There are a few things your doctor forgot to tell you about the connection between Diabetes and Heart Disease. At least from what I hear…
Most Important Thing #1:
Diabetes contributes to heart disease.
That’s an established fact, and it’s hard for me to write about because I’ve known and lost too many people who either weren’t told or who didn’t listen…
But statistics don’t lie.
People with diabetes have a greater-than-average risk of developing Coronary Artery Disease in which arteries are clogged by fat and cholesterol.
#3. High blood sugar levels are strongly associated with a condition named Endothelial Dysfunction which prevents the inner lining of the blood vessels from functioning normally.
This has a strong impact on the development of Coronary Artery Disease (Atherosclerosis).
#4. High blood sugar levels also make the platelets, which clot the blood, a lot “stickier” making diabetics more prone to abnormal blood clotting.
➡ Blood clots in the arteries block the flow of blood, which carries oxygen to the heart.
This is a medical emergency, often leading to a heart attack.
#5. Protein in the urine is the earliest sign of diabetic kidney disease. Its presence almost doubles the risk of stroke and heart attacks.
- Other conditions that affect your health in general, such as being overweight and not exercising, also increase the risks.
But despite the connection between diabetes and heart disease, there’s a lot that diabetics can do to stay healthy.
Initially, your doctor should recommend one or more of the following tests.
- EKG (Electrocardiogram) An EKG is a simple, painless test that detects and records your heart’s electrical activity.
The test shows how fast your heart is beating and its rhythm (steady or irregular). An EKG also records the strength and timing of electrical signals as they pass through your heart.
An EKG can show signs of heart damage due to Coronary Heart Disease and signs of a previous or current heart attack.
Blood Pressure Measurement
Blood Tests: Blood tests check the levels of certain fats, cholesterol, triglycerides, sugar, and proteins in your blood. Abnormal levels of these substances may show that you’re at risk for Diabetic Heart Disease.
A blood test can also check the level of a hormone called BNP (brain natriuretic peptide) in your blood.This is one of the peptides that helps your body get rid of an excessively large amount of sodium in the urine.
➡ The natriuretic peptides are produced by the heart and vasculature, and the level of BNP rises during heart failure.
- Chest X-Ray: A chest x-ray takes pictures of the organs and structures inside your chest, such as your heart, lungs, and blood vessels. A chest x-ray can reveal signs of heart failure.
- Stress Test: Some heart problems are easier to diagnose when your heart is working hard and beating fast. Stress testing gives your doctor information about how your heart works during physical stress.
- Urinalysis: For this test, a sample of your urine is checked for abnormal levels of protein or blood cells. In people who have diabetes, protein in the urine is a risk factor for Diabetic Heart Disease.
Other Tests and Procedures
- Your doctor should refer you to a Cardiologist if your initial test results suggest that you have a form of Diabetic Heart Disease.
If he/she does not, then request a referral. This is your heart.
- The Cardiologist may recommend other tests or procedures to get more detailed information about the nature and extent of your Diabetic Heart Disease.
But stay informed and go the extra mile by insisting on complete information.
We’re talking about the quality and the length of your life.
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