Cardiovascular disease (heart related disease) is one of the leading causes of deaths in the world. Also, people who have diabetes (type 2 diabetes) are more likely to develop cardiovascular disease than other conditions. Studies which define the relationship between diabetes and heart disease have alarming related findings. According to research, people who have diabetes are more likely to develop problems of high blood pressure and are four times more susceptible to suffer fatal heart attacks in comparison to people who do not have diabetes.
Relationship between Glucose and Cholesterol and Heart Disease
The relationship between diabetes and heart disease is first and foremost connected to excessive blood sugar levels. With the passage of time, having high sugar levels can be extremely dangerous, as high glucose content in the blood can damage the arteries. The accumulation of cholesterol/fats within arteries is also more likely to lead to atherosclerosis in the arteries. All in all, excessive sugar in the blood can lead to the arteries becoming harder. This leads to blockages due to fatty materials accumulating in the blood vessels, which can cause heart attacks or strokes.
The risks to your health are more aggravated if your family has a history of cardiovascular disease. Since diabetes is associated with genetic factors, diabetes patients are more likely to lead to cardiovascular disease fatalities.
How to Protect the Heart if You Have Diabetes
For people with diabetes and family history of cardiovascular disease, the relationship between diabetes and heart disease should not mean they are doomed. There are multiple small changes in lifestyle that can be implemented to manage diabetes better and in turn, reduce the risks of cardiovascular disease. Considering the relationship between diabetes and heart disease manages both conditions well:
Reduction of intake of processed foods and edibles that are loaded with excessive sugar, fatty acids and sodium that are high in cholesterol can make a great difference. That doesn’t mean starving yourself is the answer. Substitute unhealthy foods instead with more protein, fruits, and vegetables and high fiber foods.
Being active is one of the best ways to improve control of blood sugar. Even light activity throughout the day instead of intensive workouts can go a long way in helping your body use the excess blood sugar and burn the harmful extra fats accumulated in your body. Examples of light activity include walking, gardening and hiking. For adults, 30 minutes 5 days a week are recommended.
Maintain Blood Cholesterol Levels
Lastly, you should keep a more focused approach on maintaining the cholesterol levels in your body. Health risks and the relationship between diabetes and heart disease are more reliant on your cholesterol levels than you would think.
The blood cholesterol level of low density lipoprotein (LDL) in mg. should be below 100 while the high density lipoprotein (HDL) should be ideally above 40 mg. Consult your doctor about how to best regulate the cholesterol levels in your blood.
Make every effort possible to battle both your diabetes and heart problems. It is an uphill climb but one that you can achieve with the right tweaks to your diet and lifestyle. Consult your primary care physician and seek medical help so you’re aware of underlying diabetes and heart problems you may have.
Diabetes and heart disease are two of Health Power’s “Big Four” major special conditions, and care of both decreases possible complications for each. Visit the Health Power website for information on these conditions.
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