How to reduce heart disease risk in diabetes?

How to reduce heart disease risk in diabetes?

The risk of heart disease in patients with diabetes is doubled compared to those who do not have diabetes. Diabetes and heart disease are both lifestyle diseases. Certain lifestyle changes can be made, and diabetes can be prevented. The best part is that by making lifestyle changes, heart disease and diabetes can both be controlled. Diabetes may lead to conditions that are risk factors for heart disease, like high blood pressure and high cholesterol levels. Consistently high glucose levels in the blood due to diabetes may lead to the narrowing of blood vessels due to the deposition of bad cholesterol (LDL). Narrowed blood vessels may block the blood flow carrying oxygen and nutrients to different parts of the body. If the blood supply to the heart is blocked, it may lead to a heart attack. If the supply to the brain is stopped, it may lead to a stroke. And if the supply to the kidneys is blocked, it may lead to kidney failure.

Narrowing of blood vessels may lead to risk of heart disease.
Narrowing blood vessels may increase the risk of heart disease.

The heart is a muscular organ, situated behind and slightly left of the breast bone. The heart pumps blood through the network of arteries and veins, which are collectively called the cardiovascular system. The group of disorders in the cardiovascular system like hypertension ( high blood pressure), coronary heart disease ( heart attack), and cerebrovascular disease( stroke) are called cardiovascular diseases (CVD). Cardiovascular diseases are one of the leading killers, causing one in three deaths worldwide. For more details about heart diseases (What are the signs and symptoms of heart disease?), please click on the link-

Diabetes- A risk factor for heart disease.
Diabetes is a risk factor for heart disease.

Diabetes is a lifestyle disease. It is caused due to high glucose (sugar) levels in the blood. Glucose is the main source of energy for the body. It is obtained from the food we eat. Our digestive system contains the pancreas, which releases a hormone called insulin. Insulin helps control blood glucose levels. It also helps, cells to utilize glucose for the formation of energy for different body activities. When the body does not form enough insulin, the glucose level in the blood increases. Long term presence of higher levels of glucose in the blood causes diabetes. For more details about diabetes ( What are early signs and symptoms of diabetes? ), please click on the link –

How to reduce heart disease risk in diabetes?

How to reduce Heart disease risk in Diabetes?

Diabetes is one of the main risk factors for cardiovascular disease. 80% of people with diabetes die of heart disease. The risk of patients with diabetes dying from heart disease is two to six times greater than that of patients without diabetes. Patients with diabetes have abnormal cholesterol levels, which raises the risk of cardiovascular diseases. for more details about cholesterol, good or bad. Please click on the link- Diabetic patients tend to develop heart disease at a younger age than those who do not suffer from diabetes. By taking care of diabetes, we can reduce our heart disease risk. By adopting certain day-to-day changes in our lifestyle, we can manage diabetes and keep the heart and blood vessels healthy. The following few suggestions can help reduce the risk of heart disease in people with diabetes.

Exercise can reduce heart disease risk in diabetes.
Exercise can reduce heart disease risk in diabetes.

Exercise:- Making exercise a daily routine and leading an active life helps a lot in controlling diabetes and can reduce heart disease risk. Exercise helps overcome risk factors for heart disease like controlling weight, lowering high blood pressure, lowering harmful cholesterol (LDL), raising good cholesterol (HDL), strengthening muscles and bones, reducing stress levels, and lowering blood glucose levels. It helps in controlling insulin resistance, by increasing body sensitivity to insulin. It also induces a sense of well-being.

Managing stress levels can help to reduce cardiovascular risk
Diabetes patients can reduce their risk of heart disease by managing their stress levels.

Managing stress levels: Prolonged high levels of stress may lead to an increase in blood pressure, a precursor to heart disease. High blood pressure over time may cause damage to blood vessels and nerves. By managing stress levels, optimum blood pressure levels can be achieved. For more details, about how to cut down on stress levels, please click on the link

Quitting smoking may help to reduce risk of cardiovascular disease.
Quitting smoking can help diabetics reduce their risk of heart disease.

Quitting Smoking:- It is a known fact that smoking is injurious to health. Diabetic patients are at higher risk if they smoke. Smoking causes major damage to the heart and blood vessels. It contains nicotine, which raises blood pressure. High blood pressure causes damage to blood vessels and nerves, which can cause damage to the kidneys, eyes, limbs, etc. Quitting smoking can help to reduce the risk of heart disease in people with diabetes.

Healthy eating habbits can help in controlling diabetes.
Healthy eating habits can help control diabetes.

Healthy Eating Habits:- Consuming a healthy diet can help a lot in controlling diabetes and can reduce the risk of heart disease. Our meals should contain a balanced mix of fruits, vegetables, proteins, fats, and starches. We should avoid sugar-sweetened beverages and diets rich in sodium and trans fats. Prefer whole grains over white bread, fish or chicken over red meat; and low-fat dairy products over whole milk.

Almonds can help to lower the risk.

As per a study, eating tree nuts such as almonds may help reduce the risk of heart disease in adults with type 2 diabetes. For more reading, click on: Nut consumption may help heart health for people with type 2 diabetes. (Reference).

Almonds can lower heart disease risk in diabetes.
Almonds can lower heart disease risk in diabetes.

The study further showed diabetic patients who consumed 5 servings/week had an approximately 17% lower risk of incidence of cardiovascular disease as compared to those who ate one or fewer servings per week.  (One serving is equal to one ounce or 28 gms).

Almonds are beneficial for heart health in diabetic patients and, besides consumption, provide other benefits. The study, further demonstrated that diabetic patients who consumed 5 servings per week had app:

  • a 20% lower risk of coronary heart disease.
  • 34% reduced risk of cardiovascular death.
  • 31% reduced risk of death in all cases.

Other benefits of Almonds consumption are:-

  • Almonds are rich in antioxidants, which can protect cells from oxidative damage a significant contributor to aging and diseases.
  • Almonds are the best source of Vit- E.
  • Almonds contain magnesium, therefore, helps in controlling blood pressure.
  • Almonds can lower cholesterol levels.
  • Almonds help in weight loss, as consumption of almonds leads to fullness, which helps in lesser calorie intake.

Healthy lifestyle changes can help to reduce heart disease risk in diabetes. Consult your healthcare provider for health checkups and treatment. Regular checkups and following the advice of the healthcare provider is the key. Monitor your blood pressure and blood glucose levels at regular intervals.

(For awareness purposes only).

Surinder Bhalla.

Surinder Bhalla

Blogger & Marketing Consultant

40+ Years of experience in the healthcare industry.

Maansi Survival Aid Foundation.

Maansi Survival Aid Foundation is committed to serving ailing humanity. We promote healthy living and Ayurvedic concepts through our blogs. We organize free health camps. Have 40+years of experience in the health care industry (Modern medicine & Alternate medicine).

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