Diabetes and chest pain are related at least 50% of the time due to the risk factors for both diabetes mellitus and coronary artery disease being so similar. Most people who develop diabetes will also experience some form of heart disease throughout their life. The effects of poorly controlled blood sugar levels can wreak havoc on the heart and blood vessels, which leads to further cardiovascular issues. According to data from the 2011 National Diabetes Fact Sheet, 68% of diabetics over age sixty-five had heart disease when they died. In addition, diabetics are also three times more likely to suffer from heart disease and stroke compared to non-diabetics.

Individuals who have Type 2 diabetes usually have high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and high triglycerides. All of these factors further complicate coronary artery disease leaving people prone to constriction and damaging of blood vessels, and build-up of plaque. As a result, individuals suffer atherosclerosis, heart attacks, and stroke, as well as destruction of vessels that supply oxygen to other body parts and organs. Diabetes chest pain is a minor indicator of how unstable levels of blood glucose can destroy a person’s bodily functions over extended periods.


Can Diabetes Cause Chest Pain?


Not only can diabetes cause chest pain, but also it can cause sensations such as burning, tingling, aching, ripping, throbbing, or even dull aches in the chest. Researchers speculate that for the majority of diabetics who suffer from chest pain, that they have damaged heart muscles due to neuropathy from elevated blood sugar levels in the past. These patients should always monitor their blood sugar levels and be aware of any other symptoms that may be present.

If an individual experiences sweating, headache, dizziness, nausea, or irregular heartbeat, it could signal that the person is entering cardiac arrest. If the chest pain radiates from the chest into another part of the body, such as the jaw, arm, neck, or shoulder, this usually indicates that the person is indeed having a heart attack. In this case, the person should call 9-1-1 immediately as this episode could be life threatening.

Other conditions, like a panic attack could also cause chest pain, irregular heartbeat, and sweating, but it is important to discern if these symptoms fit the scenario. If an individual has diabetes chest pain along with other symptoms, and has never had a panic attack, they should have no reason to think they are having a panic attack now and they should go to the hospital immediately.


Diabetes and Chest Pain – What to Do


When an individual experiences chest pain and diabetes that is mild, they should consult their doctor to see what medication can provide relief. As prevention is the best cure, stabilizing their blood sugar through diet and exercise should be their first priority. If a person finds that they are in the midst of a possible heart attack, they should waste no time in calling 9-1-1 and taking a baby aspirin, which will thin their blood. After emergency personnel arrive, they will perform numerous tests to evaluate how much damage has occurred and they will administer the proper medication for pain relief and therapy.


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