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Diabetics and Cardiac Catheterization

Many medical procedures pose increased risks for diabetics, and a cardiac catheterization may increase the likelihood of developing "silent heart attacks." Although you may be familiar with the signs of abnormal blood sugar levels, don't assume that these symptoms are related to blood sugar if a cardiac catheterization has just been performed. Symptoms such as weakness, anxiety, or shortness of breath may reflect a complication related to diabetics and cardiac catheterization.

Diabetics and Cardiac Catheterization: Leaving the Hospital

As a diabetic, you are probably quite knowledgeable about the signs and symptoms associated with abnormal blood sugar levels. After your cardiac catheterization (also known as a heart catheterization), it is important not to assume that these symptoms are always related to blood sugar problems. Call your doctor immediately if you experience:
  • Sensations of anxiety
  • Sweating
  • Weakness
  • Difficulty with your vision
  • Shortness of breath.
These symptoms may reflect a complication from the procedure such as vessel closure or a "silent heart attack." Diabetic patients are known to have "silent heart attacks" because they are less likely to develop the typical chest pain associated with heart attacks.

Diabetics and Cardiac Catheterization Risks

As a diabetic, your risks for complications are higher. You have fragile blood vessels that are more easily damaged during the catheterization procedure.
It is important for you to realize that diabetics are at a higher risk of having blocked arteries. During or after the procedure, peopel with diabetes are more likely to suffer strokes or heart attacks. You are also at a higher risk of having a reaction to certain drugs used during the procedure and developing kidney failure or kidney damage. In addition, people with diabetes have delayed healing and are at increased risk for infection.
Because of your increased risk related to this procedure, it is essential for you to communicate with your healthcare team so that they can be aware of any possible problems. Your healthcare team is trained to observe, evaluate, and respond to any unusual situations that may arise.
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