When you have diabetes, the risk of heart disease is more. This is otherwise known as cardiovascular disease (CVD) or coronary disease which can lead to heart attacks and strokes. Cardiovascular disease affects your circulation too. The poor circulation makes other diabetes complications worse like problems with feet and eyes. That’s why it’s even more important to take good care of your heart when you have diabetes. There are a number of conditions that predispose one to cardiovascular disease including:
3. High cholesterol
4. Family history of atherosclerotic disease
5. Physical inactivity
What raises the risk of heart disease with diabetes?
If you have high blood sugar levels for a period of time, even slightly high, your blood vessels can start to get damaged and this can lead to serious heart complications.
This is because your body can't use all of this sugar properly, so more of it sticks to your red blood cells and builds up in your blood. This build-up can block & damage the vessels carrying blood to and from your heart, starving the heart of oxygen and nutrients.
Holding your target HbA1c level as close as possible will help protect your blood vessels and your heart in turn. Even mildly raised blood sugar levels can, over time, put you more at risk.
We've talked about the link between high blood sugar levels and your heart health. But it's not all down to blood sugars. Blood vessels are also damaged by high cholesterol (blood fats) and high blood pressure.
So you can help prevent damage to your blood vessels by looking after yours,
Blood sugar levels
It's one of your 15 Healthcare Essentials and your legal right to get your HbA1c, cholesterol and blood pressure checked at least once a year. If you're not getting these, give us a call and we'll help you get the care you're entitled to when you have diabetes.
You will help manage your diabetes by doing these three issues and protect yourself from heart complications. But there are lots of other things you can do to reduce your risk of heart disease.
What can cause a heart attack?
High cholesterol: If your cholesterol is too high, then the extra fat in your blood sticks to the walls of your blood vessels. This fat has been hardening over time and is known as plaque. Hard plaque can block up the blood vessels, which makes the space narrower and leaves less room for blood to flow. This is called arteriosclerosis or atherosclerosis and is the most common cause of a heart attack.
High blood pressure: Over time atherosclerosis makes the walls of your blood vessels more rigid and less elastic. This can lead to high blood pressure or make high blood pressure worse.