Cardiomyopathy and Diabetes

Diabetic cardiomyopathy is a result of damage to the heart functions. Diabetics of both types have an extremely high rate of this problem occuring. In fact, I've read that around 52% of people with type 2 have this heart problem.

How does diabetes affect the heart muscle to cause cardiomyopathy? First of all, the heart has four chambers. There are two chambers on top, and another two on the bottom. These are called your heart ventricles. Every time the heart beats, these chambers will contract in a synchronized fashion. The atria will contract, filling the ventricles with blood. The next step is that the ventricles of the heart contract, which sends blood circulating. Then the cycle happens repeatedly, as each time the atria relax and fills with blood again.

Doctors over the years have done much study, noticing the changes in the structure and heart functions, especially in diabetic people. Left ventricle diastolic dysfunction is one of the main symptoms of this diabetic heart trouble. This is impairment in the way the left ventricle will fill with blood in between heartbeats, along with the increased filling on the part of the atria. This is an abnormality, and the heart will often become enlarged. This is diagnosed by doctors as left ventricular hypertrophy. This heart problem is brought on largely by insulin resistance syndrome.

Myocardial fibrosis is another problem that is often seen in diabetics. This is a scarring that occurs in the thick middle layer of your heart wall, which is the myocardium. Myocardial fibrosis is often due to the high blood glucose levels, which sets off damages and glycation of proteins in the myocardium.

This is why measurement of hemoglobin A1C is important to know every 3 months for diabetics. It helps to keep aware of these possible heart complications. Since type 2 diabetics as well as type 1 are known to have problems with diabetic cardiomyopathy, doctors and researchers in the medical field are calling for more awareness in screening for this problem. The best screening methods are not agreed on that I have read about yet. But there has been some connection with microalbuminuria, which is protein in the urine, to be connected somehow with diabetic diastolic dysfunction. Ask your doctor about this theory.

Echocardiography gives more of a clear picture of what condition your heart is in, and tells your cardiologist and doctor exactly more of what is taking place inside there.

There are a number of medications that doctors can use to head off cardiomyopathy from going into massive heart attacks and heart failure. This is also again why good blood sugar control is very very important to your better health, and decreasing insulin resistance. The drugs called ACE inhibitors, which means angiotensin converting enzymes, lower your blood pressure. They are also used to decrease your chances of having myocardial fibrosis as well. Beta blockers even in small doses help the heart up to a large degree sometimes, and decrease your chances of cardiomyopathy in the future.

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