Cardiovascular Disease (CVD)
Damage to the heart and blood vessels is collectively known as cardiovascular disease and
people with diabetes have a higher chance of developing it. The term cardiovascular disease
(CVD) includes heart disease, stroke and all other diseases of the heart and circulation.
Your major blood vessels consist of arteries which carry blood away from your heart, and
veins which return it. Damage to these vessels is referred to as macro vascular disease.
Capillaries are the tiny vessels where the exchange of oxygen and carbon dioxide takes
place. When damage occurs to these vessels it’s referred to as micro vascular disease.
When fatty materials such as cholesterol form deposits on the walls of the vessels (known
as plaque), furring up the artery and reducing the space for blood to flow, this is described
as arteriosclerosis or atherosclerosis. If the plaque ruptures the artery walls, blood cells
(called platelets) try to repair the damage, but this will cause a clot to form. Over time, the
walls of the blood vessels lose their elasticity. This can contribute to the development of
high blood pressure or hypertension, which can cause more damage to the blood vessels.
The force of the blood being pumped from the heart can make the clot break away from the
artery wall and travel through the system until it reaches a section too narrow to pass
through. If this happens the narrow section will become partially or completely blocked.
Blockage of an artery leads to the part of the body it supplies being starved of the oxygen
and nutrients it needs. This is the cause of heart attack or strokes (affecting the brain).
Narrowing of the blood vessels can affect other parts of the body, such as the arms or legs.
This is called peripheral vascular disease (PVD). PVD may produce intermittent claudication
(pain in the calf muscle). If left untreated, amputation of the limb may eventually be
What causes cardiovascular disease?
Blood vessels are damaged by high blood glucose levels, high blood pressure, smoking or
high levels of cholesterol. So, it is important for people with diabetes to manage these levels
by making lifestyle changes such as eating a healthy diet, taking part in regular activity,
reducing weight if you are overweight and stopping smoking.
Steps you can take to help prevent CVD
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- If you smoke, ask for help to stop.
- Eat a healthy, balanced diet.
- Be more physically active.
- If you are overweight, try to get down to a healthy weight. Any weight loss will be of
- Take your medication as prescribed.
- Get your blood glucose levels, blood pressure and blood cholesterol checked at least once
a year and aim to keep to the target agreed with your healthcare team.
- If you have any chest pain, intermittent pain when walking, impotence or signs of a
stroke, such as facial or arm weakness or slurred speech, you should contact your doctor
as soon as possible.
Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)
Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) is used to describe progressive lung
diseases including chronic bronchitis, refractory (non-reversible) asthma, emphysema, and
some forms of bronchiectasis. This disease is described by increasing breathlessness.
COPD can build up for years without noticeable shortness of breath. You begin to see the
symptoms in the more developed stages of the disease. That’s why it is important that you
talk to your doctor as soon as you note any of these symptoms.
You can consult with the
doctor and tell about taking a spirometry test.
Symptoms of COPD
The main signs and symptoms of COPD are:
- increased breathlessness
- a persistent chesty cough with phlegm – some people may dismiss this as just a
- frequent chest infections
- persistent wheezing
- Tightness in the chest
Without treatment, the symptoms usually get slowly worse. There may also be periods
when they get suddenly worse, known as a flare-up or exacerbation.
When to get medical advice
You should contact to doctor if you have persistent symptoms of COPD, particularly if you're
over 35 and smoke or used to smoke. One should not ignore the symptoms. If they're
caused by COPD, it's best to begin treatment as soon as possible, before your lungs become
Your doctor will ask about your symptoms and whether you smoke or have smoked in the
past. Doctor can arrange a breathing test to help diagnose COPD and rule out other lung
conditions, such as asthma.
Chronic = it’s a long-term condition and does not go away
Obstructive = your airways are narrowed, so it’s harder to breathe out quickly
Pulmonary = it affects your lungs
Disease = it’s a medical condition
What are the risk factors and common causes of COPD?
In most of the cases, COPD are caused by inhaling pollutants; that includes smoking
(cigarettes, pipes, cigars, etc.), and second-hand smoke.
Fumes, chemicals and dust found in many work environments are contributing factors for
many individuals who develop COPD.
Genetics can also take part in a role in an individual’s development of COPD—even if the
person has never smoked or has ever been exposed to strong lung irritants in the
Treatment of COPD
There is currently no cure for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), but treatment
can help slow the progression of the condition and manage the symptoms.
- stopping smoking – if you have COPD and you smoke, this is the most important
thing you can do
- inhalers and medications – to help make breathing easier
- pulmonary rehabilitation – a specialised programme of exercise and education
- surgery or a lung transplant – although this is only an option for a very small number
Your doctor will discuss the various treatment options with you.
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Chikungunya is a viral disease transmitted to humans by infected mosquitoes. It causes
fever and rigorous joint pain. Other symptoms contain muscle pain, headache, nausea,
tiredness and rash.
Signs and symptoms
Chikungunya is described by an sudden start of fever frequently accompanied by joint
Other signs and symptoms include muscle pain, headache, nausea, fatigue and rash.
The joint pain is often very unbearable, but usually lasts for a few days or may be
extended to weeks. Most patients get well fully, but in some cases joint pain may continue
for some months, or even years.
The virus is transmitted from human to human by the bites of infected female
mosquitoes. These mosquitoes can be found biting throughout daylight hours, though there
may be peaks of activity in the early morning and late afternoon.
There is no specific antiviral drug treatment for chikungunya. Treatment is directed mainly
at relieving the symptoms, including the joint pain using anti-pyretics, optimal analgesics
Prevention and Control
Prevention and control relies greatly on reducing the number of natural and artificial
water-filled container habitats that support breeding of the mosquitoes. During outbreaks,
insecticides may be sprayed to kill flying mosquitoes, applied to surfaces in and around
containers where the mosquitoes land, and used to treat water in containers to kill the
For guard during outbreaks of chikungunya, clothing which minimizes skin exposure to the
day-biting vectors is recommended. For those who sleep during the daytime, mainly
young children, or sick or older people, insecticide-treated mosquito nets afford good
protection. Mosquito coils or other insecticide vaporizers may also reduce indoor biting.
Basic precautions should be taken by people travelling to risk areas and these include use
of repellents, wearing long sleeves and pants and ensuring rooms are fitted with screens
to prevent mosquitoes from entering.
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