How Diabetes Can Affect Your Heart Health

Heart Health

If you have type 1 or type 2 diabetes, your body struggles to correctly metabolize sugars, leading to irregularities in your blood sugar. Diabetes problems originate in your pancreas, the abdominal organ that produces the chemical insulin, necessary for digesting and processing sugars. However, diabetes can impact other parts of your body, as well.

Among the potential long-term consequences of diabetes are conditions like cardiac autonomic neuropathy. When you have autonomic neuropathy, the nerves that manage your involuntary bodily functions stop working correctly. You can experience difficult symptoms with your bladder, digestion, body temperature regulation, and blood pressure.

When dealing with a condition like cardiac autonomic neuropathy, make sure you’re receiving the best care and guidance. At the Arizona Institute of Neurology & Polysomnography, we provide you with an accurate diagnosis, and can work with you to develop a comprehensive treatment plan to address your symptoms and resolve them for good. Our team, led by Habib Khan, MD, supports new and existing patients with a variety of vascular disorders, as well as patients with diabetes.

Symptoms of cardiac autonomic neuropathy

Your blood nourishes and supports organs throughout your body, including crucial areas like your heart and autonomic nervous system. In cases of advanced diabetes, systems in your body progressively lose function.

If the nerves that connect your autonomic nervous system to your brain sustain too much damage, the neurological signals that regulate your heart, sweat glands, and blood vessels don’t properly transmit. You may experience symptoms including:

  • Hidden symptoms from low blood sugar (hypoglycemia)
  • Dizziness and fainting when you stand up
  • Sweating too much, too little, or struggling to regulate your body temperature
  • Urinary issues like incontinence, or struggling to start urination
  • Sexual problems, such as erectile dysfunction in men and abnormal vaginal dryness in women

What we can do

Both before and after your cardiac autonomic neuropathy diagnosis, you can take steps to improve your condition. Your diabetes may be controllable through medications and lifestyle changes, including dietary monitoring and, potentially, weight loss.

The Arizona Institute of Neurology & Polysomnography team recommends increased screening for autonomic neuropathy for diabetes patients. If you have type 2 diabetes, we typically recommend screening every year after you receive your diagnosis. If you have type 1 diabetes, you should be tested annually starting five years after you are first diagnosed.

It’s important to get prompt treatment for your cardiac autonomic neuropathy, as this condition can threaten your life. If you’re concerned about cardiac autonomic neuropathy symptoms, or are struggling with neurological problems related to uncontrolled diabetes, get in touch with the experts at Arizona Institute of Neurology & Polysomnography today. You can schedule your initial consultation appointment by calling our Casa Grande, Arizona offices, or request an appointment with the online tool.

Written by invigo2020