While relating diabetes and heart disease, a renowned Cardiologist in Gurgaon says

People with diabetes often develop heart diseases termed as ‘diabetic heart disease’ (DHD). As compared to non diabetics, people who have diabetes are at higher risk for heart disease at a much younger age.

This stands true for both type 1 and type 2 diabetes patients – both male and female. The constantly higher blood glucose levels increases the risk.High blood glucose levels are also linked to deposition of fatty materials on the inside walls of blood vessels which may lead to clogging and hardening of blood vessels – a condition known as atherosclerosis.

Just like smoking, alcohol and high blood cholesterol, diabetes increases the risk of heart attacks. When combined with other risk factors like obesity, diabetes causes harmful changes in the heart’s functioning. Also, those with diabetes are less receptive to heart treatments like bypass surgery and angioplasty.

Diabetes and Heart Disease – Whats the relation?

Following four types of heart diseases are common in people with diabetes:

1. Ischemic Heart Disease is caused by a hardening or thickening of the walls of the arteries which are the blood vessels carrying blood to the heart. Plaque gets deposited on the inside walls of the blood vessels, this is known as atherosclerosis. It narrows the arteries, which cuts the blood supply and causes only inadequate amounts of oxygen reaches the heart. Thus heart cannot function normally and this may lead to angina (chest pain), arrhythmias (irregular heartbeats) and a heart attack.

2. Congestive Heart Failure occurs when a heart is unable to pump blood properly to meet the needs of the body. This may happen due to congestive heart failure, in which the fluid build-up inside body cells.

3. Cardiomyopathy is another condition in which the heart muscles are damaged, thus leading to improper functioning of the heart.

4. Peripheral Arterial Disease (PAD) takes place when the blood vessels in the legs become narrow due to blockage by fatty deposits resulting in poor blood circulation in the legs and feet. This increases the chances of heart attack or even may lead to amputation of leg or feet.

Diabetes and Heart Disease – What’s the outlook?

Diabetic patients can lower their risk of heart diseases by making certain lifestyle changes and consulting the doctor about any prescribed medicines for preventing or controlling the risk factors. Lifestyle changes include physical activity, eating healthy diet and stress management.

Read about 5 Lifestyle Changes for a Healthy Heart.