How can I lower my chances of a heart attack or stroke if I have diabetes? Answers Dr Bijay Kumar

Having diabetes means that you are more likely to develop heart disease and have a greater chance of a heart attack or a stroke. People with diabetes are also more likely to have certain conditions, or risk factors, that increase the chances of having heart disease or stroke, such as high blood pressure or high cholesterol. If you have diabetes, you can protect your heart and health by managing your blood glucose, also called blood sugar, as well as your blood pressure and cholesterol. If you smoke, get help to stop.

Medishala talked to one of the top Cardiologist in Patna Dr Bijay kumar currently practicing at his clinic situated at Gola Road, Sonu Market Basera R.P.S more Bailey Road infront of Lalkothi Masjid, Patna about diabetes leading to Heart diseases . Here is what he has to say:

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Over time, high blood glucose from diabetes can damage your blood vessels and the nerves that control your heart and blood vessels. The longer you have diabetes, the higher the chances that you will develop heart disease.1

People with diabetes tend to develop heart disease at a younger age than people without diabetes. In adults with diabetes, the most common causes of death are heart disease and stroke. Adults with diabetes are nearly twice as likely to die from heart disease or stroke as people without diabetes.

What else increases my chances of heart disease or stroke if I have diabetes?

  • Smoking: 
    If you have diabetes, it is important to stop smoking because both smoking and diabetes narrow blood vessels
  • High blood pressure: 
    High blood pressure can strain your heart, damage blood vessels, and increase your risk of heart attack, stroke, eye problems, and kidney problems.
  • Abnormal cholesterol levels:
    You have two kinds of cholesterol in your blood: LDL and HDL.
    LDL, often called “bad” cholesterol, can build up and clog your blood vessels. High levels of LDL cholesterol raise your risk of developing heart disease.
  • Obesity and belly fat:
    Being overweight or obese can affect your ability to manage your diabetes and increase your risk for many health problems, including heart disease and high blood pressure.
    Excess belly fat around your waist, even if you are not overweight, can raise your chances of developing heart disease.
  • Family history of heart disease:
     If one or more of your family members had a heart attack before age 50, you may have an even higher chance of developing heart disease.3

How can I lower my chances of a heart attack or stroke if I have diabetes?

Manage your diabetes ABCS

A is for the A1C test
The A1C test shows your average blood glucose level over the past 3 months. This is different from the blood glucose checks that you do every day . High levels of blood glucose can harm your heart, blood vessels, kidneys, feet, and eyes.

B is for blood pressure
Blood pressure is the force of your blood against the wall of your blood vessels. If your blood pressure gets too high, it makes your heart work too hard The blood pressure goal for most people with diabetes is below 140/90 mm Hg.

C is for cholesterol:  You have two kinds of cholesterol in your blood: LDL and HDL. LDL or “bad” cholesterol can build up and clog your blood vessels. Too much bad cholesterol can cause a heart attack or stroke. HDL or “good” cholesterol helps remove the “bad” cholesterol from your blood vessels.

S is for stop smoking. Not smoking is especially important for people with diabetes because both smoking and diabetes narrow blood vessels, so your heart has to work harder.

Develop or maintain healthy lifestyle habits

  • Follow your healthy eating plan.
  • Make physical activity part of your routine.
  • Stay at or get to a healthy weight
  • Get enough sleep.

How do doctors diagnose heart disease in diabetes?

Doctors diagnose heart disease in diabetesbased on

  • your symptoms
  • your medical and family history
  • how likely you are to have heart disease
  • a physical exam
  • results from tests and procedures

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