribed medicines either for preventing or for controlling the risk factors and by making certain lifestyle changes. Lifestyle changes include eating a healthy diet, physical activity, and stress management.
If you are addicted to smoking, it’s time to quit now. Consult with your doctor and talk about it. If you have tried to quit the smoking habit before, it’s not too late. Many people have tried quitting several times before they kick start for a good habit.
Almost every individual with diabetes can benefit by doing more exercise. It keeps your heart healthy and controls the sugar level in your blood. Even a brisk walking daily for 20 minutes is fruitful. So there is no need of a gym anymore.
If you are an inactive individual, ask your doctor on how to get started. Your doctor will let you know what is safe for you to do.
Most of the diabetic patients take medicine to reduce their blood pressure or to improve cholesterol levels. A daily low-dose of aspirin is recommended by the doctor to protect against heart disease.
Be sure to be in touch with your doctor and be regular in your medical checkups. Attend all your appointments and let your doctor know how you are doing. Together you can make up a healthy heart.