November is American Diabetes Month, a Perfect Time to Talk Heart Health
- Posted on: Nov 15 2018
Approximately 30 million Americans have been diagnosed with Type I or Type II diabetes. It is estimated that another 8 million have undiagnosed diabetes and that 86 million Americans show signs of prediabetes. November is American Diabetes Month, and November 9th was National Diabetes Heart Health Awareness Day. Increased awareness regarding diabetes is important to our patients due to the direct relationship between this chronic health condition and cardiovascular disease.
Type II diabetes doubles a person’s risk of developing heart disease. Two out of three deaths in people with type II diabetes are attributed to cardiovascular disease. Still, studies show that less than half of the people who have been diagnosed with diabetes realize that their heart health is at risk.
Diabetes and Heart Health: Making the Connection
A diabetic’s increased risk of heart disease stems from elevated blood sugar levels. Chronically high blood sugar in the blood causes arteries that carry blood to and from the heart to become hard and stiff. Fatty deposits can accumulate inside of the arteries, causing them to narrow. This is referred to as atherosclerosis. Once fatty deposits begin to build up, accumulation may progress to a point at which blood flow to the heart or brain becomes obstructed. Depending on the degree of obstruction, heart attack or stroke could occur.
Diabetes and Heart Health: Making Progress toward Prevention
Having diabetes does not have to guarantee that your heart health declines and puts you at risk of heart attack or stroke. Multiple studies suggest that the way to heart disease prevention for diabetics lies in the same steps they take to manage their primary health condition. Lowering heart disease risk is as simple as managing blood sugar with strategies such as:
- Lower your cholesterol, if necessary. Often, high cholesterol and diabetes go hand-in-hand. LDL cholesterol should ideally stay below 100, whereas HDL cholesterol should stay above 40.
- Know your ideal blood glucose range and stay within that. Blood sugar management is the primary task for diabetic patients. In some cases, medication may be needed to promote regulated levels. Healthy lifestyle habits also help and may even keep some patients from needing medication.
- Eat well. The good news about preventing heart disease alongside diabetes is that a healthy diet is a healthy diet, period. You don’t need to develop one way of eating for one condition and another for the other. A balanced diet that is low in salt, sugar, and red meat and high in fiber and fresh fruits and vegetables promotes healthy blood sugar and a healthy heart.
- Exercise daily. If all you do is take a 30 to 45-minute walk every day, you are doing your body good because this amount of movement promotes healthy circulation through the arteries and the heart.
Premier Cardiology Consultants proudly serves patients in the areas of Lake Success, Forest Hills, and Richmond Hill, NY. For information on our diagnostic and treatment services, contact us at 516-437-5600.