How Diabetes Affects Your Heart

December 1, 2014Comments Off on How Diabetes Affects Your Heart

For quite some time now, medical professionals have struggled to find a cure for diabetes. Unfortunately, while it can be prevented, there is still no procedure or medication that would totally cure it. It does not help that diabetes could give rise to a number of medical condition including heart problems. That being the case, it becomes even more important to make sure that you understand what diabetes is all about and take steps to prevent it.

What is Diabetes?

The Diabetes often referred to by doctors is what is technically known as Diabetes Mellitus. This type of diabetes is best described as having a high sugar level. This above-normal level of blood sugar is typically a result of the body not having enough insulin or the body not reacting properly to insulin. It is considered to be a long-term condition with currently no specific treatment plan. At most, a diabetic can only be provided with a way to deal with his or her symptoms.

Three Types of Diabetes

1. Type I Diabetes

In a Type I Diabetes,the body does not produce insulin that would keep the blood sugar level in check. Some of the more common forms of Type I Diabetes would include insulin-dependent Diabetes, Juvenile Diabetes, and Early-Onset Diabetes. While most people readily relate the term “Diabetes” to Type I Diabetes because of the absence of insulin, it is actually not as common as the Type II variant, with only about 10% of the total Diabetes cases.

2. Type II Diabetes

As opposed to Type I Diabetes, in a Type II Diabetes, the body is unable to produce enough insulin, or is unable to react properly to insulin. Around 90% of diabetes cases is of this type. Fortunately, while this type maybe prevalent, it can also be prevented.

Type II Diabetes and Your Heart

Complications from diabetes typically develop over a period of time. What makes Diabetes strongly related to risk for heart diseases is that most diabetic people have higher levels of LDL and not enough HDL cholesterol. Nonetheless, the complications brought about by Diabetes can be grave:

  • Neuropathy,which comes as a result of the build up of excess sugar that weakens the walls of the arteries, can cause you to lose sensation to your lower extremities. Signs and symptoms start with tingling sensation in your fingers and toes.
  • Nephropathyis an irreversible damage that can be sustained by the kidney due to the excess sugar in the blood vessels.
  • Diabetic retinopathy, on the other hand, takes place when the blood vessels in eyes sustain damage due to the high level of blood sugar.

Since most diabetics are also at risk for certain heart conditions, particularly heart attack and sudden cardiac arrest, it would be best if you have an AED unit nearby. This can prove to be useful should someone near you suffer from a heart attack. What’s more, with an AED on hand, you need not worry about not knowing how to administer CPR as the unit would be able to provide you with visual and audio cues.