One-stop approach to diabetic heart disease
Diabetics are four times more likely to develop heart disease than non-diabetics.
Likewise, more than half of all people who suffer from heart disease also have diabetes.
Dr Nandakumar Ramasami, senior consultant interventional cardiologist, and endocrinologist Ben Ng share why it makes more sense to treat diabetic heart disease (DHD) – referring to heart disease that develops in people who have diabetes – holistically rather than separately.
They are from the Arden Cardio-Metabolic Clinic, which provides an integrated and comprehensive one-stop assessment for both conditions – even when symptoms may be masked or undetected for a long time.
WHAT ARE SOME CHALLENGES FACED WHEN MANAGING HEART DISEASE AND DIABETES?
Dr Ng: Treating both diabetes and heart disease in a single patient can be complicated.
Patients often require several different kinds of medication to keep blood sugars under control and to treat blood pressure and cholesterol.
The main challenge that patients face is to integrate all this information.
For example, patients with diabetes are encouraged to exercise more regularly and reduce overall sugar intake.
In contrast, patients who have heart disease may be asked to restrict the amount of physical activity they can do (particularly following a recent heart attack) and foods that may be low in sugar but high in fat and cholesterol.
This confuses patients as they may receive advice from different doctors who are dealing with different parts of the body and different diseases.
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF PATIENTS HAVING THEIR HEART DISEASE AND DIABETES TREATED HOLISTICALLY?
Dr Nandakumar: An integrative model ensures investigations of a patient’s condition are tailored to the cardio-metabolic syndrome as a whole as the effects produced by these related diseases are closely interlinked.
All screenings for the various organs are performed in the clinic along with blood tests, urinalysis and other tests. This one-stop approach makes it more convenient for the patient and enhances compliance to regular screening in the long term.
This is followed by a combined assessment by the endocrinologist, cardiologist and nephrologist working together to form a single integrated care plan that aims to achieve the best possible therapeutic goal for the patient as a single entity.
Combined with education by the appropriate supporting personnel such as optometrist, podiatrist, dietitian and physiotherapist, the patient can be armed with the right tools to ensure they can make the right treatment choices for their future.
Source – The Newspaper