Open Accessibility Menu

Diabetes and Your Heart

Diabetes and Your Heart

Diabetes and Cardiovascular Disease

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), over 29 million Americans currently have diabetes, and most of these individuals have type 2 diabetes. This condition can significantly increase a patient's risk for serious health issues, especially a much higher risk of cardiovascular disease.

Adults living with diabetes are twice as likely to die from heart disease than those who do not have diabetes. Read on to learn more about the link between these two conditions.

What’s the Link?

Amongst those living with diabetes, It is very common to also have hypertension (high blood pressure). Elevated blood pressure increases insulin resistance, making it more difficult for the body to effectively control blood glucose levels. Experts have found that diabetics with hypertension have a two-fold increase in their risk of developing cardiovascular disease.

High triglycerides and other cholesterol abnormalities may also occur in individuals with diabetes, and this can contribute to the development of premature coronary heart disease. Many patients with type 2 diabetes struggle with obesity, which increases blood pressure and insulin resistance, making it more likely that the patient will develop heart problems.

In particular, having a waist circumference of more than 40 inches for men or more than 35 inches for women is associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular issues.

What Can I Do to Reduce My Risk?

To reduce your risk of cardiovascular complications from diabetes, it is important to monitor your blood sugar regularly. In many cases, you'll need to check your levels at least once per day, and you might need to check before and after meals as well.

Be sure to ask your physician for personalized advice about how often you should measure your glucose at home. Knowing your numbers is the first step to taking control of your condition. Have your A1C levels checked by your doctor as often as he or she recommends.

Maintain a Healthy Diet

To reduce your risks, even more, try to reach or maintain a healthy weight. Basing meals around fruits, vegetables, and legumes could help with this, and getting 150 minutes of exercise per week is important as well. Walking, yoga, swimming, and yard work all count for physical activity.

Take Medication as Directed

Take all of your medications exactly as prescribed, and have regular checks of your blood pressure and cholesterol. Ask your doctor what your blood pressure and cholesterol goals should be, and work together on a plan to reach these. It may help to monitor your blood pressure frequently at home.

Always check with your doctor if you notice any changes in your symptoms or if you develop any new symptoms.

Cardiac Rehabilitation in Henry County

At Henry County Hospital, we’ve been providing compassionate healthcare since 1919. When it comes to cardiac rehabilitation, each patient can expect individualized care that meets their needs to kick-off a new start to healthier living. From education to emotional support, we focus on your individual health and wellness.