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  Diabetes >> Diabetes Complications >> Heart Disease and Stroke
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Heart Disease and Stroke


It has been observed that people suffering from diabetes tend to have 50% increased heart risks like getting heart diseases or strokes. If you are a diabetic - middle aged person, you may have heart attack earlier than those who are heart patients, more aged than you. Heart complications are "micro vascular disease and "macro vascular disease". The damage to small blood vessels leads to a microangiopathy.

Coronary artery disease (CAD) is the most common form of heart disease in diabetes. In such a condition, the arteries that supply blood to the heart get narrowed or obstructed due to fatty clots. Plaque is formed out of cholesterol, calcium, and other substances that float in blood and inside the walls of coronary arteries and other arteries. When these small vessels are blocked and start narrowing, it is named as atherosclerosis.

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Arteries without Fat 

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A heart attack results when blood flow is completely blocked, usually by a blood clot forming over a plaque that has busted and opened (ruptured).

Heart attack (myocardial infection) causes complete death of the heart muscle cells.

The pain of heart attack is usually combined with other signs such as

  • Chest discomfort - it feels like heavy load on the heart, or crushing or squeezing
  • Chest pain radiating to jaws, neck, shoulders, or arms
  • Sweating
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Shortness of breath
  • Dizziness with mild to severe headache.
  • Irregular and fast heartbeats
  • Loss of consciousness

People with Type 2 diabetes often have low HDL cholesterol and raised triglyceride levels, which together increases the risk of atherosclerosis. High blood pressure, smoking, obesity and physical inactivity are also risk factors for CVD. High blood sugar causes changes in the hormones and the cells that can damage your blood vessels or nerves, or both. Damaged blood vessels are more likely to build up plaque, increasing the risk of coronary artery disease, heart attack and stroke. Damage to smaller blood vessels can lead to loss of vision, kidney disease, and nerve problems.

Causes for Heart Disease and Stroke

Heart or large blood vessel disease. These complications sometimes referred as macro vascular disease, which may cause peripheral arterial disease, stroke, or heart attack. PAD (peripheral arterial disease) is a condition which results due to narrowing of the arteries that supply blood to legs, abdomen, pelvis, arms, and neck. It builds up excess cholesterol, calcium, and other substances (plaque) inside the arteries, particularly in the ones which supply oxygen rich blood to legs.

General symptoms of PAD are

  • Decreased leg strength, its reduced functioning and poor balance when standing.
  • Cold and numb feet or toes.
  • Sores that is slow to heal.
  • Tight or squeezing pain in the calf, foot, thigh, or buttock

It is suggested to recognize the early stages of heart problems with routine check ups and go ahead with the treatment as early as possible. Medical treatment is needed to prevent further complications and eventually the death. The permanent damages occurring in the heart can be reduced to minimum, if treated early.


Diabetes Complications

See Other Articles Related to - Heart Disease and Stroke

Diabetic Retinopathy Diabetic Neuropathy
Diabetes Skin Care Diabetic Nephropathy
Heart Disease and Stroke

by MANSA Date Added: Thu 19 June, 2008
I m feeling very lucky to visit this site.I find a complete package for my dissertation topic-Diabetes.
I m grateful to the site creator

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