Most people living with diabetes are not aware that they have an increased risk of getting heart diseases and that is why I want to talk about the relationship between diabetes and heart diseases. Though the statistics showing the relationship between heart diseases and diabetes is staggering, latest research by medical practitioners have shown a great link between diabetes and heart diseases. According to the American Heart Association, about 68% of people with diabetes aged 55 and above die from heart diseases. So what is the relationship between diabetes and heart diseases?
The relationship between diabetes and heart diseases can be summed up in two words “high glucose.” It has frequently been said that diabetes itself is not a problem, and that the high glucose levels in the blood is the major problem. Indeed it is the high levels of the glucose in the blood that causes the condition to cause havoc in the body organs. With the high levels of glucose in the blood, blood vessels of all types from the tiniest blood vessel on your finger tip to the largest blood vessel in the heart is damaged resulting in destruction of the heart and eventually causing cardiovascular diseases. How exactly does blood with high glucose levels cause heart diseases?
Blood with high glucose level is thick and often stick on the sides of veins and arteries, causing atherosclerosis or hardening of the arteries. In such a situation, no blood vessel is spared. The smallest blood vessels and the largest blood vessels in your body are affected and as such most organs in the body including the heart are compromised. When the blood vessels supplying blood to the heart are blocked, blood flow to the heart or brain is affected leading to heart attack and other cardiovascular diseases. The risk of heart diseases with diabetes can further be elevated if you have a family history of cardiovascular disease.
If you have diabetes and develop heart disease, treatment will include lifestyle changes such as eating a healthy diet, maintaining a healthy weight, exercising regularly, and quitting smoking and drinking alcohol. You may also need medication to lower your blood glucose levels, cholesterol levels, blood pressure, and to treat any heart damage. Treatment for each person can be different depending on the type of heart disease that one may have. Finally, if you have any symptoms of heart diseases, seek medical advice immediately because early treatment decreases the potential damage of your heart.