What is the expression of heart involvement?
Especially the combination of limited sensation of pain and a heart that can not be influenced by the nervous system can lead to overstretching of a diabetic heart in arteriosclerosis and constricted coronary arteries. Usually heartache would occur, one would break off the demanding activity - a heart damage is avoided.
In diabetics, however, no pain occurs and at worst there is a silent heart attack, which announces itself by no warning signs. Incidentally, women with diabetes are more likely to be affected by cardiac involvement than men.
How to diagnose heart involvement in diabetes?
An increase in heart rate at rest can already be detected by measuring the heart rate. The one-time measurement of the heart rate, however, is not very meaningful, because many people are excited at the doctor's visit. Therefore, an ECG and, above all, a long-term ECG are used to check the extent to which the heart rate lowers during rest periods.
A stress ECG examines the extent to which the heart rate and the activity of the heart change under a defined load (usually cycling on an ergometer) and whether the ECG shows changes in heart rate and circulation.
If the findings are conspicuous, a cardiac catheterization study can be used to clarify whether and to what extent cardiac arteriosclerosis is present.
What can you do yourself to reduce your own risk?
Everyone should strive to avoid the risk factors that can lead to diabetes. Obesity, in particular, plays a key role in the development of diabetes. It causes the body organs to demand more and more insulin until they let blood sugar into the cells. They become resistant to insulin, so to speak. From this insulin resistance develops gradually the most common form of diabetes, the type 2 diabetes, which is called trivializing also called adult-onset diabetes.
Overweight and insulin resistance together with high blood pressure and dyslipidemia are called the "deadly quartet" - their problem is that sufferers are often unwilling to suffer from a lack of acute pain (no pain, no acute impairment of quality of life) to do against the disease.
So it is not so rare that a type 2 diabetes is diagnosed only after several years: The patient has no pain and does not even know that he has diabetes.
In addition to increasing physical activity, abstaining from nicotine and alcohol, a healthy diet and a reduced intake of saline are ways to protect yourself from diabetes - and to increase the overall quality of life.
If you have diabetes, check with your family doctor at least once a year, using an ECG and exercise ECG, as your heart may have it - because your heart may not be able to alert you to any symptoms !
What can the doctor do?
As soon as you are diagnosed with cardiac damage, it is especially important to protect the heart as well as to ensure the best possible glycemic control. Beta blockers are used to lower the heart rate, and ACE inhibitors to normalize blood pressure to support the heart in its work. Anticoagulants such as low-dose acetylsalicylic acid prevent tiny blood clots from forming and clogging the arteries.