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Can A Diabetic Have A Heart Attack And Not Know It?

Type 2 Diabetes And Silent Heart Attacks

Type 2 Diabetes And Silent Heart Attacks

You probably don't think of a heart attack as the kind of thing that could happen without you even knowing it. But it can, and it's more common than you might think. It's called a silent heart attack. It can happen to anyone, but diabetes makes you more likely to have one. You might not feel anything at all. Or it could feel mild, like heartburn or the odd ache or pain. It might seem so minor that you just shrug it off and think it's just part of getting older. But a heart attack is serious business, whether you have symptoms or not. That makes it really important to keep up with all your regular checkups. Make sure you get in tune with your body so you're aware of subtle changes. One of the common effects of diabetes is a type of nerve damage called neuropathy. Usually it causes problems like numbness, tingling, or weakness in your hands and feet. But it doesn't always stop there. You can also have damage in nerves that lead to your heart, bladder, and blood vessels. When that happens, you might not get important warning signs like pain or discomfort. So during a heart attack that might normally cause big-time pain in your chest, arm, or jaw, you might not notice a thing. It's like someone presses a big mute button on what you're able to feel. But the damage does happen, and the dangerous consequences of a silent heart attack are real. You can help protect yourself by keeping a close eye out for nerve damage. If you catch it early, you might be able to slow it down. Feeling dizzy or fainting when you stand up Sweating way more than usual or not at all Trouble digesting food, like bloating and stomach upset Some people don't have any symptoms at all. If you do have them, they may be mild and go away quickly. And you might feel totally fine once the silent attack is don Continue reading >>

Top 10 Myths About Cardiovascular Disease

Top 10 Myths About Cardiovascular Disease

Top 10 Myths about Cardiovascular Disease How much do you really know about your hearts health? Its easy to be fooled by misconceptions. After all, heart disease only happens to your elderly neighbor or to your fried food-loving uncle, right? Or do you know the real truth that heart disease can affect people of any age, even those who eat right? Relying on false assumptions can be dangerous to your heart. Cardiovascular disease kills more Americans each year than any other disease. But you can boost your heart smarts by separating fact from fiction. Lets set the record straight on some common myths. Im too young to worry about heart disease. How you live now affects your risk for cardiovascular diseases later in life. As early as childhood and adolescence, plaque can start accumulating in the arteries and later lead to clogged arteries. One in three Americans has cardiovascular disease, but not all of them are senior citizens. Even young and middle-aged people can develop heart problems especially now that obesity, type 2 diabetes and other risk factors are becoming more common at a younger age. Id know if I had high blood pressure because there would be warning signs. High blood pressure is called the silent killer because you dont usually know you have it. You may never experience symptoms, so dont wait for your body to alert you that theres a problem. Theway to know if you have high blood pressure is to check your numbers with a simple blood pressure test. Early treatment of high blood pressure is critical because, if left untreated, it can cause heart attack, stroke, kidney damage and other serious health problems. Learn how high blood pressure isdiagnosed . Ill know when Im having a heart attack because Ill have chest pain. Not necessarily. Although its common to Continue reading >>

Could You Have A Heart Attack And Not Know It?

Could You Have A Heart Attack And Not Know It?

Could you have a heart attack and not know it? Julie Corliss , Executive Editor, Harvard Heart Letter Heres a surprising fact: nearly half of people who have a heart attack dont realize it at the time. These so-called silent heart attacks are only diagnosed after the event, when a recording of the hearts electrical activity (an electrocardiogram or ECG) or another test reveals evidence of damage to the heart. One explanation for this phenomenon may be a higher-than-average tolerance for pain. Some people mistake their symptoms as indigestion or muscle pain, while others may feel pain, but in parts of their upper body other than the center of the chest, says Dr. Kenneth Rosenfield, who heads the vascular medicine and intervention section at Harvard-affiliated Massachusetts General Hospital. Many people dont realize that during a heart attack, the classic symptom of chest pain happens only about half of the time, he says. People sometimes describe heart attack symptoms as chest discomfort or pressure, while others say they feel an intense, crushing sensation or a deep ache similar to a toothache. Certain people are less sensitive to pain than others, or they may deny their pain and tough it out because they dont want to appear to be weak. Not everyone has a good sense of their own pain tolerance, however, and a host of other factors (such as your emotional state) can affect pain perception. Of note: people with diabetes may be less sensitive to pain because the disease can deaden nerves (a condition known as diabetic neuropathy), theoretically raising their risk for a silent heart attack. During a heart attack, the location of the pain can also vary quite a bit from person to person, notes Dr. Rosenfield. It may occur in the arm, shoulder, neck, jaw, or elsewhere in the Continue reading >>

Diabetic Heart Disease

Diabetic Heart Disease

If you have diabetes or pre-diabetes you have an increased risk for heart disease. Diabetic heart disease can be coronary heart disease (CHD), heart failure, and diabetic cardiomyopathy. Diabetes by itself puts you at risk for heart disease. Other risk factors include Family history of heart disease Carrying extra weight around the waist Abnormal cholesterol levels High blood pressure Smoking Some people who have diabetic heart disease have no signs or symptoms of heart disease. Others have some or all of the symptoms of heart disease. Treatments include medications to treat heart damage or to lower your blood glucose (blood sugar), blood pressure, and cholesterol. If you are not already taking a low dose of aspirin every day, your doctor may suggest it. You also may need surgery or some other medical procedure. Lifestyle changes also help. These include a healthy diet, maintaining a healthy weight, being physically active, and quitting smoking. NIH: National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases Continue reading >>

Silent Heart Attack

Silent Heart Attack

A heart attack that does not produce the hallmark symptoms of chest pain and difficulty breathing. It is estimated that as many as 4 million Americans have had silent heart attacks, and diabetes raises the risk of having one. A heart attack, also known as a myocardial infarction, occurs when low blood flow to the heart starves it of oxygen, damaging it. Most heart attacks are caused by a blood clot that blocks one of the coronary arteries, the arteries that carry blood and oxygen to the heart muscle. A clot most often forms in a coronary artery that has been narrowed by atherosclerotic plaque. Risk factors for heart attacks include a family history of heart attack, being male, diabetes, older age, high blood pressure, smoking, and blood lipid abnormalities, especially high LDL (“bad”) cholesterol levels and low HDL (“good”) cholesterol levels. Typically, a heart attack produces chest pain, which may radiate to the arms, shoulders, neck, teeth, jaw, abdomen, or back. Other common symptoms include shortness of breath, nausea or vomiting, and anxiety. Anyone experiencing these symptoms should seek medical care immediately. But people with diabetes may not feel these symptoms due to diabetic neuropathy (nerve disease), which can damage the nerves that control the heart, as well as mask the chest and back pain that usually accompanies an attack. Continue reading >>

Questions To Ask Your Doctor About Heart Disease When You Have Diabetes

Questions To Ask Your Doctor About Heart Disease When You Have Diabetes

Questions to Ask Your Doctor About Heart Disease When You Have Diabetes Asking the right questions can help you make smart choices to protect your heart health. Sign Up for Our Living with Diabetes Newsletter Sign up for more FREE Everyday Health newsletters . Diabetes and heart health are closely connected not only does having diabetes put you at greater risk for heart disease, but many of the same management strategies can help you avoid both diabetes- and heart-related problems. While your doctor should discuss your heart disease risk with you, many people with diabetes still dont talk about their heart health with their doctors. There may be a number of reasons for this, including the limited time available at appointments or patients hesitancy to ask about the topic possibly because they dont know what to ask. But having a conversation about your heart disease risk is a vital step toward taking charge of your health. Here are some of the most important questions to ask your doctor about heart health , and why healthcare experts believe theyre worth asking. Do I have an elevated risk for heart disease? This question is a good way to get a conversation on the topic started, but you shouldnt be surprised by the answer. Diabetes is one of the most potent risk factors for heart disease that we know of, says Micah J. Eimer, MD , a cardiologist at Northwestern Medicines Bluhm Cardiovascular Institute in Chicago. Patients who have diabetes but no heart disease have the same [heart] risk as somebody whos already had a heart attack. But, Dr. Eimer adds, how high your risk for heart disease is depends on other factors besides just diabetes, including your blood pressure, blood lipid levels, weight, kidney health, family history, smoking status, and physical activity level. O Continue reading >>

The Connection Between Diabetes, Heart Disease, And Stroke

The Connection Between Diabetes, Heart Disease, And Stroke

Aaron contacted TheDiabetesCouncil with some questions related to diabetes and heart disease. Aaron is 57 years old. He has had Type 2 diabetes for 12 years. Aaron visited his doctor related to swelling in his ankles and feet, shortness of breath, and weight gain. After some tests, the doctor informed him that on top of his Type 2 diabetes, he now has congestive heart failure. He was now wondering why did he have heart disease now and was it because of his diabetes? In order to help Aaron and other people with diabetes understand the connection between diabetes and heart disease and how to prevent it, we decided to look into the specific link between the two diseases. What is the connection between diabetes and heart disease? According to the American Heart Association, there exist a relationship between cardiovascular disease and diabetes: 68% percent of people with diabetes who are aged 65 and older die from heart disease and 16% die of a stroke. People with diabetes are more likely to die from a heart disease than those without diabetes. The National Institute of Health states the following for people with diabetes: They have additional causes of heart disease They are at higher risk of heart disease than those who do not have diabetes They may develop heart disease at a younger age Risk assessment must take into account the major risk factors (cigarette smoking, elevated blood pressure, abnormal serum lipids and lipoproteins, and hyperglycemia) and predisposing risk factors (excess body weight and abdominal obesity, physical inactivity, and family history of CVD). Identification of risk factors is a major first step for developing a plan for risk reduction in persons with diabetes. – Scott M. Grundy et al, Diabetes and Cardiovascular Disease In two words, the conn Continue reading >>

The Silent Heart Attacks That Can Strike Diabetics Without Warning

The Silent Heart Attacks That Can Strike Diabetics Without Warning

Property consultant Michael Green was adamant that his type 2 diabetes was nothing to worry about. 'It's the non-serious type,' he'd say dismissively. Michael's laid-back attitude is in some ways understandable. The father-of-one had never suffered any obvious ill-effects from the condition he'd lived with for 28 years, and he'd been diagnosed not as a result of any troubling symptoms, but by chance following a routine blood test. Compared to a family friend who had type 1 diabetes, he was lucky, he insisted. At least he didn't have to monitor his blood sugar levels every few hours, and inject insulin. Then one night, two years ago, he went to sleep and never woke up. At just 53, he'd suffered a 'silent heart attack' - a little-known complication of diabetes. A silent attack is almost symptomless and occurs without any of the chest pain normally associated with a heart attack. Yet they can be just as dangerous - if not more so - as a normal heart attack. They're also surprisingly common. It is estimated that around a quarter of the 175,000 heart attacks in the UK each year are the silent type - and people with diabetes are at greatest risk. This is because the nerve damage linked to their condition can prevent warning signals being transmitted in the usual way. This, in turn, can lead to a delay in seeking treatment and result in damage to the blood vessels and heart muscle that make the heart attack more lethal. Heart attacks occur when there is a blockage in the artery supplying blood to the heart. Normally, this is as a result of a fatty plaque breaking off from the artery wall, triggering a blood clot. When the blood supply to the heart is reduced, the body produces chemicals that affect nerves and trigger pain. Often, people describe the pain of a heart attack as a Continue reading >>

7 Silent Signs Of A Heart Attack

7 Silent Signs Of A Heart Attack

istock/Yuri_Arcurs Dr. Stacey E. Rosen, MD, a Go Red For Women cardiologist at North Shore-LIJ Health System, says this is one of the most common symptoms she sees (especially in women heart attack patients). “In my 25 years of practice, people on the verge of a heart attack report feeling tired and not able to do their usual activities,” she says. During a heart attack, blood flow to the heart is reduced, putting extra stress on the muscle, which could make you feel exhausted, according to WebMD. Don’t be afraid to ask your doctor to do an electrocardiogram (EKG), which checks heart activity. “Sometimes when people present with lethargy, doctors won’t immediately order an EKG, which can detect a heart attack; but you should request one from your doctor, just to be safe,” says Annapoorna Kini, MD, of The Mount Sinai Hospital. Here are some other tests for your heart that could save your life. istock/gpointstudio Noticeable pain or soreness in the back, chest, or either arm is often a silent heart attack sign. As MyHeartSisters.org explains it: “When heart muscle cells begin to run out of oxygen during a heart attack because of a blocked artery preventing oxygenated blood from feeding that muscle, they begin to send off pain signals through the nervous system. Your brain may confuse those nerve signals with signals coming from the arm (or the jaw, shoulder, elbow, neck or upper back) because of the nerve proximity.” Because the pain is often not accompanied by the typical chest heaviness associated with heart attack, people tend to ignore it, says Dr. Rosen. “I’ve had patients say they only felt the pain when they were working out, so they assumed it was just from exercise, but that’s not right,” says Rosen. “If the symptom is something new, tha Continue reading >>

How Do Symptoms Of A Heart Attack Differ In People With Diabetes?

How Do Symptoms Of A Heart Attack Differ In People With Diabetes?

Question: How do symptoms of a heart attack differ in people with diabetes? Answer: Well, if you have diabetes -- particularly for a long time -- it can alter how the body responds to sort of, the heart, the pain the heart is feeling. I've studied this for many years, and we actually describe that individuals with diabetes, like yourself, may not have typical chest pain or angina pectoris when they have a heart attack. Some of these patients actually may have chest pressure, milder pressure; they may not have any pain at all in the chest, instead they may notice the acute onset of shortness of breath, or sweating, or sometimes you may even experience some weird change in your glucose level that you can't explain. And in those cases that could be what's called an equivalent -- an anginal equivalent -- for heart attack. This is a problem in patients like yourself with diabetes, because if you don't recognize you're having a heart attack because of the unusual nature of these symptoms, you may not go to the emergency room as fast as you should. And we know that when you have a heart attack, how quickly delivered those treatments for heart attack are given to you, the better the outcome you will have. So be mindful of the fact that if you have any symptoms that are unusual in the chest or affect your breathing, this could represent sort of the equivalent of heart pain, even though it's not the classic crushing chest pain you may have heard about. Next: Do Women Experience Angina And Heart Attacks Differently Than Men? Previous: How Do I Know When Shortness Of Breath Is Due To Other Conditions Such As Emphysema, Or Heart Disease? Continue reading >>

Silent Heart Attack: Symptoms, Risks

Silent Heart Attack: Symptoms, Risks

A heart attack does not always have obvious symptoms , such as pain in your chest, shortness of breath and cold sweats. In fact, a heart attack can actually happen without a person knowing it. It is called a silent heart attack, or medically referred to as silent ischemia (lack of oxygen) to the heart muscle. Just like the name implies, a silent heart attack is a heart attack that has either no symptoms or minimal symptoms or unrecognized symptoms, says Deborah Ekery, M.D., a clinical cardiologist at Heart Hospital of Austin and with Austin Heart in Austin, TX. But it is like any other heart attack where blood flow to a section of the heart is temporarily blocked and can cause scarring and damage to the heart muscle. Ekery regularly sees patients who come in complaining of fatigue and problems related to heart disease, and discovers, through an MRI or EKG, that the person had actually suffered a heart attack weeks or months ago, without ever realizing it. People who have these so-called silent heart attacks are more likely to have non-specific and subtle symptoms, such as indigestion or a case of the flu, or they may think that they strained a muscle in their chest or their upper back. It also may not be discomfort in the chest, it may be in the jaw or the upper back or arms, she says. Some folks have prolonged and excessive fatigue that is unexplained. Those are some of the less specific symptoms for a heart attack, but ones that people may ignore or attribute to something else. A silent heart attack happens when the flow of blood is blocked in the coronary arteries by a build up of plaque. Studies differ, but some suggest that silent heart attacks are more common in women than in men. Ekery points out that women and their physicians may also be more likely to chalk u Continue reading >>

The Link Between A Silent Heart Attack (ischemia) And Diabetes

The Link Between A Silent Heart Attack (ischemia) And Diabetes

When a diabetic suffers from a silent heart attack (ischemia), it is also called a silent diabetic heart attack. In other words, the individual won’t even know that they’re having a heart attack. Many people who suffer from one disease are at risk of other diseases. That is certainly the case with diabetes and heart disease, especially when it comes to heart attacks. Take my uncle Phil for example. He’s been a diabetic for about eight years now. I’m telling him he’s also at risk of heart diseases and heart attacks. I even told Phil that type 2 diabetics have the same risk of suffering from a heart attack or dying from heart disease than those with a history of heart attacks. You see adult diabetics have death rates from heart disease approximately two to four times greater than adults without diabetes. In fact, heart disease is the leading cause of death in diabetic patients. Research Suggests That Many Americans Suffer From “Silent” Heart Attacks The scary thing is that many Americans can suffer from these “silent” heart attacks, according to brand new research published in the Journal of the American Medical Association earlier this month. For the study, a research team, led by Dr. David Bluemke from the U.S. National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering, analyzed heart scans of participants between the ages of 45 and 84 who were free of heart disease. They enrolled in the study between 2000 and 2002. It wasn’t until 10 years later that study participants underwent cardiac magnetic resonance (CMR) imaging with gadolinium to detect for myocardial scarring. The average age of participants at that point was 68. The scans revealed that 146 of the participants, or 7.9%, had scars from a heart attack. From that group, 78% had heart attacks Continue reading >>

Diabetes And Heart Disease

Diabetes And Heart Disease

Tweet Heart disease is a complication that may affect people with diabetes if their condition is not managed well for a prolonged period of time.. Coronary heart disease is recognized to be the cause of death for 80% of people with diabetes, however, the NHS states that heart attacks are largely preventable. [48] How are heart disease and diabetes linked? People suffering from type 1 and type 2 diabetes are more likely to be at risk from heart attacks, strokes and high blood pressure. Vascular problems, such as poor circulation to the legs and feet, are also more likely to affect diabetes patients. Tweet Type 2 diabetes mellitus is a metabolic disorder that results in hyperglycemia (high blood glucose levels) due to the body: Being ineffective at using the insulin it has produced; also known as insulin resistance and/or Being unable to produce enough insulin Type 2 diabetes is characterised by the body being unable to metabolise glucose (a simple sugar). This leads to high levels of blood glucose which over time may damage the organs of the body. From this, it can be understood that for someone with diabetes something that is food for ordinary people can become a sort of metabolic poison. This is why people with diabetes are advised to avoid sources of dietary sugar. The good news is for very many people with type 2 diabetes this is all they have to do to stay well. If you can keep your blood sugar lower by avoiding dietary sugar, likely you will never need long-term medication. Type 2 diabetes was formerly known as non-insulin-dependent or adult-onset diabetes due to its occurrence mainly in people over 40. However, type 2 diabetes is now becoming more common in young adults, teens and children and accounts for roughly 90% of all diabetes cases worldwide. How serious i Continue reading >>

Silent Heart Attacks And Type 2 Diabetes

Silent Heart Attacks And Type 2 Diabetes

With commentary by Elsayed Z. Soliman, M.D., MSc., M.S., study senior author and director of the epidemiological cardiology research center at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center, Winston-Salem, North Carolina. Not all heart attacks announce themselves with Hollywood-style crushing chest pain and a drenching, cold sweat. When researchers from Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, checked the hearts and medical records of 9,498 people over nine years, they found1 nearly equal numbers of untreated, silent heart attacks and recognized heart attacks that had received medical attention. A silent heart attack may be missed because the symptoms are mild or seem like another, less-urgent health issue – such as indigestion, heartburn, the flu, fatigue or an ache-y muscle – notes Elsayed Z. Soliman, M.D., MSc., M.S., study senior author and director of the epidemiological cardiology research center at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center, Winston-Salem, North Carolina. “People may also decide not to go to the hospital if they’re not sure it’s a heart attack, or if the hospital is far away, they don’t have health insurance or are concerned about the cost of care,” Dr. Soliman told EndocrineWeb.com. But in the study, published May 16 in the journal Circulation, that proved deadly. People who’d had silent heart attacks were three times more likely than those who hadn’t had a heart attack at all to die. Typically, people who’ve had a silent heart attack miss out on emergency care that can save heart muscle during a heart attack such as fast treatment with procedures that open blocked arteries in the heart. They may also miss out on stepped-up attention to blood pressure, cholesterol, diet, exercise and stress afterwards that lower risk Continue reading >>

How Diabetes Can Mask The Symptoms Of A Heart Attack

How Diabetes Can Mask The Symptoms Of A Heart Attack

Weird, whispering symptoms are easy to overlook; how to prevent and recognize this risk for people with diabetes. In a new study of more than 9,000 people, silent heart attacks—with warning signs so quiet or so unusual that people didn’t seek medical help—were nearly as common as classic heart attacks with well-known symptoms like crushing chest pain. And they were almost as lethal in the long run, tripling the odds of dying during the 9-year study compared to people who didn’t have a heart attack of any kind. It’s a wake-up call for anyone at risk for heart disease, but heart experts say people with type 1 and type 2 diabetes should pay particular attention. “People with diabetes are at higher risk for silent heart attacks for several reasons,” says Om P. Ganda, M.D., medical director of the Lipid Clinic at the Joslin Diabetes Center in Boston and an associate clinical professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School. “High blood sugar can lead to autonomic nerve damage that reduces the ability to feel pain, including heart-attack pain. Your only symptom might be shortness of breath. And people with diabetes are already at two to three time’s higher risk for heart disease than people without diabetes, which also increases the chances for a silent heart attack.” In a 2013 British study of 5,102 people with type 2, heart tests showed that 16%— about one in six—had likely had silent heart attacks. People with type 1 diabetes may also be at higher-than-average risk, Dr. Ganda says, due to nerve damage and overall heart-disease risk. Lead researcher Elsayed Z. Soliman, M.D., MSc., M.S., director of the epidemiological cardiology research center at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center, Winston-Salem, North Carolina, says silent heart attacks are dangerou Continue reading >>

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