Cardiovascular Complications due to Diabetes – Part 2

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Source: Written for Spice your Life, by Dr. Nagarathnam Jetti, MBBS,DPH,DIH,FIAOH.


Continued from Part 1

Most unfortunate aspect of Heart attack in a diabetic is that the heart attack does not present in a typical way. The attack can be silent. We can even say that the heart attack in a diabetic is characteristically Atypical.

In a non-diabetic, the heart attack typically presents as a compressing pain in the left  side of the chest, severe breathlessness along with apprehension, pain radiating to the left arm and to the little and ring fingers. We can see the fear in the face of the person with heart attack.

But in a diabetic patient, the heart attack may not present itself as in the above mentioned ways. The patient many not feel the pain: there may be some discomfort in the jaw, shoulder or Epigastrium. Some times could have pain in the back. He may suddenly pass motion, may have nausea. There may be breathlessness.

So a diabetic with poorly controlled blood sugar with other causating factors should be aware and cautious of the atypical presentation of the impending heart attack.

A diabetic can prevent this heart attack by knowing the contributory factors:

The continuous poor control of blood sugar along with Dyslipidemia can cause changes in the blood vessels by way of thickening, clot formation and these changes can happen in all parts of the body.
Changes in the blood vessels in the periphery can lead to loss of limbs, hypertension, and changes in the blood vessels of eyes leads to retinopathy and blindness.
Changes in the coronary vessels lead to heart attack.
Changes in the brain leads to transient Ischaemic attack and stroke.

When there is blocking, narrowing and thickening of blood vessels in the brain along with hypertension, the Transient Ischaemic attack and stroke will follow. This is a result of poor supply or non supply of blood to the important areas of the brain, prolonged non supply of blood to the brain will result in permanent damage and so the recovery from stroke is remote.
Usually when there is a block in the blood vessels and stoppage of blood supply to the particular area of brain, collateral blood vessels will be developed through which the blood supply will be restored, which is the process of recovery from the stoke.

Besides, poorly controlled blood sugar in a diabetic, there are large number of causation and contributing factors for the cardiovascular complications.

A diabetic has to be fully aware of these factors in detail so that they can take precaution to prevent these complications. We will discuss these issues in the next article.

Earlier on Diabetes:

General Notes on Diabetes
Introduction to Diabetes ~ What Is Diabetes?
Why Early Diagnosis Is Important?
Diagnosing Diabetes ~ Different Types Of Diabetes
Dietary Aspects in the Management of Diabetes
Dietary Aspects in the Management of Diabetes ~ Part 2
Glycemic Index of Different Foods
Uncontrolled diabetes leading to Renal Failure
Diabetes and Eye disease

Diabetes Diet:

Appey or Paniyaram with Jowar Four
Healthly Snack with Chickpea Salad
Gooseberry Rice
Guava ~ the Wonder Fruit


Diabetes Diet/Management: Srivalli, Champa, Harini, PJ  
Kid Friendly Recipes: Kalyani, Shylaja, Veena  
Seven Days of Soup:Usha, Sowmya  
30 Minutes Meals: Priya Suresh  
Seven days of Cakes:  Anusha

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  1. I once read somewhere that the doctor told a 20 year old cancer patient that he is lucky that he got cancer and not diabetes. I don't agree with the doctor but reading all these info makes me realize that diabetes is nothing buy a slow poison. Will eat you up completely one day.

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