Diabetes, heart attacks, and strokes often go hand-in-hand. Diabetes is a disease caused by either a lack of insulin or an inability to properly use insulin. This causes dangerous levels of glucose to remain in the blood where it can cause damage to blood vessels. Hyperglycemia is a term that refers to an abnormally high level of glucose in the blood and can lead to heart attacks and strokes. In fact, diabetics suffer heart attacks and strokes at twice the rate of healthy people.
Merely having diabetes can increase one’s odds of these conditions, but there are other factors at work as well. One of the risk factors is carrying large amounts of abdominal fat. According to the American Heart Association, having a fatty abdomen definitely increases a person’s risk of having a heart attack. It is thought that this is because fat around the abdomen tends to raise blood cholesterol levels more than other body regions.
Diabetics are encouraged to monitor their cholesterol on a regular basis. Since diabetic blood vessels tend to be weaker due to their disease, they are more vulnerable to diabetes heart attacks or diabetes strokes. The damage caused by excessive glucose can make a diabetic’s arteries more likely to become blocked. This is why it is so important for diabetics to closely monitor their cholesterol levels, even more, so that other segments of the population.
Another serious medical condition that diabetics must guard against is hypertension. Hypertension raises blood pressure levels and can make one more likely to have a stroke or heart attack. Because diabetics tend to have blood vessel damage, they are at higher risk since those vessels must work harder to properly pump their blood throughout their bodies. Hypertension can lead to strokes, heart attacks, or eye problems in some cases.
So diabetics have a condition that places them at risk of developing complications that can create a serious setback in their health. They must carefully monitor their blood glucose levels, as well as be on guard against these complications. The fact that they have diabetes means that they must be especially vigilant when it comes to maintaining a healthy weight and checking their blood pressure.
Managing diabetes means that diabetics will also reduce their chances of suffering from both diabetes and heart attacks. By eating the right foods, lowering their consumption of sugar and carbohydrates, and watching their weight, diabetics can stave off diabetic complications like diabetes and strokes. Problems can be prevented before they become serious; this is particularly true when it comes to regular doctor visits and monitoring of blood pressure and cholesterol.
Knowledge is power — particularly when it comes to managing a serious disease like diabetes. By educating yourself about your disease and potential complications like diabetes and strokes, you are making it far less likely you will experience them. By being honest about your condition, you make it more likely that you will live a long, productive life. Those in denial about their disease tend to have poor outcomes, while those who honestly face the situation tend to have good ones.
In spite of the fact that Type II diabetes has become an epidemic in the U.S., it does not have to mean a death sentence. Diabetics who follow their doctor’s instructions, monitor their blood glucose levels, and watch their weight, stand the best chance of avoiding any complications that may arise.