Learn how to protect yourself when dealing with diabetes and heart disease.
With diabetes being a major risk factor for developing cardiovascular disease, it is important for diabetics to learn how they can protect themselves. Statistics from the American Diabetes Association (ADA) reveal that adult diabetics have double the risk of experiencing a stroke or heart attack than individuals who do not have diabetes.
Getting the facts on diabetes and heart disease can assist you in developing strategies that can protect your heart. Here are few to keep in mind:
Understand Diabetes and Heart Disease Symptoms
Once you can identify diabetes and heart disease symptoms, you can proactively address the problems. Heart disease symptoms include:
- Chest pain, tightness, discomfort, pressure
- Pain, numbness, weakness or coldness in your legs or arms if the blood vessels in those parts of your body are narrowed
- Shortness of breath, trouble breathing, fatigue
- Indigestion, nausea, heartburn, cold sweat
- Pain in the neck, jaw, throat, upper abdomen or back
- Men are more likely to experience chest pain, while women usually experience other symptoms that include chest discomfort, shortness of breath, nausea, and extreme fatigue
- Swelling of the legs, ankles, feet, abdomen, and veins in the neck
Diabetes and Heart Disease Contributing Factors
High blood pressure (hypertension) can put you at an increased risk for a heart attack or stroke. This connection between diabetes and cardiovascular disease should be taken seriously by any diabetic who has high blood pressure. Your doctor should test your blood pressure often, and try to help you maintain a healthy range below 130-140 systolic pressure and 80-90 diastolic pressure.
If you aren’t able to control your hypertension through lifestyle changes, ask your doctor to prescribe a medication for you that is specifically made to treat diabetics. You may be prescribed more than one medication, which can include:
- Ace Inhibitors – These work to keep blood vessels relaxed and help to prevent the undesirable hormone angiotensin from developing, which can cause a narrowing of blood vessels.
- Calcium Channel Blockers – Assist in relaxing blood vessels, and also keep calcium out of the heart and blood vessels.
- Diuretics – Assist in ridding the body of excess sodium and water, via the urine. Pregnant and breastfeeding women should avoid diuretics.
- ARB’s – Another preventive measure against cardiovascular disease, ARB’s assist in opening and relaxing blood vessels. They have also been shown to slow down or stop the progression of kidney disease.
High cholesterol is another contributing factor in diabetes and heart disease. Your doctor can recommend lifestyle changes that can improve high cholesterol levels, and he may also prescribe a statin drug to lower your cholesterol levels. The American Diabetes Association (ADA) recommends that you be placed on statin drugs if you are over 40 years old, or if you have already been diagnosed with heart disease. The ADA also recommends taking daily, low-dose aspirin if you are a diabetic over 50 years old, have family heart disease history, have chronic kidney disease, are a smoker, have high blood pressure, and do not have an increased bleeding risk due to kidney disease, old age or anemia.
You can protect yourself against the risks of diabetes and cardiovascular disease by identifying symptoms, living a healthy lifestyle, consulting with your doctor on a regular basis, and taking any medications that you are prescribed. This is the diabetics proactive way to prevent heart disease.
Learn more at www.BetterHealthKare.com