neuropathy heart disease

Your Neuropathy May Be a Potential Risk for Heart Disease

It has long been known that diabetes is associated with heart disease. Research is showing that peripheral neuropathy by itself may also be a culprit.

By Shiraz Abbas

Current evidence indicates that peripheral neuropathy is associated with the cardiovascular diseases.

A 2010 study found the following:

Physiological activities of the cardiovascular system are under the control of the autonomic nervous system. Damage to the autonomic nerves that innervate the heart and blood vessels results in dysfunction in heart rate control and vascular dynamics (i.e., CAN) (9). Autonomic imbalance between the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems’ regulation of cardiovascular function contributes to metabolic abnormalities (10) and significant morbidity and mortality for individuals with diabetes.

In other words, diabetic neuropathy seems to be associated with a disturbance in the cardiovascular system thereby dramatically increasing the chances of mortality.

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You may think that it is the type-2 diabetes that is causing the heart disease, but studies are suggesting that this might not be the case. It is in fact the peripheral neuropathy that may be causing the heart disease.

Diabetes in Control writes the following:

The researchers analyzed data from 13,000 patients diagnosed with type 2 diabetes with no history of cardiovascular diseases. They found that individuals with peripheral neuropathy were more likely to develop cardiovascular disease, noticing that patients who experienced loss of sensation in their feet also tended to have heart and circulation problems, and so, they suggested that the presence of peripheral neuropathy could be used as a simple way to indicate which high-risk patients with diabetes are in need of intensive care and monitoring.

Of course, this does not mean that there is no relation between diabetes and heart disease. Diabetes has been known to cause cardiovascular diseases. However, it seems possible that neuropathy itself may independently cause cardiovascular problems as well.

If you suffer from neuropathy, particularly diabetic neuropathy, you may also want to consult with your cardiologist and see if you are at risk for cardiovascular disease.

Shiraz Abbas is the founder and manager of the CIDP Neuropathy Support Group. He is also one of the main community educators of IVIG therapy. He resides in Fresno, California. Shiraz can be contacted through our free CIDP advice service at 1-855-782-0574.

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