With high blood sugar levels, and blood vessel damage, diabetes is linked to many heart diseases. Diabetes causes coronary artery disease, heart failure, congestive heart failure, and diabetic cardiomyopathy.
What is diabetic cardiomyopathy?Diabetes is one of the leading causes for many heart diseases. This is because diabetes damages both the small and large blood vessels. Along with this blood vessel damage, there is also nerve damage, high cholesterol, high triglyceride levels, and high blood pressure. All these create a high risk factor for heart diseases.In diabetic cardiomyopathy, there are changes in the myocardium (heart muscle). This leads to myocardial dysfunction even if the affected person has no known signs of coronary artery disease, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, or any other heart disease. Diabetes leads to numerous cardiac abnormalities due to high blood sugar levels. Impaired cardiac insulin mechanisms, oxidative stress, and inflammation that happen in diabetes lead to diabetic cardiomyopathy.Impairment of the heart muscles in this condition leads to improper blood flow to the organs of the body. As the condition progresses, it leads to heart failure. It is also known to cause pulmonary edema (collection of fluids in the lungs).Diabetic cardiomyopathy is a serious diabetes complication. It develops silently in the early stages. As the disease progresses, there is more thickening of the heart muscle. This leads to diastolic dysfunction and left ventricular diastolic dysfunction. In the later stages of diabetic cardiomyopathy, there is systolic dysfunction.
Symptoms of Diabetic CardiomyopathyThe initial stages of diabetic cardiomyopathy is generally without any symptoms. As the disease progresses, there is visibility of symptoms like:
- Breathlessness even at rest
- Shortness of breath after physical exertion
- Swelling in the ankles, feet, or abdomen
- Light headedness
- Irregular heartbeat
- Angina symptoms