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The majority of people living with diabetes are aware they have an increased risk of cardiovascular disease. However, the numbers can be truly staggering: Nearly two-thirds of individuals with diabetes have high blood pressure, also, according to the American Diabetes Association, people with diabetes are two to four times more likely to die of cardiovascular disease or have a stroke compared to those who don’t have the condition.
The fantastic news: Learning more about the connection between cardiovascular disease and diabetes can help you take action to help protect your heart and manage your diabetes.
How Diabetes and Heart Disease Are Related
The connection between diabetes and heart disease starts with higher blood sugar levels. As time passes, the glucose in the blood can damage the blood vessels, causing them to become stiff and tough. Known as atherosclerosis. This can eventually obstruct blood flow to brain or the heart, leading to stroke or heart attack. If you also have a history of stroke or cardiovascular disease your risk of coronary disease with diabetes is further elevated.
Heart facts to think about:
- People with diabetes develop cardiovascular disease at a significantly earlier age than others.
- Heart disorder that leads to heart attack or stroke is the primary cause of death among individuals with diabetes.
- A man that has diabetes has the exact same risk of heart attack as somebody who’s not diabetic, but already had a heart attack.
Protecting Your Heart When You Have Diabetes
Don’t despair if you believe you are in a greater risk for heart disease. There are several small lifestyle changes you can make to not just help prevent cardiovascular disease, but also manage your diabetes more effectively.
- Be busy. The American Heart Association recommends at least 30 minutes of aerobic exercise five days weekly. If you don’t have time for all 30 minutes at the same time, break it down in to 10-minute segments. The American Diabetes Association recommends getting every 30 minutes up to do a few minutes of activity to help enhance blood sugar control.
- Consider low-dose aspirin. The American Heart Association advocates taking a low dose of aspirin every day, which may lessen the risk of developing cardiovascular disease. However, make certain to speak with your doctor about whether this is right for you, as there are risks, and aspirin therapy isn’t for everybody.
- Eat a heart-healthy diet. Reduce consumption of foods high in saturated fat, trans fat, salt, and cholesterol, such as fried foods, red meats, and eggs. Concentrate on eating more high-fiber foods, such as whole grains, vegetables, and fruits. Adhering to a heart-healthy diet can also help you manage your diabetes.
- If you’re overweight, try to lose the pounds. If you’re carrying around excess weight, losing even only a small portion of your weight can help you cut blood pressure and blood sugar levels. Start every day, by picking a heart-healthy diet and being energetic.
- Maintain blood glucose levels in target ranges. LDL (bad) cholesterol should be below 100; HDL (good) cholesterol should be greater than 40 — however the greater, the better. If you’ve got high cholesterol, speak with your doctor about what steps you can take to reduce it.
- Maintain your blood glucose level within the target range. Your doctor should help you figure out the right choice for you. You can check on your efforts by having A1C tests at least twice a year; those show your average blood sugar level for the past three months. A normal A1C level should be below 5.7.
- Maintain a controlled blood pressure amount. Ideally, your blood pressure should be 120/80 or less. Be sure to have your pressure checked during every visit and speak with your doctor about steps you can take to lower it, in case you’ve got high blood pressure.
- Quit smoking. People with cardiovascular disease, diabetes, or both who smoke are at a heightened risk of health issues. Stopping smoking is one of the greatest things you can do for your health. When you’re ready to quit, speak with your doctor about getting help.
- Take all your medications as prescribed. Diabetes and heart disease are serious health ailments. Your doctor may prescribe drugs that will help you manage in case you’ve got either of the conditions. As bypassing treatment can cause negative health outcomes, it is important to take these drugs as prescribed — the right dose, at the right time, in the right way, with the right frequency.
When you have diabetes and develop cardiovascular disease, therapy — first and foremost — may incorporate lifestyle modifications such ingesting a healthy diet, exercising regularly, maintaining a healthy weight, and quitting smoking. You might also need drugs to reduce blood pressure your blood glucose, or cholesterol level, and also to treat any cardiovascular disease. Sometimes, you may need another surgical procedure or surgery to treat cardiovascular disease. Remedy for each individual will differ, depending on the sort of cardiovascular complication that you might have.
Because treatment can decrease the potential damage to your 27, ultimately, should you develop any signs of a heart attack, seek medical help.