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The Question
Wed Jan 09 17:58:56 EST 2013

When on a treadmill can diabetes mask heart problems?
Asked By: phildee47  

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Expert Answers (1)
2013-01-11 07:24:06.0

Dear phildee47,

Diabetes can potentially cause you to experience silent ischemia, which is a reduction in blood flow to the heart muscle through the coronary blood vessels that is painless and symptom free. If you ever experience a sudden, unexplained change in your ability to exercise, without any other symptoms, immediately stop exercising and consult your physician as soon as you can to rule out silent ischemia. Basically, this is a manifestation of one type of nerve damage that can be caused by diabetes.

However, even if you have diagnosed heart disease, you can still participate in most forms of exercise. In fact, resistance training is now recommended for everyone (in addition to aerobic activities), especially for people who have had a heart attack or stroke. Be aware that a heart attack can potentially have symptoms other than pain localized in your chest, such as pain that radiates down one arm or shoulder or your neck or that feels like bad heartburn. If you experience any unusual pain or other symptoms during or following exercise, get checked out by your doctor as soon as possible.
Accreditations: PhD, FACSM
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