The link between diabetes and heart disease is real—research has proven that diabetics are at greater risk for developing heart disease; it’s sometimes even referred to as diabetic heart disease.
The higher a person’s blood sugar, the greater the chance that he or she will develop diabetic heart disease. In addition, a diabetic is at least two times as likely to suffer a heart attack as a person who doesn’t have diabetes, and approximately two out of three diabetics die from cardiovascular disease.
What You Can Do
The American Heart Association deems diabetes as a major controllable risk factor for heart disease. Properly managing your diabetes can help reduce your risk of heart disease and other complications.
Take medication as instructed. Insulin as well as oral medications work best when taken as prescribed.
Eat a healthy diabetic diet. Consume a healthy diabetic diet in order to help control your blood glucose level.
Exercise regularly. Exercise boasts benefits that include helping manage both your glucose level and your weight.
Monitor your blood glucose. Manage blood glucose levels and discuss your findings with your doctor to determine if your daily healthcare routine is effective. In addition, have your A1C checked at least twice per year. Everyday blood glucose testing can pinpoint your blood sugar level at a certain time, as well as give you a good idea of blood sugar level changes throughout a given day. However, A1C testing measures your average blood glucose level over the previous couple of months and provides a look at how effective your diabetes management is.
To learn more about living healthy with diabetes and reducing your risk of heart disease, or to schedule an appointment with a doctor, simply call the St. Lucie Medical Center free 24-hour Consult-A-Nurse® service at 1-800-449-8345. We also encourage you to join our Diabetes Support Group, which meets on the first Monday of each month.