Blood Sugar and Heart Health: How Managing Diabetes can Reduce Cardiovascular Risks
On the surface, it might not seem as though blood sugar and heart health are related. However, studies have shown that uncontrolled diabetes can lead to heart disease and that managing diabetes can reduce cardiovascular risks, according to reports such as one recently published in the “Journal of the American College of Cardiology.”
Type 2 diabetes currently affects nearly 28 million U.S. adults, but patients who regulate blood sugar experience a number of health benefits, including weight loss, reductions in blood pressure and cholesterol levels, and reduced risks for heart attack and stroke.
Relationship Between Blood Sugar and Heart Health
In fact, research has shown that individuals who have diabetes tend to develop heart disease at a younger age than individuals who do not have diabetes. Further, adults with diabetes are twice as likely to die from heart disease or stroke, according to various reports.
Other factors that could increase your risk of heart disease if you have diabetes include obesity, high blood pressure, smoking, and high levels of bad cholesterol.
How Managing Diabetes can Reduce Cardiovascular Risks
While the research may sound intimidating, managing diabetes can reduce cardiovascular risks. As a result, patients can live fulfilling lives with few symptoms of diabetes or heart disease.
Following are some of the most common recommendations for managing Type 2 diabetes.
- Quitting smoking: Nicotine makes your blood vessels harden and narrow, which only worsens the the problem of damaged blood vessels as a result diabetes.
- Losing weight/maintaining a healthy weight: Obesity is one of the main factors associated with diabetes.
- Making healthier food choices: Different people have different dietary requirements, especially depending on their current health and other conditions they may have. Consult with your doctor or a nutritionist about the best diet for you. This is often a diabetic diet, which generally entails consuming less sugar and carbohydrates.
- Exercising on a regular basis: Exercising keeps your blood pumping and helps you maintain a healthy body weight.
- Using medication and/or insulin therapy: Many different drugs and other treatments are available. Your doctor will identify the best treatment for you. Metformin, known by brands such as Glucophage and Fortamet, is among the most common medications used to treat diabetes.
- Keeping track of blood glucose levels: Diabetes patients should test their glucose levels on a regular basis in order to maintain better control of the disease.
For more information about the relationship between blood sugar and heart health, make an appointment to see one of our cardiologists in Macomb, Roseville, East China, or Shelby Township.