Diabetes and Your Heart
According to the National Diabetes Statistics Report, just over 1 in 10 Americans — an estimated 34.2 million adults — have diabetes. Another 88 million American adults have prediabetes. These numbers are more than concerning given that individuals with diabetes are twice as likely to have a stroke or heart disease than someone without diabetes. The longer you have diabetes, the greater this risk becomes.
In this brief article, we’ll explain this finding in further detail by expanding on how diabetes affects your heart over time. To avoid health complications associated with diabetes, such as heart disease, and find out how you can better manage your diabetes, consult Jesal V. Popat, M.D., FACC — a top cardiologist in Tampa.
How Does Diabetes Affect Your Heart?
When at least 68% of people aged 65 or older with diabetes die from some form of heart disease, it’s clear that diabetes and heart disease go hand in hand. To understand this, we must first consider the cause of heart disease. Coronary artery disease, for example, is caused by plaque buildup in the walls of the blood vessels that supply blood and oxygen to the heart. This plaque is made out of cholesterol deposits that ultimately makes the inside of the arteries narrow and harden.
Diabetes is associated with a number of adverse conditions that can damage these blood vessels, such as:
High blood pressure
High levels of LDL cholesterol
All of these factors are thought to either increase the force of blood through the arteries, contribute to the hardening of the arteries, or help form plaque on damaged artery walls.
What Can People With Diabetes Do to Reduce Their Risk for Heart Disease?
The number one thing people with diabetes can do to reduce their risk for heart disease is to work toward successfully managing their diabetes. We recommend getting in contact with a cardiologist in Tampa like Dr. Popat, who can work with you to monitor your blood sugar levels, cholesterol levels, blood pressure, and weight, and help you set personal goals for your health. Any lifestyle changes that could be beneficial towards controlling your diabetes, such as engaging in regular exercise or adopting a whole-food, plant-based diet, are also helpful in minimizing your risk factors for heart disease and strokes.
Simply give Dr. Popat a call today, and we will work to form a tailored diagnostic and treatment plan using the latest innovation and technology available to address your symptoms, improve your quality of life, better manage your diabetes, and significantly reduce your risk for heart disease.
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