There is a link between diabetes and heart disease and the results can be deadly. According to the American Heart Association, if you have diabetes, your risk of developing cardiovascular disease is more than double that of the general population.
In 2017, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) stated that more than 100 million people in the United States have diabetes or prediabetes. According to a study, about 32 percent of people with type 2 diabetes have heart disease. And at least 68 percent of people with diabetes ages 65 and older will die from some form of heart disease. So, the American Diabetes Association (ADA) and the American Heart Association (AHA) have partnered to both educate and motivate people with type 2 diabetes to minimize their risk for cardiovascular disease. However, many of these complications produce no symptoms in the early stages, and most can be prevented or minimized with a combination of regular medical care and blood sugar monitoring.
The high glucose (sugar) levels in the blood of people with diabetes can eventually damage blood vessels as well as the nerves that control them. It will damage your arteries over time, causing fatty material to build upon the inside, hardening them. This is a condition called atherosclerosis. Atherosclerosis is a narrowing of the arteries caused by a buildup of plaque. Arteries are the blood vessels that carry oxygen and nutrients from your heart to the rest of your body.
Major risk factors for this condition are obesity, a family history of diabetes, and insufficient physical activity. The odds of developing type 2 diabetes also increase with age. If you have diabetes, sugar can stay in your bloodstream and leak out of the liver into your blood, with subsequent damage to your blood vessels and the nerves that control them.
Some factors can increase your risk of heart disease if you have diabetes.
High Blood Pressure
High blood pressure, sometimes known as hypertension, is one of the most common risk factors for heart disease among people with diabetes. When you’ve got high blood pressure, your blood vessels making them weak in some areas and your heart needs to work harder to pump out blood. And this may result to strain and damage your blood vessels. This makes you more susceptible to a variety of complications including:
- heart attack
- kidney problems
- vision issues
People with diabetes are more likely to have overweight or obese. Excessive fat build-up around the stomach can lead to cardiovascular disease risk factors like diabetes and high blood pressure. Obesity has a strong influence on blood pressure, cholesterol levels, and blood sugar.
Weight loss can minimize the risk of heart disease and the effective way to manage weight is to work with a nutritionist or dietitian. Exercise plays also an important role to manage weight.
Since, tobacco can elevate blood pressure, thicken the blood, and lowers the function of the lungs, smoking damages the lining of your arteries. Thus, if have diabetes and you’re a smoker, your risk of developing heart disease is much higher than that of nonsmokers. And always remember that it is never too late to quit.
Cholesterol is a type of fat found in your blood that is produced by your liver. Too much LDL (“bad”) cholesterol and not enough HDL (“good”) cholesterol may cause a buildup of fatty plaque in your blood vessels and increases the risk of developing heart disease. Although in many cases, genetics influences cholesterol levels and still you can manage and improve your levels by maintaining a healthy lifestyle and proper exercise routine.
Dyslipidemia refers to unhealthy levels of one or more kinds of lipid (fat) in your blood including two we are familiar with: cholesterol and triglycerides. Patients with an extensive family history of heart disease need to be screened by measuring their lipid levels for any abnormality.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that people with high total cholesterol have approximately twice the risk for heart disease as people with ideal levels.
High levels of sugar in vessels and elevated blood glucose
High blood glucose levels are caused when a simple sugar known as glucose builds up in your bloodstream. Over time, it can restrict blood flow and increase the risk of atherosclerosis, or the hardening of the blood vessels.
How Can We Prevent Diabetes?
Many people know that smoking increases the risk of heart disease and lung cancer. But did you know that smoking also causes prediabetes, type 2 diabetes, and insulin resistance? If you have diabetes and you smoke, you are more likely to incur serious health problems. One important thing is to change your lifestyle and you need to quit smoking. Because, if not, you are most likely to have a serious complication such as blindness, poor blood flow that may lead to infections, ulcers and amputations, heart and kidney disease, and peripheral neuropathy.
Regular exercise is recommended
Lack of physical activity is another risk factor for prediabetes. Exercise plays a very important role in reversing type 2 diabetes. It is not only great for energy and mental health, but it can also lower your blood sugar by increasing insulin sensitivity. In addition, it can positively affect lipids, blood pressure, cardiovascular health, mortality, and quality of life. According to research published in Diabetes Care, exercising regularly improves blood glucose control. While it’s been shown that vigorous exercise increases health dramatically, even walking for half an hour a day can improve your general health. Exercises can include:
- playing sports
Hypertension must be controlled
If you already have high blood pressure, lifestyle modifications, or medication(s), it can be controlled. Some evidence shows that measuring levels at home can help you manage symptoms better. You can also buy several different types of home blood pressure monitors without a prescription from pharmacies or online. And this will give you an early warning sign if you start to see numbers creep up slowly. You can also contact your endocrinologist for some kind of support or having a health clinic to improve blood pressure better rather than without support.
Bad Cholesterol makes you more prone to a heart problem
Too much LDL (“bad”) cholesterol in your blood can cause blockages in your blood vessels. It is very important to ask your doctor to have a blood test done to measure cholesterol and triglyceride levels and modify the diets if needed. Also, lifestyle steps that help reduce cholesterol support your overall health as well.
There are effective ways to reverse diabetes naturally. By changing diet, lifestyle (from exercising regularly to quitting smoking), activities, and even mentality, everyone would benefit from maintaining a heart-healthy lifestyle. One product that our readers have had great results with is the Kachin Diabetes Solution. You can click that link to find out more.