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Healthy Heart & Diabetes Plan
- Healthy Heart & Diabetes Plan
If you have diabetes, your risk of developing cardiovascular disease is more than double that of the general population, according to the American Heart Association. For people with type 2 diabetes, heart disease is the most common cause of death. There are a number of things you can do to lower your risk of heart disease. Understanding the connection between diabetes and heart disease is the first step toward prevention.
The high glucose (sugar) levels in the blood of people with diabetes can eventually damage blood vessels as well as the nerves that control them. Body tissues typically use sugar as an energy source. It’s stored in the liver as a form of glycogen. If you have diabetes, sugar can stay in your bloodstream and leak out of the liver into your blood, with subsequent damage to your blood vessels and the nerves that control them.
A blocked coronary artery can slow or stop blood from supplying oxygen and nutrients to your heart. The risk of heart disease increases the longer you have diabetes. Monitoring blood sugar is an important part of properly managing diabetes. Check levels with a self-monitoring device according to your doctor’s instructions. Keep a journal of your levels and bring it to your next medical appointment so that you and your doctor can review it together.
The following are some additional factors that can increase your risk of heart disease if you have diabetes.