Diabetes and Heart Disease - An Intimate Connection | Joslin Diabetes Center
High blood sugar and other diabetes-related problems harm the heart in several major ways. There are now many ways to control the disease. Diabetes and heart disease are closely linked. You're more We've talked about the link between high blood sugar levels and your heart health. But it's not all. Most diabetics aren't aware of the increased risk of cardiovascular disease. Learn the connection between diabetes and heart disease and if you are at risk.
Take Action To sum up: But there are lots of things to do to cut your risk. If you smoke, stop. Lose weight if you are overweight Keep your blood pressure in the proper range Get regular physical activity Keep your blood fats and cholesterol levels in a healthy range Keep your blood glucose under control Stop Smoking This is the single most important thing you can do! Nicotine narrows and restricts blood vessels. So does having diabetes.
You can't change having diabetes. But you can stop damage caused by nicotine. Join a stop smoking group. Lose Weight If Overweight Being overweight tends to increase your blood glucose, blood pressure and blood fat levels. Even a modest pound weight loss will improve your levels.
To lose weight, skip crash weight loss programs.
Diabetes, Heart Disease, and Stroke
Emphasize eating healthy foods that are low-fat and high-fiber and increase your physical activity. These will help keep your blood glucose and blood fat levels in a healthy range. Check with your healthcare provider to determine how to safely increase your physical activity. Keep Blood Pressure in Control High blood pressure increases the risk of stroke.
Have your blood pressure tested at least twice a year. This is a lower target than for people who don't have diabetes. Follow a low-salt meal plan. Increase your physical activity. And ask your healthcare provider about medications to lower blood pressure. Get More Physical Activity Physical Activity keeps your heart healthy, and helps keep blood glucose and blood fat levels in control.
So don't be a couch potato. Talk with an exercise specialist to start a sensible physical activity program. Be sure to check with your healthcare provider before beginning or increaseing you physical activity program. Also be sure to ask if there are types of exercise you should not do because of other diabetes complications you have. Define a set schedule for physical activity. Put it in your calendar. You'll be surprised how much better you feel!
Keep Your Blood Fats and Cholesterol in Control High levels of blood fats, including cholesterol, increase the risk of heart disease. Because you have diabetes, you are more likely to have high blood fat levels. So pay special attention! Know your blood fat levels. This is different from the blood glucose checks that you do every day. The higher your A1C number, the higher your blood glucose levels have been during the past 3 months.
High levels of blood glucose can harm your heart, blood vessels, kidneys, feet, and eyes. The A1C goal for many people with diabetes is below 7 percent. Some people may do better with a slightly higher A1C goal. Ask your health care team what your goal should be.
B is for blood pressure.
Blood pressure is the force of your blood against the wall of your blood vessels. If your blood pressure gets too high, it makes your heart work too hard. High blood pressure can cause a heart attack or stroke and damage your kidneys and eyes. Ask what your goal should be. C is for cholesterol.
Too much bad cholesterol can cause a heart attack or stroke. Ask your health care team what your cholesterol numbers should be. If you are over 40 years of age, you may need to take medicine such as a statin to lower your cholesterol and protect your heart. S is for stop smoking. Not smoking is especially important for people with diabetes because both smoking and diabetes narrow blood vessels, so your heart has to work harder.
If you quit smoking you will lower your risk for heart attack, stroke, nerve disease, kidney disease, eye disease, and amputation your blood glucose, blood pressure, and cholesterol levels may improve your blood circulation will improve you may have an easier time being physically active If you smoke or use other tobacco products, stop. For tips on quitting, go to Smokefree. Ask your health care team about your goals for A1C, blood pressure, and cholesterol, and what you can do to reach these goals.
Develop or maintain healthy lifestyle habits Developing or maintaining healthy lifestyle habits can help you manage your diabetes and prevent heart disease.
Follow your healthy eating plan. Make physical activity part of your routine. Stay at or get to a healthy weight Get enough sleep. Learn more about these tips to manage diabetes. Develop or maintain healthy lifestyle habits. Physical activity can help you manage your diabetes and may help you cope with stress. Watch a video about what you can do to keep your heart healthy.
Learn to manage stress Managing diabetes is not always easy. Feeling stressed, sad, or angry is common when you are living with diabetes. You may know what to do to stay healthy but may have trouble sticking with your plan over time. Long-term stress can raise your blood glucose and blood pressure, but you can learn ways to lower your stress. Try deep breathing, gardening, taking a walk, doing yoga, meditating, doing a hobby, or listening to your favorite music.
Learn more about healthy ways to cope with stress. Take medicine to protect your heart Medicines may be an important part of your treatment plan. Your doctor will prescribe medicine based on your specific needs. Medicine may help you meet your A1C blood glucoseblood pressure, and cholesterol goals.
Diabetes and heart disease | Cardiovascular disease | Diabetes UK
Angina can also be an early symptom of a heart attack. Ask your doctor whether you should take aspirin. Aspirin is not safe for everyone.