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Harmful effects of Diabetes on the heart and how to avoid them

In 2012, the National Heart Association’s database showed that 65% of people with diabetes die from some sort of heart issue or cardiac failure. Generally, people with diabetes are twice as likely to develop heart problems or suffer cardiac arrest than people who don’t have diabetes.

Diabetes and heart disease are closely linked with each other. Both of them go hand in hand

Harmful effects of Diabetes on the heart and how to avoid them

But don’t worry, you can decrease the risk of developing heart disease by adopting certain lifestyle changes and taking your medication punctually. emeds is a certified online pharmacy that delivers medical supplies, prescription pills, and health and wellness essentials at your doorstep.

How Does Diabetes Affect Heart’s Condition?

The Framingham Study was the first evidence to prove that diabetics are more at risk of developing heart diseases than non-diabetics. In this study, researchers looked at different generations of people, including the ones with diabetes, to try to assess factors that may trigger the onset of heart disease. The results showed that diabetes is one of the many serious health conditions which may play a key role in increasing the risk of developing heart diseases.
Although all diabetics are more likely to have heart diseases, the disorder is more common in patients with type-2 diabetes. The most common cause of death among type-2 diabetic patients is heart disease or heart failure.

Health Risk Factors and Diabetes

The chances of developing a heart problem depend on the number of health risk factors an individual has. Having more health risk factors for cardiac disorder means that the person has a higher chance of developing heart disease and even proving fatal.
Like any other person, diabetic people are more likely to die from heart disease if they possess more health risk factors. Statistics show that diabetic patients have a 2 to 4 times greater probability of dying from heart malfunctioning than those without diabetes. Hence, if a person with one health risk factor, hypertension, for instance, has an increased likelihood of dying from heart disease, a diabetic person has 2 to 4 times the risk of dying.
For instance, data from a medical study showed that patients with diabetes without any other health risk factors for cardiac disease had a five times higher risk of dying due to heart malfunction. 
Another study revealed that diabetic people, regardless of the number of other heart disease risk factors, are likely to have a heart attack than a non-diabetic person who already had one.
Cardiologists suggest that all diabetic patients take their heart disease risk factors seriously and get treated just as much as people with a cardiac failure history.

What are the Causes of Heart Disease in Diabetic Patients?

Atherosclerosis: It is a heart condition in which the coronary arteries get hard due to the accumulation of cholesterol in the blood vessels that transfer oxygen and nutrients to the heart.
When the accumulated cholesterol breaks apart, it ruptures the walls of blood vessels. The body’s repair mechanism sends platelets to seal the rupture. 
However, because the artery is very narrow and small, platelets (thrombocytes) could block the blood flow to the heart, triggering a cardiac attack.
The same thing can occur in all of the arteries in the body. When the blockage restricts the direct flow of blood to the brain, it induces a stroke. And when it cuts off blood supply to the appendages (hands, arms, legs, and feet), it causes peripheral vascular disease.
Diabetic patients not only have a higher risk of developing a heart disorder, but they also have a higher chance of heart failure.

Heart Failure: It is a severe medical condition in which the ability of the heart to pump blood sufficiently is severely affected. It doesn’t mean that the heart has stopped working; it simply means that the heart is unable to work properly. This can result in a build-up of fluid in the lungs that causes breathing difficulties, or it may cause swelling in other parts of the body (particularly legs) due to fluid retention.
With time, diabetes can damage the nerves and blood vessels that are linked to your heart. Diabetes also raises the chances of having other medical conditions that facilitate heart disorders:
  • Hypertension increases the pressure of blood flow through your arteries which damages the thin arterial walls. Having both high blood pressure and high blood sugar is a deadly duo for your heart.
  • High levels of triglycerides (a type of fat) and LDL cholesterol (bad cholesterol), and low levels of HDL cholesterol (good cholesterol) in your blood cause stiffness of the arteries.
It’s hard to diagnose these health conditions because none of these shows any symptoms. Your doctor may check your blood pressure or HDL, LDL, and triglyceride levels through a simple blood test.

How Can a Diabetic Person Avoid Having a Heart Disease?

The most effective way to prevent heart problems is to take sufficient care of yourself and your high blood sugar.
If you make the following changes in your lifestyle, you’ll be able to prevent heart diseases or stop them from worsening. These tips can also help you manage your diabetes productively:

Consume a healthy diet. Add more fresh vegetables and fruits, whole grains and lean protein to your diet. Avoid junk food, processed and pre-packaged food, and foods having trans fat.
● Increase your water intake. Drink at least eight glasses of water daily and avoid energy drinks, sodas, and other sugary drinks.
● Maintain a healthy weight. You need to shed those extra pounds if you are obese. Losing weight can help in decreasing your triglycerides and blood sugar levels.
● Workout regularly. Exercise keeps you healthy and active. Being physically active makes your body more susceptible to insulin (the hormone responsible for breaking down blood sugar for energy), crucial to regulating diabetes. Exercise also strengthens the heart, which reduces the risk of heart diseases significantly.
Don’t smoke. If you do, then give it up.
● Try to keep your blood sugar as normal as possible. In addition, you should take a regular A1C test to check your sugar level after 2 to 3 months.
Manage your cholesterol. You may need medication for this.
● Try to control your blood pressure and keep it below 140/90 mm Hg (or the target set by your doctor). Use a prescription if necessary.
Manage your stress. Stress is a huge factor in raising blood pressure. It can also induce unhealthy behaviours such as excessive alcohol consumption and eating disorders. Instead, try mental health counselling, exercise, practise meditation, or get support from your family and friends.

Seek Professional Medical Help

It’s essential to get medical advice from a health specialist when dealing with serious health problems. So go to a diabetes educator to get assistance in avoiding the risk of heart diseases and other health complications. You’ll find the necessary support, guidelines and solutions to manage diabetes. Search more about diabetes education and how it can help you to enjoy your health to the fullest.

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