Type 2 Diabetes and Heart Attacks

What is a heart attack?

A heart attack occurs when the blood vessels that go to your heart become partially or totally blocked by fatty deposits and the blood supply is reduced or cut off.  Then oxygen and other needed materials aren’t carried to the heart and heart muscle dies.  Another name for a heart attack is myocardial infarction, or MI.   If you have diabetes, you’re at risk for a heart attack. 

 

What are the warning signs of a heart attack?

Become familiar with these signs and call 911 right away if they occur:

  • chest pain or discomfort

  • pain or discomfort in your arms, back, jaw, neck, or stomach

  • shortness of breath

  • sweating or light-headedness

  •  indigestion or nausea

  •  tiredness

 

You may not experience all of these signs, and they may come and go.  Chest pain that doesn’t go away after resting a few minutes may signal a heart attack. 

 

Why is it important to call 911 right away if I’m having warning signs of a heart attack?

After a heart attack, early intervention such as getting clot-busting drugs is imperative—doing so can save your life.  Health care providers can also use special procedures that open up blood vessels, preventing further damage to the heart.  These steps work best within an hour of the first symptoms of a heart attack.  It’s wise to review the symptoms of a heart attack with family and friends and to tell them about the importance of calling 911.

 

Are the signs of a heart attack different for people with diabetes?

Diabetes can affect your nerves and, therefore, make heart attacks painless or “silent.”  A silent heart attack means that you may not have any warning signs, or they may be very mild.  Special tests may be needed to help your doctor make a diagnosis.

Posted under Type 2 Diabetes Complications

This post was written by admin on June 18, 2009

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