Diabetes and heart disease have a close connection: Symptoms to be wary of and tips to take care of your heart
Biocon Biologics  /  Stories  /  Diabetes and heart disease have a close connection: Symptoms to be wary of and tips to take care of your heart

Diabetes and heart disease have a close connection: Symptoms to be wary of and tips to take care of your heart

“The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched — they must be felt with the heart.”
– Hellen Keller

We can boast about a braveheart or sigh over a heartbreak. We can light up a room with a hearty laugh, or make someone’s day with a few heartfelt words. We love with our heart, and we live because of it.

It might be only the size of our fist, but it keeps our entire body going. A human heart beats about 115,000 times and pumps more than 7,500 litres of blood, every single day. Do you know how long our blood vessels system (arteries, veins, and capillaries) is? It’s over a whopping 96,000 kilometres. That’s long enough to go around the world more than twice! There’s blood flowing continuously through our blood vessels, and our heart is the pump that makes it all possible.

The heart is the core of human existence, and a healthy heart gives us the courage to battle any challenge that life might throw at us. It’s World Heart Day, and we need to turn our attention to our most vital organ.

Heart disease is the number one killer in the world, and India carries more than its share of this burden. The World Health Organisation (WHO) estimates that India is contributing at least one-fifth of the 17.9 million cardiovascular disease-related deaths worldwide, particularly among younger people.

We, at Biocon Biologics, believe that early detection, prevention and management can considerably contribute to reducing the risks associated with cardiovascular diseases.

While each of us should make sure we have a healthy heart, people suffering from diabetes need to go that extra mile, because diabetes patients are extra susceptible to heart disease.

How Diabetes Affects Your Heart

Diabetes and heart disease are very closely connected. Over time, high blood sugar can damage blood vessels and the nerves that control our heart. Diabetes causes damage by scarring the kidneys, which leads to salt and water retention, which, in turn, raises blood pressure. High blood pressure increases the force of blood through our arteries and can damage artery walls.

Various studies have shown that adults with diabetes are twice as likely to have a heart attack or stroke than those without it. A majority of people with type 2 diabetes will eventually develop cardiovascular disease, a term used by healthcare providers to describe the following conditions that affect blood circulation in the body:

  • Heart disease: When blood circulating to the heart is slowed or stopped because of a blocked artery.
  • Heart failure: When the heart loses its ability to pump blood as it should.
  • Stroke: When blood flow to the brain is blocked.
  • Peripheral arterial disease: When there are blockages in the arteries to the legs and feet.
Warning signs

It can be difficult to detect heart disease in a diabetes patient if it is in the early stages, as it usually doesn’t have any symptoms. The symptoms start showing only if the heart disease worsens. However, if one is suffering from prediabetes or type 1 or type 2 diabetes, one should seek medical help if they see any signs of the following:

  • Chest pain
  • Shortness of breath
  • Fast or slow heartbeat
  • Dizziness or light headedness
  • Pain in one or both arms
  • Numbness or weakness in legs
  • Neck, jaw, throat, back, or upper abdomen pain
  • Extreme fatigue
  • Nausea and vomiting

The good news is that we can significantly improve the health of our heart by adopting a healthy lifestyle. The lifestyle changes, listed below, can help reduce the risk of heart disease, and also help manage diabetes better.