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Understanding the Connection Between Heart Disease and Diabetes

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Understanding the Relationship Between Diabetes and Heart Disease

According to the American Heart Association, those with diabetes have a risk of cardiovascular disease that is more than double that of the general population.

Heart disease is the leading cause of death for those with type 2 diabetes.

You can take a number of steps to reduce your chance of developing heart disease. The first step in prevention is realising the link between diabetes and heart disease.

Can heart disease be caused by diabetes?

Diabetes patients’ excessive blood glucose (sugar) levels over time can harm both the nerves that control their blood vessels and their blood vessels themselves.

Sugar is normally used by body tissues as an energy source. It is kept as a type of glycogen in the liver.

Diabetes can cause blood sugar to remain in the bloodstream and leak from the liver into the blood, damaging your blood vessels and the nerves that regulate them.

Blood flow to your heart might be slowed down or stopped by a blocked coronary artery. The longer you have diabetes, the higher your risk of heart disease.

Monitoring blood sugar levels is crucial for effective diabetes management. As directed by your doctor, monitor levels with a self-monitoring device.

Keep a log of your levels and bring it with you to your subsequent doctor’s appointment so you and the doctor can go over it.

The additional risk factors listed below can make you more likely to develop heart disease if you have diabetes.

High blood pressure

One of the most prevalent risk factors for heart disease in diabetics is high blood pressure.

Your blood vessels are harmed, and your heart is put under stress. You become more prone to a number of issues as a result, such as heart attack.

  • heart attack
  • stroke
  • kidney problems
  • vision issues

You are at least twice as likely to develop heart disease as someone without diabetes if you also have high blood pressure.

The easiest method to control your blood pressure is to eat healthily, exercise frequently, and, if necessary, take medication as directed by your doctor.

High cholesterol

Diabetes patients frequently have poorly controlled levels of blood lipids including cholesterol and triglycerides. They may also make people more likely to develop heart disease.

Having too much “bad” LDL cholesterol and too little “good” HDL cholesterol can lead to fatty plaque development in your blood vessels. This may result in obstructions and cause a heart attack or a stroke.

Even though cholesterol levels are frequently influenced by heredity, you can still control and lower your levels by choosing a healthy lifestyle and engaging in regular exercise.


Obesity and overweight are more prevalent among people with diabetes. Both ailments increase the risk of developing heart disease.

Obesity significantly affects: blood pressure

  • blood pressure
  • blood sugar
  • cholesterol levels

Losing weight can lower the risk of developing heart disease.

Developing a healthy food plan with the help of a dietitian or nutritionist is one of the best strategies to manage your weight. Regular exercise is crucial for maintaining a healthy weight.

sedentary kind of life

Sedentary behaviour such as high blood pressure and obesity are significant risk factors for heart disease.

 recommended that adults engage in at least two and a half hours of moderate-intensity aerobic activity per week.

Examples consist of:

  • walking
  • cycling
  • dancing

The CDC also suggests performing strength-training workouts on days other than consecutive ones at least twice a week.

Find out which workouts might be most appropriate for your fitness goals by speaking with your doctor.


Your risk of acquiring heart disease is significantly higher than that of nonsmokers if you smoke and have diabetes.

Smoking cigarettes and having diabetes both cause the arteries to accumulate plaque, which narrows the blood vessels.

This may lead to a number of consequences, including heart attack, stroke, and foot issues. In extreme circumstances, foot issues may potentially necessitate amputation.

Never forget that giving up is never too late. Find out from your doctor which smoking cessation techniques might be the most effective for you.


Depending on how severe it is, heart disease might have different symptoms. Some patients show absolutely no symptoms. Some of the most typical signs are as follows:

Shortness of breath tiredness feeling dizzy or faint pressure, tightness, or soreness below your breastbone that may radiate to your arms, neck, or back


Try to maintain a heart-healthy diet, which can, among other things, lower your total cholesterol and blood pressure, to help prevent heart disease if you have diabetes. Foods that are good for the heart include:

leafy greens like kale and spinach

salmon and sardines, as well as other cold-water fish, almonds, pecans, and other nuts

both oats and complete grains

Limit your consumption of: sodium, sugar, trans fats, and saturated fats.

In restaurants or grocery stores, always strive to choose low-fat options.


Adults with diabetes experience a 70% increase in the risk of cardiovascular disease-related death.

A 2017 study found that cardiac disease affects about 32% of type 2 diabetics.

According to the American Heart Association, at least 68 percent of diabetics age 65 and older will pass away from heart disease.

Having diabetes increases a person’s risk of heart attack considerably, especially in people under 65.

  • heart attack
  • stroke
  • kidney disease


If you have diabetes, there are steps you may do to help prevent heart disease.

The manage your diabetes “ABCs” are suggested by the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases to help with this:

Analyze A1C

Your average blood glucose level over the last three months is shown by this blood test. The outcome should be less than 7 percent for the majority of diabetics.

Blood pressure.

Many diabetics aim to keep their blood pressure below 140/90 mm Hg.


 Blood artery blockages can result from having too much LDL (“bad”) cholesterol in your system. What should your cholesterol level be? Ask your doctor.


Smoking causes your blood vessels to thin in addition to diabetes. You can reduce your risk of heart disease, heart attack, stroke, and other illnesses by quitting smoking.

diabetes and heart disease treatment

If you have diabetes, your doctor may offer drugs to address heart disease in addition to the advice to follow a balanced diet and exercise frequently.

Before taking over-the-counter drugs to treat heart problems, consult your doctor.

Some might interact with the diabetic medicine you’re taking, or they might include sugar or other carbs that have an impact on your blood sugar.

Examples of drugs that your doctor might recommend include the following:

Victoza contains liraglutide. 

Daily injections of liraglutide (Victoza) are given to patients. The medication was given FDA approval in 2017 to help persons with type 2 diabetes and heart disease lower their risk of heart attacks and strokes.

(Jardiance) empagliflozin. 

The FDA granted Empagliflozin approval in 2016 to treat patients with type 2 diabetes’ heart problems and lower blood sugar levels.


Specifically LDL (“bad”) cholesterol, statins like atorvastatin (Lipitor) and rosuvastatin (Crestor) lower cholesterol levels.


Blood pressure is lowered by antihypertensives such as beta-blockers and diuretics.

Additional cardiovascular issues

If your heart condition is untreated while you have diabetes, you could experience severe complications like:

  • heart failure
  • heart attack
  • stroke

If the vessels in your body are damaged by diabetes, you could experience a heart attack if a portion of your heart muscle isn’t getting enough blood.

People with diabetes are more likely than those without diabetes to develop heart failure after having a heart attack.

The following are possible heart attack symptoms:

soreness in the chest, weakness, or dizziness

Particularly in women having a heart attack, you may experience nausea, vomiting, and extraordinary exhaustion as well as pain or discomfort in your arms, shoulders, back, neck, or jaw.

The symptoms of a heart attack may include the following:

  • chest pain or discomfort
  • weakness or lightheadedness
  • pain or discomfort in your arms, shoulders, back, neck, or jaw
  • nausea or vomiting and being unusually tired, which is seen especially in women experiencing a heart attack

Call the doctor as soon as you see any of these symptoms.

If you have diabetes, the extra sugar in your blood could eventually cause your blood vessels to get blocked, which would stop blood flow to your brain. This may result in a stroke.

A stroke is 1.5 times more likely to occur in diabetics than in non-diabetics.

Heart disease and stroke risk factors are comparable. 

These elements consist of:

  • high LDL (“bad”) and low HDL (“good”) cholesterol levels
  • high blood pressure
  • obesity

If you are suffering a stroke, you can suddenly encounter some of the symptoms listed below:

  • numbness in your face, arm or leg, usually on one side of your body
  • difficulty speaking or understanding another person speaking
  • dizziness
  • vision problems in one or both eyes
  • severe headache

If you experience any of these signs, dial doctor right away. Successful treatments typically only function for the first three hours following a stroke.

heart attack

Heart failure, which results from the heart’s inability to pump enough blood to the body, is more likely to develop in diabetics. One of the most dangerous cardiovascular consequences of diabetes is heart failure.

  • shortness of breath
  • coughing and wheezing
  • swollen legs, feet, and ankles
  • fatigue

If you have these symptoms, consult a doctor. Heart failure can be successfully managed with medicine or surgery even if it cannot be cured.

Whenever to visit a doctor

You should consult your doctor immediately if you have diabetes and are feeling any heart disease symptoms, such as exhaustion, shortness of breath, or pain in your chest.

They might advise adopting healthier dietary habits and lifestyle adjustments. They might also recommend drugs. These suggestions might be able to save your life.

It’s time to take action now that you are See More aware of the link between diabetes and heart disease.

Eat healthily, remain active, and try to keep your cholesterol, blood pressure, and blood sugar levels under control.

Diabetes does not guarantee the development of other illnesses, such as heart disease.

You have the ability to control your individual risk factors, improve your heart health, and engage with your doctor to develop a personalised treatment plan.

also read : How Important is Accurate Medical Billing in Mental Health Services?

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