Does Diabetes Make A Heart Attack Feel Different
By Lisa Rapaport, Reuters Health
5 Min Read
– People with diabetes may not always feel classic symptoms like acute chest pain when they have a heart attack, according to a small study that offers a potential explanation for why these episodes are more deadly for diabetics.
Researchers examined data from detailed interviews with 39 adults in the UK who had been diagnosed with diabetes and had also experienced a heart attack. Most of the participants reported feeling some chest pain, but they often said it didnt feel like they expected or that they didnt think it was really a heart attack.
Long term diabetes damages your heart in many ways , but it also damages your nerves, said study co-author Dr. Melvyn Jones of University College London.
So a bit like a diabetic might not feel the stubbing of their toe, they also feel less pain from damaged heart muscle when the blood supply gets cut off, so they dont get the classical crushing chest pain of a heart attack, Jones said by email.
People with diabetes are three times more likely to die from heart disease than the general population and possibly six times more likely to have a heart attack, Jones added.
All patients in the study received care at one of three hospitals in London, and they ranged in age from 40 to 90. Most were male, and roughly half were white.
Many of the participants described heart attack symptoms such as chest pain and discomfort.
SOURCE: bit.ly/2yEDdTr BMJ Open, online September 15, 2017.
Could High Cholesterol Be Causing Your Chest Pain
Do you sometimes feel pain, pressure, or discomfort in your chest? If so, you may have angina, a condition in which your heart doesnt get enough of the oxygen-rich blood it needs.
Angina can have a variety of causes, but the most common is coronary heart disease, which occurs when a waxy substance known as plaque builds up in the arteries. Plaque can accumulate in your arteries when you have high cholesterol.
If you have chest pain related to high cholesterol and plaque buildup, you need to understand your condition and your symptoms. The dedicated team of providers here at HeartCare Associates of Connecticut, LLC would like to share the following facts about chest pain and cholesterol.
What You Need To Know About Neuropathy
You cant always avoid neuropathy, but lifestyle changes can help reduce your risk even if you have diabetes.
Keeping your blood glucose levels in a healthy range is extremely important. You can do this by maintaining a healthy weight, getting regular exercise and eating a healthy diet. Also, avoid smoking and limit your alcohol intake.
If you think you may have autonomic neuropathy, watch for these symptoms:
- Dizziness or fainting when you stand
- Urinary problems like incontinence or inability to fully empty the bladder
- Sexual difficulties like erectile dysfunction or low libido
- Digestion difficulties like appetite loss, difficulty swallowing and heartburn
- Sweating too much or hardly at all
- Intolerance to exercise
If you have any of these symptoms, see your doctor right away. Getting an early diagnosis and treatment can help slow nerve damage and repair problems. Treatment options for neuropathy may include:
- Pain medication
- Occupational therapy for coping with pain and loss of function
- Aids like braces to increase mobility and reduce pain
- Nutritional changes
If you have type 2 diabetes have your doctor screen annually for autonomic neuropathy. If you have type 1 diabetes, the American Diabetes Association recommends annual screenings starting five years after your diagnosis.
Read more expert advice fromSue Cotey, RN, CDE, and Andrea Harris, RN, CDEon their blog.
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Diabetes Increases Heart Attack Risk
Diabetes can cause several complications, and heart disease is a major one. Over time, high blood glucose levels can damage your blood vessels. Poor circulation can also cause nerve damage, leading to a condition known as . Many people with are aware of how neuropathy can cause pain and , or loss of sensation particularly to their feet and toes. But they may not know this can also damage nerves elsewhere inside the body, affecting your organs like the heart. This is autonomic neuropathy. The autonomic nerves serve your circulatory, respiratory, digestive, and all other systems without you realizing it. If the blood vessels in and around your heart are damaged by neuropathy, you may not feel the most common sign of a heart attackchest pain.
Your risk of heart attack may be even higher if you have one or more of these other risk factors:
Glycemic Control And The Risk Of Micro
Patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus are at an increased risk of angina and adverse cardiovascular events compared to those without diabetes , and despite efforts at risk reduction the majority of diabetics continue to die from cardiovascular disease . Previous studies have shown that CMD is common in patients with type 2 diabetes , and in the current study we show that 72.1% of diabetics had some sort of CMD. Both endothelial-dependent and -independent CMD are linked to ischemia , and thus CMD could represent the underlying mechanism for angina in diabetics who have non-obstructive CAD at angiography. Studies have also shown that systemic microvascular abnormalities may involve endothelin-1 and are common in patients with microvascular angina , while others have shown that impaired myocardial flow reserve, which leads to angina, is frequent in type 2 diabetics, and is strongly associated with the degree of albuminuria . These findings suggest that CMD and albuminuria might share common mechanisms, and underscores the notion that microvascular disease in diabetes is a systemic phenomenon extending beyond known microvascular beds such as the kidneys and into the coronary circulation.
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Angina In Women Vs Men
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Men often feel pain in their chest, neck, and shoulders. Women may feel discomfort in their belly, neck, jaw, throat, or back. You may also have shortness of breath, sweating, or dizziness.
One study found that women were more likely to use the words “pressing” or “crushing” to describe the feeling.
Diabetes And Your Heart
You can lower your risk for heart disease with lifestyle changes.
Diabetes and heart disease often go hand in hand. Learn how to protect your heart with simple lifestyle changes that can also help you manage diabetes.
Heart disease is very common and serious. Its the leading cause of death for both men and women in the United States. If you have diabetes, youre twice as likely to have heart disease or a stroke than someone who doesnt have diabetesand at a younger age. The longer you have diabetes, the more likely you are to have heart disease.
But the good news is that you can lower your risk for heart disease and improve your heart health by changing certain lifestyle habits. Those changes will help you manage diabetes better too.
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Signs And Symptoms Of Pancreatic Cancer
Early pancreatic cancers often do not cause any signs or symptoms. By the time they do cause symptoms, they have often grown very large or already spread outside the pancreas.
Having one or more of the symptoms below does not mean you have pancreatic cancer. In fact, many of these symptoms are more likely to be caused by other conditions. Still, if you have any of these symptoms, its important to have them checked by a doctor so that the cause can be found and treated, if needed.
Nutritional Solutions To Avoid High Blood Sugar
Dr. Doyle says, The solution is to drink plenty of fluids and to keep your blood sugar down in the first place!
And the absolute most effective way to do that is to adopt a whole food plant based diet.
This is a diet based on vegetables, fruits, whole unprocessed grains, legumes, nuts and seeds, with minimal animal products and processed foods or sugars.
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Difficulty Relaxing The Muscles
Consuming high amounts of sugar regularly can deplete the body of nutrients for strong cell and muscle function. A diet high in sugar contributes to the loss of nutrients like calcium, potassium, and magnesium, which helps regulate relaxation and contraction in muscles. When muscles are constantly contracting , they become tense and tight which means a greater risk for aggravating nearby nerves.
Classification Of Chest Pain
The physician made an overall assessment of symptoms as typical or atypical, and entered a diagnosis of angina or non-cardiac chest pain at the end of the consultation. We used the physician assessment of chest pain typicality in our primary analysis but in a separate analysis, to exclude the possibility of selection bias, we made an objective assessment of chest pain typicality using modified DiamondForrester criteria where features of typical cardiac chest pain, recorded during the consultation from a dropdown menu , were defined as constricting quality, central or left-side location, 15 min duration, and provocation by exercise. Atypical pain was defined as 2 of these features.
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There Are A Number Of Steps You Can Take To Control Diabetes
Studies have shown that diet and exercise are the most important factors in prolonging the lives of people with diabetes. Exercise helps keep your blood sugar under control, reduces blood pressure and cholesterol, and reduces your reliance on medications. In addition, several new types of diabetes medications have been shown specifically to reduce the risk of heart failure. Anything you can do to improve diabetes management will also help you reduce your risk for heart and vascular disease.
- Eat a heart-healthy diet that is high in fiber and low in saturated fat, cholesterol and trans fat
- Exercise for at least 30 minutes, five or more days a week
- Lose weight. Try to achieve a waist circumference that is less than 40 inches for men and 35 inches for women
- If you smoke, quit
- Ask your doctor if you should take a daily aspirin
- Take all your medications per your doctors instructions
Three Ways To Decrease Your Risk For Heart Disease
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See Your Diabetes Educator
Work with a diabetes care and education specialist for help avoiding health complications such as heart disease. Youll get support and solutions and hear about the latest advances in managing diabetes. Find out more about how diabetes education can help you take the best care of yourself. And be sure to ask your doctor for a referral if you dont already have a diabetes educator.
How Diabetes Raises Risk For Heart Disease
The concentration of blood glucose or blood sugar, and how much it sticks to red blood cells and impedes the flow of oxygen in the blood, plays a large role in cardiovascular risk. An important measurement of sugar in the blood over a three-month period is the hemoglobin A1C test.
Hemoglobin is just one of the proteins that transport oxygen in the blood. Diabetes is a disease that impacts large blood vessels and small vessels . Diabetes can affect the cardiovascular system by:
- Attaching glucose to blood proteins and disrupting the distribution of oxygen throughout the body
- Causing the clumping of cholesterol-carrying proteins like LDL cholesterol, which leads to more plaque buildup in the vessel walls
- Producing fatty acids that can destroy proteins in the blood vessels
- Accelerating the development of atherosclerosis by playing a significant role in blood vessel inflammation
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Take Care Of Your Heart
These lifestyle changes can help lower your risk for heart disease or keep it from getting worse, as well as help you manage diabetes:
- Follow a healthy diet. Eat more fresh fruits and vegetables, lean protein, and whole grains. Eat fewer processed foods and avoid transexternal icon fat. Drink more water, fewer sugary drinks, and less alcohol.
- Aim for a healthy weight. If youre overweight, losing even a modest amount of weight can lower your triglycerides and blood sugar. Modest weight loss means 5% to 7% of body weight, just 10 to 14 pounds for a 200-pound person.
- Get active. Being physically active makes your body more sensitive to insulin , which helps manage your diabetes. Physical activity also helps control blood sugar levels and lowers your risk of heart disease. Try to get at least 150 minutes per week of moderate-intensity physical activity, such as brisk walking.
- Manage your ABCs:
- A: Get a regular A1C test to measure your average blood sugar over 2 to 3 months aim to stay in your target range as much as possible.
- B: Try to keep your blood pressure below 140/90 mm Hg .
- C: Manage your cholesterol levels.
- s: Stop smoking or dont start.
How Doctors Diagnose Diabetes Complications
Blood sugar testing This test evaluates the amount of sugar in your bloodstream and can help your doctor determine whether your current diabetes treatment is working.
Retina exam Eyedrops are used to dilate or widen your pupils, and then your doctor uses a machine to take a picture of your retina. This test assesses the health of your eyes and can help diagnose diabetic retinopathy.
Foot examination Your doctor examines your feet for signs of infection, nerve damage, and poor circulation.
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The Undeniable Link Between Sugar Aches And Stiffness
Is your daily intake of sugar causing you pain and inflammation? With the increase in sugar consumption over the last several decades, we have also seen a rise in obesity, chronic illness, diabetes and many other painful and inflammatory conditions. The average American consumes about 150 pounds of sugar per year, where less than 100 years ago, the intake was only about 4 pounds per year. Our western and modern-day diets are often high in refined starches and sugars which can promote inflammation, leading to numerous diseases, achiness, and chronic pain.
What does pain and inflammation from sugar feel like? It can present as joint stiffness, muscle aches, tightness, tension, digestive discomfort, fibromyalgia, migraines, or even PMS pain. And the truth is, sugar is hiding in the food and beverages you consume all day long! You may not think that you are eating much of the sweet stuff, but when you consider the hidden sugar in your food, plus the fact that even healthy carbohydrates turn to sugar in your body, it can all add up quickly.
Reducing Your Risk Of Heart Attack Or Heart Disease
The good news is, you can reduce your risk of having a heart attack or developing heart disease.
- Get your HbA1c, blood pressure and blood cholesterol measured at least once a year as part of your annual diabetes review make sure you get advice and support from your healthcare team to keep them within your target range. Your care might look a bit different due to the coronavirus pandemic.
- Dont smoke. Smoking makes it harder for blood to flow around your body, especially to your heart. If you need help stopping, ask your healthcare team for more help or check out our information to help you quit.
- Eat a healthy, balanced diet to protect your heart reducing how much saturated fat you have is a good place to start.
- Be physically active and do some regular exercise.
- If you are living with obesity or overweight, get support to help you lose some weight. Even losing a small amount can make a real difference. Being a healthy weight range reduces the strain on your heart.
- Take your medication as prescribed. Some medicines help to protect your heart by reducing high blood pressure or blood fats and you may take these even if you dont have any blood pressure problems or high blood fats.
And if you have any chest pain or pain when walking call 999 straight away. These could be signs of a heart attack.
We’ve got more information about reducing your risk of a stroke too it’s all very similar advice as they’re closely linked.
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What Is A Silent Heart Attack
A silent heart attack, or silent myocardial infarction , is a heart attack with minimal to no associated symptoms. Due to this lack of symptoms, the patient is unaware that they have suffered a major cardiovascular event. Instead, they may attribute seemingly minor signs like fatigue or mild chest discomfort to illnesses like the flu or indigestion.
Despite the lack of symptoms, silent heart attacks are still heart attacks and can have some serious consequences, leaving behind scar tissue, weakening the heart, and increasing the risk for a subsequent, more serious heart attack. For this reason, it is important to mention all potential signs, even seemingly insignificant ones, to your physician, particularly if you also have contributing risk factors such as Type 2 diabetes.
Ways Sugar Can Cause Pain
1. Linked to Blood Sugar DysregulationEating sugar causes blood sugar levels to rise and then drop quickly. When your blood sugar is not stable, it leads to mood swings, fatigue, painful headaches, and more cravings for sugar. Before long, you are in an endless loop of cravings, hunger, and more sugar intake. By ditching the sugar, you can end the rollercoaster ride of high to low blood sugar swings.
2. Linked to Heart Disease
Sugar causes blood sugar levels to rise and drop quickly
Eating too much sugar increases your risk of cardiovascular diseases such as a heart attack or stroke. And it appears that even if you eat a healthy diet, those of us eating more sugar are at a greater risk for cardiovascular disease, according to a study published in JAMA Internal Medicine. High-sugar diets stimulate fat production in the liver which is associated with heart disease furthermore, researchers have found that patients reporting chronic pain are at an increased risk of cardiac disease.
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