There is a connection between Diabetes and heart disease.
Chronic high blood sugar in diabetics leads to narrowed arteries, higher triglycerides,
high blood pressure,
and lower levels of HDL, the "good" cholesterol. These all lead to increased risk
for heart disease, including heart attack and stroke.
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Type 2 diabetes
is the most common form of diabetes. Unfortunately, there are many people who have the disease but have not
been diagnosed. Diabetes, regardless of type, requires treatment in order to
minimize the risk of heart disease and other
Untreated diabetes can lead to more severe atherosclerosis and it may occur at
an earlier age.
Another complication occurs when diabetes has also caused
Nerve damage can block or decrease the sensation of pain that would normally
occur with a heart attack. As a result, symptoms of the heart attack may not
be recognized, and may be thought to be something much less serious, such as
an upset stomach.
Improve your cholesterol levels. LDL, or the "bad" cholesterol,
should be lowered since it can clog arteries, leading to heart disease. HDL is
the "good" cholesterol and it helps to keep your arteries clear.
Keep blood pressure under control. Diabetics are at increased risk for high
blood pressure, another risk factor for heart disease. Once again, diet and exercise
can help to keep blood pressure in normal ranges. Alcohol consumption should be
limited. Medications are also available.
Lose weight if you're overweight. People who carry extra abdominal fat are
particularly at higher risk for heart disease. However, if you're overweight
(regardless of where you carry the extra weight), losing weight will be beneficial.
It can help lower high blood pressure and
high blood glucose,
and increase the body's sensitivity to insulin.
Be active. Get regular exercise (check with your doctor first to make sure it's
safe). Try to exercise every day, or at least most days of the week. Exercise helps
helps to control blood sugar, cholesterol, blood pressure, and aids in weight loss.
Don't smoke. Smoking can cause blood vessel damage. Combined with diabetes, it
also doubles your risk of developing heart disease.
Diabetes and heart disease are related. Take action to minimize the risk
of developing heart disease - even taking regular small steps can make a
difference! Your doctor and diabetes educator can help you create an
individualized treatment plan to keep your diabetes under control and decrease
the risk of diabetes-related complications.
The information on this website is based on our own research and personal experience,
and is not a substitute for medical advice. Questions about your health and individual
situation should be directed to your doctor.