Diabetes & Heart Disease

For anyone who suffers from diabetes, there are a number of different complications that can occur as a direct result, and heart disease could easily be classed as one of the most common and well known problems.

We all have to bear in mind that everyone has a chance of developing some form of heart condition, but with type 1 diabetes and type 2 diabetes, the risk of such an eventuality is much greater.

There may be some cases when a problem of this nature is inevitable, but experts believe that by working at maintaining a safe body weight, improving your diet and making over lifestyle changes will significantly reduce the risk of anything serious occurring, either now or in the future.

Is there a link between diabetes and heart disease?

There are numerous medical experts who have stated that there is definitely a link between people who suffer from diabetes and go on to develop some form of cardiovascular (CVD) condition.

Reports released on a possible link between diabetes and heart disease regularly indicate that anyone who has type 1 or type 2 has a greater chance of getting such problems. Another disturbing factor is that heart disease is one of the biggest causes of premature death in people that have this particular condition.

Fact: This may come as a shock but according to Heart.org, it has been stated that no less than 65% of people that have either type of diabetes end up dying as a result of heart disease / stroke.

How can diabetes lead to heart problems?

It is important to note that there are several different reasons why a person with diabetes can go on to suffer from CVD related problems, and these could include the following:

  •  High blood pressure is commonly attributed with diabetes but this can easily be controlled with a good diet and proper exercise
  • Being overweight / obese is a well known cause as it will cause the heart to pump faster to work properly
  • In some cases, the levels of good “HDL” cholesterol tends to drop and this can be replaced with bad “LDL” cholesterol
  • The arteries of the heart have been known to narrow and that is usually caused by diabetes sufferers who regularly display a high blood sugar level  

Top tip: There are ways of monitoring both cholesterol levels and blood pressure and doing this on a regular basis will help you maintain health readings that will reduce the risk of further problems, including heart attacks.

Avoiding cardiovascular (CVD) problems

It doesn’t matter what type of diabetes you suffer from, it is important that you become familiar with a variety of methods that can help reduce the risk of experiencing cardiovascular problems, both now and in the future.

You may be wondering what the most effective options are. Well, there are several possibilities, which are simple to implement and (perhaps most importantly) they tend to work.

  •  Participating in more exercise – this could be anything, as long as you do at least the recommended 30 minutes per day. Swimming, walking and running are all popular choices but you could also play football or tennis for example
  • Ensure that you do regular blood sugar level testing so that it can be kept under control
  • Keep your cholesterol and blood pressure within the typical safe limits. For blood pressure, anything higher 130/80 mmHg should be checked out by a doctor
  • Make sure your diet is balanced and healthy. Avoid consuming too many sugary products, as well as limiting the amount of calories being eaten in one day
  • Keep your weight within safe limits, and avoid being overweight or obese
  • If you smoke then it is recommended that you stop as soon as possible

These are some of the most common and useful ways of preventing cardiovascular problems, for the short and long term. If there is anything you are unsure about then visit your doctor who will be able to provide assistance and advice.

How can I minimise the risk of heart disease?

Aside from a few of the standard lifestyle conditions that are essential to good health for diabetes sufferers, there are other ways of greatly reducing any risk of CVD problems.

If you can gain a better understanding of how to approach the problem then you can be happy in the knowledge that you have all key details to start making lifestyle changes (if they are required).

These could include:

  • Visiting your doctor on a regular basic for health check ups
  • If you start to display any symptoms then do not hesitate to seek relevant medical assistance
  • Reduce the amount of alcohol you consume (this is not something that you will have to cut this out completely, simply keep unit intake to a minimum)
  • Seek the help of a dietician if you are looking to improve your diet or get general advice on what to eat and when

Even though the risks of developing some form of heart disease are greater for someone that has diabetes, it doesn’t necessarily mean that this is going to happen. For good measure, it is in your best interests to follow the advice listed here as it is going to help safeguard you as much as possible and keep you free from harm.

It is essential to remember that even if you keep your blood sugar level under control, you are still going to be at risk from heart disease but if you keep testing your glucose readings regularly, as well as implementing all points listed above then this is going to diminish the chances of anything more serious happening.

All of these points may seem like a lot to remember but they are for your own good and they will ensure that you are kept healthy and (hopefully) risk free from any form of cardiovascular disease.

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