The typical heart attack warnings are usually missing in diabetics

The typical heart attack warnings are usually missing in diabetics

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Typical heart attack warning signs are often missing in diabetics

Around 300,000 people in Germany suffer a heart attack every year. Rapid action can save lives in an emergency. Most of the time, certain warning symptoms indicate an impending infarction. However, this is often not the case with diabetics.

Some out of the blue

Health experts say that around 300,000 people in Germany suffer a heart attack each year. Although many people are hit out of the blue by an infarction, there are often warning symptoms beforehand. Recognizing a heart attack quickly can be life-saving. Alarm signals include severe chest pain that sometimes radiates into the left arm or the lower jaw. However, such warning signals are often missing in people with diabetes.

Around seven million diabetics in Germany

As the Deutsche Herzstiftung reports in a recent report, diabetes mellitus (diabetes) is known in around seven million people in Germany.

Diabetics are often afraid of the typical late complications in diabetes such as blindness, kidney failure or amputation, but underestimate the increased risk of heart attack and stroke.

Even though it can often hit these patients, because the risk of fatal heart attacks is greatly increased in diabetes, British scientists reported last year. Women in particular make diabetes more susceptible to a heart attack.

Weak pain sensation

According to the foundation, diabetics who suffer a heart attack usually lack the severe chest pain typical of an infarction and thus the decisive warning sign for their life-threatening situation.

"Long-term diabetics in particular often have a very weak sensation of pain for typical heart attack warning symptoms such as chest pain, so that for these patients the heart attack is often the first symptom of long-established calcification of the coronary arteries," explained Prof. Dr. med. H. c. Diethelm Tschöpe from the Scientific Advisory Board of the German Heart Foundation.

In diabetics, the long-term hypoglycemia leads to nervous system disorders, so that they do not feel the typical chest pain as a result of the circulatory disorder of the heart muscle.

Have risk factors checked

According to Prof. Tschöpe, diabetes patients, but also patients with coronary heart disease (CHD), should have their family doctor check the heart attack risk factors such as high blood pressure, high blood sugar, excessively high cholesterol and triglyceride levels and obesity.

Chronically high blood sugar favors arteriosclerosis (hardening of the arteries) as the cause of heart attack and stroke, so that the risk of heart attack is two to four times higher in men with diabetes and six times higher in women (after menopause even more).

“Diabetes and heart problems are a dangerous combination: Because diabetes and CHD patients often only know about one disease at a time and nothing about the other for years, they are at high risk of an infarction - even though they may have had specialist treatment for years "Said the expert.

Have your blood sugar measured regularly

For example, if a diabetic complains of frequent shortness of breath, this can be a sign of heart failure as a result of untreated CAD and undetected hypertension.

Patients with CHD or other heart disease are more than 60 percent likely to have diabetes.

In patients with chronic heart failure alone, about a third of those affected also suffer from diabetes. The increased blood sugar damages all vessels and thus promotes the development and progression of heart failure.

"Heart patients with CHD, heart failure or atrial fibrillation should therefore have their doctor measure their blood sugar (fasting blood sugar) at regular intervals and insist on this blood test."

Such blood sugar tests are easy to carry out by your family doctor or internists and diabetologists.

If the diagnosis of diabetes is made, immediate and consistent treatment to normalize blood sugar levels is important so that the blood vessels are not damaged by high blood sugar and the oxygen supply to the heart and the whole organism is not impaired. (ad)

Author and source information

Video: What Is The Connection Between Diabetes And Cardiovascular Disease? - Dr. Kahlon (May 2022).


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