People who have Type 2 diabetes, are two to four times more likely to develop heart failure than someone without diabetes. Heart failure means your heart can’t pump blood well leading to the accumulation of excess water in the tissues. Diabetic people who have this condition have a much higher risk of worse health outcomes – more hospitalizations, more emergency department visits, earlier death, and worse overall quality of life.
Why heart failure occurs in Diabetes?
People with type 2 diabetes are more likely to have many of the key risk factors for heart failures such as obesity, high blood pressure, coronary artery disease, or a history of a heart attack. Type 2 diabetes is an independent risk factor for CHF. According to research, each percentage point increase in HbA1C is associated with approximately a 30% increase in heart failure risk.
What are the symptoms of heart failure?
Heart failure is not a sudden process, but a slowly developing long term condition. At first, you may not experience any physical symptoms at all. Over time though, heart failure can lead to breathing difficulty, fatigue, and reduced ability to exercise. Eventually, it can cause fluid to build up in tissues including legs and lungs, making ordinary things like breathing and walking around difficult.
What are the tests for heart failure?
Heart failure is commonly assessed using medical imaging techniques (chest X-Ray, Echocardiography, MRI), and blood tests. Echocardiography is useful in assessing the heart structure and its pumping function. It also helps in classifying the type of heart failure and its management.
How to prevent heart failure?
It’s important to get regular exercise, maintain a healthy weight, and eat a well-balanced diet. People with diabetes also need to keep their blood sugar levels, blood pressure, and cholesterol under control. There is a new class of diabetes medication called SGLT-2 inhibitors that lower blood sugar and also are effective in reducing the risk of developing heart failure. These medications also help to manage the condition in those who already have it, preventing heart failure-related hospitalizations and deaths. You need to discuss the pros and cons of starting these medications with your physician.
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