Written by Dr.Albana Greca Sejdini, Md, MMedSc
Medically reviewed by Dr.Ruden Cakoni, MD, Endocrinologist
Hi dear readers,
Today, I was wondering what topic would be of interest for you? At the end, I choose the “HEART”. We give heart in everything we do, but what kind of health we are offering to our heart?
My idea was based on the recent findings reported at the European Association for the Study of Diabetes (EASD) 2013 Meeting. The most important topic discussed in this meeting was related to HEART FAILURE during diabetes.
Heart failure is a severe complication, in the majority of cases reported as “LETHAL”. However, it is going underestimated, i.e. is not taking the right attention by the healthcare providers.
Furthermore, patients are not being trained on the possible symptoms and care. Indeed, according to the meeting conclusion, the treatment is getting an aggressive trajectory.
And here I want to stand by. I do not want to bother you with a medical lecture, but to help you taking good care of yourself.
There are some points I wanted to pass to you today, so it would be much easier for you to discuss them with your doctor and take the most appropriate actions:
- As heart failure is mostly associated with the use of certain diabetic drugs (dipeptidyl peptidase-4 (DPP-4) inhibitors), and if you are currently taking those drugs, please discuss with your doctor for your chances to get heart failure.
If your chances are high, then, tell your doctor for any other less risky option you might have. Otherwise, go on with your current drugs, but being very attentive of the possible signs of heart failure (as given below).
- Next, thiazolidinediones diabetic drug group is also associated with heart failure more than myocardial infarct or stroke. This is because, many studies done on rosiglitazone are not taking heart failure into account as this complication deserves.
- Furthermore, no matter the drug you are taking to fight diabetes, you must understand that heart failure can be developed quickly so actions are needed.
Recognizing the symptoms of heart failure if you have not developed until now would help getting the treatment in time. In case you have already developed heart failure, and the symptoms are getting worse, this means that your situation is aggravating.
The signs that you should be aware of include:
- Edema (swelling) of entire body or extremities (legs, ankles, feet)
- Fatigue or feeling weak
- Dyspnea (shortness of breathe)
- Rapid or irregular heart beats that are often felt as Heart palpitations
- chest pain
- persistent coughing
Once you notice any of these symptoms, should seek immediate medical help.