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Living Well with Diabetes

Chapter 1: You Can Live Well With Diabetes! Heart Failure Heart failure doesn’t mean your heart has stopped working. It means that the heart is less able to pump the blood the body needs. Heart failure may be caused by a number of problems, such as heart attack, coronary artery disease, and high blood pressure. In congestive heart failure, fluid builds up inside body tissues such as the lungs. This makes breathing difficult. Heart Failure: The Warning Signs The warning signs for heart failure can vary. These can include: • Shortness of breath • Fatigue • Weakness • Swelling of the feet and ankles (from fluid • Nausea retention) Stroke A stroke happens when the blood supply to part of your brain is suddenly cut off. This damages brain tissue. Strokes usually happen when a blood clot blocks a blood vessel in the brain or neck. A stroke can cause movement problems, pain, numbness, and problems with thinking, remembering, or speaking. Sometimes people also experience emotional problems, such as depression, after a stroke. People with diabetes are 1.5 times more likely to have a stroke than are people who don’t have diabetes. But people with diabetes can lower their risk of stroke by taking care of their health. Stroke: The Warning Signs The warning signs for stroke can develop suddenly and can include: • Weakness or numbness on one side of the body • Sudden confusion or trouble understanding • Trouble talking, dizziness, loss of balance, or trouble walking • Trouble seeing out of one or both eyes • Double vision • Severe headache Heart Attack: The Warning Signs These are the signs of a heart attack: • Chest pain or discomfort • Pain or discomfort in your arms, back, jaw, neck or stomach • Shortness of breath • Sweating • Indigestion or nausea • Light-headedness • Tiredness or fatigue You may not experience all of these symptoms, and they may come and go. Chest pain that doesn’t go away after resting may signal a heart attack. Diabetes can cause nerve damage that can make heart attacks painless or “silent.” If you have warning signs of a heart attack, call 911 immediately. 12


Living Well with Diabetes
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