Diabetes mellitus is a common disease caused by disorders of the pancreas. For various reasons, it ceases to produce the hormone insulin, and this in turn affects all metabolic processes in the body. Diabetes mellitus is dangerous for its complications and, above all, on the part of the cardiovascular system.
Cardiovascular system for diabetes
Diabetes mellitus changes the composition of the blood (the amount of fat breakdown products increases), and this in turn leads to damage to the walls of blood vessels. In fact, the cardiovascular system in diabetes mellitus suffers from diabetic angiopathy – a generalized lesion of the walls of blood vessels. This significantly affects the blood flow, can lead to the development of aneurysms, blockage, and more. One of the most dangerous consequences is the development of coronary heart disease, the likelihood of a stroke increases.
At the early stage, the smallest vessels are affected: in the kidneys, retina and where there are branched networks of small vessels. During this period, an assessment of the state of the cardiovascular system does not yet pose a great danger.
Over time, the lesion passes to larger vessels, in particular the main and coronary (cardiac). As a result of such lesions, gangrene of the lower extremities often develops (diabetic foot), renal failure, myocardial infarction is possible.
The cardiovascular system of the elderly in diabetes
The described complications are most often found in old age. The fact is that the cardiovascular system of the elderly is prone to the development of macroangiopathy – a combination of angiopathy and atherosclerosis. It is diagnosed in patients after 40 years, more often after 50.
This combination of vascular lesions significantly increases the risks and the rate of development of various dangerous conditions. In addition, often the problems caused by diabetes mellitus are combined in old age with other concomitant diseases and health disorders, including general deterioration of the heart muscle and blood vessels.
Assessment of the status of the cardiovascular system in diabetes
A particular danger for people over 50 is type 2 diabetes (it is even called “elderly diabetes”), which may not manifest itself for a long time with certain symptoms, which means it is more difficult to diagnose. Often the patient consults a doctor when an assessment of the state of the cardiovascular system already raises serious concerns.
Therefore, it is very important to monitor possible symptoms and check the work of the heart and the state of the vessels. At risk are people with the following symptoms:
- Obesity, weight gain.
- Visual impairment.
- Impaired kidney function.
- Problem skin, poorly healing wounds.
- Numbness of the feet, tingling in the limbs.