June 13, 2008
Question from India:
It is thought that diabetic patients can get silent or sudden heart and other serious problems to which body defense mechanisms may not work? Is this correct? If yes, how does it happen? Is some stress tolerance related to this aspect?
It is true that patients with diabetes, both type 1 and type 2 diabetes, may experience a cardiomyopathy with diabetes. It is thought that this disease is related to small vessel disease within the heart and not necessarily from the large epicardial vessels that are more likely involved with usual cardiovascular disease. Rather than an ischemic picture, it is a pump failure picture. In addition, diabetes is associated with neuropathy and loss of symptoms with ischemia. Patients are also at increased risk for sudden cardiac death because of abnormalities associated with innervation abnormalities.