People with diabetes have an elevated risk of heart disease, which develops at a much earlier age, and are two to four times more likely to succumb to heart disease as compared to those who are non-diabetic. But through diet, exercise and lifestyle changes, it is possible to maintain a healthy heart.
Did you know, that nearly two-thirds of people with Diabetes also have high blood pressure?
The silver lining is that once you know the link between diabetes and heart disease, you can take the necessary steps to keep both conditions at a very manageable level.
The link between diabetes and heart diseases begins with elevated blood sugar levels. Over time, the high glucose content in the bloodstream can damage the arteries, causing them to become stiff and hard. The fatty material then starts to build up on the inside of these blood vessels, a condition known as atherosclerosis. This can eventually block the blood flow to the heart, leading to heart attack. Your risk of heart disease is further elevated if you have a family history of cardiovascular disease or stroke.
Ways in which you can protect your heart, despite having diabetes:
If you believe that you are at a higher risk of heart disease, don’t despair. There are several small lifestyle changes that you can make, not only to prevent heart disease but also to make your diabetes more manageable.
- Be active
- Eat a healthy diet
- Lose weight
- Manage your cholesterol levels
- Manage your blood glucose levels
- Manage your blood pressure
- Quit smoking
- Take your medications as prescribed
In conclusion, if you find out that your blood sugar levels are elevated, it is best to consult a doctor to understand your risk for heart disease.
Aster Clinic, Al Muteena (DMPC)