Diabetes and Heart Disease

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IT’S NO SURPRISE THAT HAVING DIABETES CAN CAUSE A DRAMATIC CHANGE IN YOUR LIFE. Between adjusting diet habits, exercise routines and medications, your life is a detailed list of checks and balances.

The good news? Handled correctly, diabetes is a manageable condition.

If things become unbalanced, though, there can be serious side effects. “Adults with diabetes are at a higher risk of complications from stroke, heart failure and heart attacks,” cautions Christy Nohra, MD, of Baptist Medical Clinic | Family Medicine - Clinton. According to the American Heart Association, adults with diabetes are two to four times more likely to have heart disease.

Reasons they’re connected

Diabetes affects insulin levels and can cause damage to your blood vessels and arteries, resulting in hardened arteries (atherosclerosis), restricted blood supply and elevated blood pressure.

Methods of prevention

There’s no guarantee that diabetes will lead to heart disease, and there are many things you can do to help prevent heart failure or heart attack. Dr. Nohra suggests the following:

:: Closely monitor your blood sugar levels in order to keep them stable.

:: Maintain a good blood pressure so as not to overexert your heart.

:: Stick to balanced meals that meet your specific dietary needs.

:: Get regular exercise so that you can stay at a healthy weight.

:: Limit your cholesterol intake in order to have proper cholesterol levels.

:: Try to reduce your use of alcohol and tobacco products.

www.mbhs.org • Baptist Health Line: 601-948-6262