A chance to get heart disease in diabetics:
Women with diabetes need to be extra careful to prevent heart disease as heart disease is the most common cause of death in diabetics. Diabetes is a chronic disease in which lack of insulin causes reduced uptake and utilisation of glucose at the cellular level. This causes the un-utilised glucose to stay on in the blood and thus increases blood sugar levels. There is a chance for heart disease in diabetics.
Cause great damage to all the organs:
The high levels of glucose in the blood cause great damage to all the organs of the body. This is especially true of the heart. The damage is wrecked mainly on the blood vessels of the entire body. The viscosity of the blood increases because of the high sugar level and this causes deposits or plaques on the inside lining of the blood vessels essentially hardening and narrowing them down. Proper blood flow to the heart is restricted and this can cause a heart attack.
Where the blood sugar levels are improperly managed the chances of developing heart disease almost doubles. Also, women who have diabetes usually have high blood pressure and high cholesterol which further increases their risks of heart disease.
The cardiac risks with diabetes :
What are the cardiac risks with diabetes? With the hardening of the arteries, coronary artery disease or CAD is the most common cardiac complication in diabetes. The arteries being blocked or narrowed leads to angina or chest pains. The pain may occur in the shoulders, arms, jaw or back. It may feel like indigestion. With diabetes affecting the nerves (deadening them), there is the extra risk that the diagnosis of heart disease may be missed because sometimes there is no pain at all even though the cardiac muscles are being dangerously deprived of oxygen.
With decreasing blood flow the heart muscles often get weakened. The heart cannot function or pump effectively leading to a pooling of blood in the lungs and tissues. This is known as congestive cardiac failure. It causes breathlessness, coughing, swelling over feet and legs and other symptoms like lightheadedness, confusion and fatigue.
The weakened heart muscles can also lead to problems in the normal steady rhythm of the heart causing arrhythmias or irregular heartbeats.
Another heart condition that may be caused is cardiomyopathy. The heart muscles become enlarged, thick and rigid causing arrhythmias, palpitations and heart valve problems.
Manage your diabetes to reduce the risks to your heart:
How to manage your diabetes to reduce the risks to your heart? First and foremost, you must make all efforts to keep your blood sugar in control. Stick to a diabetic diet, avoid sugary snacks and drinks and take your medications regularly. Keep tabs on your blood sugar levels by checking both fasting and post-prandial (pp) levels regularly. An A1C test will tell you how well in control your blood sugar levels have been in the last 3 months. Ideally, the figure should be less than 7.
Need to follow these tips:
You will also need to exercise regularly, reduce excess weight, quit smoking, avoid stress and maintain a healthy blood pressure. You will need to reduce intake of triglyceride fats and maintain a healthy cholesterol level. On the doctor's advice, you might need to take aspirin, blood thinners, statins or beta-blockers as required.