Some presume if you're diagnosed with diabetes, heart disease is guaranteed to follow suit. But do you know that diabetes management can actually help prevent the onset of heart disease?
If not, then, it's time to learn more about how your diabetes care can positively affect your heart. The best way to avoid diabetes and heart disease complications at the same time is by effectively implementing a lifestyle change. Here are some tips you can take to maintain your diabetes that have the added bonus of helping your heart.
How to Live Well With Diabetes (And Protect Your Heart in the Process)
- Check your weight and watch out for belly fat. You already know obesity is strongly associated with insulin resistance. It's also a big risk factor for cardiovascular disease. Meet with a nutritionist to make changes to your diet to shrink your waistline. According to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, losing 5 to 10 percent of your body weight can lower your risk of heart problems, while also helping you with diabetes treatment.
- Be physically active. This is also tied to weight loss. We're geared to be physically active but somewhere along the line, our false sense of prosperity leads us to abandon our natural instincts. Taking the easy way out often results in those extra kilos piling up. Call it slowing down of metabolism, age or laziness but the body takes a beating. So start walking. It's a great way to be active especially since walking daily for 30 minutes reins in your diabetes and keeps your heart healthy.
- Monitor your sugar levels and check your blood pressure regularly, as high blood pressure is sometimes associated with diabetes. High blood pressure can damage and shrink your arteries, which makes it harder for blood to pump through your body. When that happens, you increase your risk of heart attack, chest pains and heart failure. You can lower your blood pressure by trying stress reducers such as yoga, getting enough sleep, reducing your salt intake and quitting smoking.
- Maintain your cholesterol levels. Patients with diabetes often have unhealthy cholesterol levels including high LDL ("bad") cholesterol, low HDL ("good") cholesterol and high triglycerides. A high level of bad cholesterol is also a risk factor for heart problems. You can easily rectify this problem with some dietary changes. Try cooking with vegetable oil instead of butter, add beans as a side dish a few times a week and change up some recipes with fibrous vegetables such as eggplant.
- Get a comprehensive body checkup done once a year. Also, if you're on medication, make sure you draw up a schedule and stick to it. It's important you're letting your doctor know about any side effects you're experiencing, as they could be signs of an underlying problem. Staying on top of your diabetes means you're staying on top of your overall health.
The best part is if you commit to protecting one aspect of your health, such as diabetes management, you're automatically helping out other parts of your body. Talk to your doctor how looking managing your diabetes better can actually help your heart too.
Disclaimer: This publication / editorial / article is meant for awareness/educational purposes and does not constitute or imply an endorsement, sponsorship or recommendation of any Products. Please consult your doctor/ healthcare practitioner before starting any diet, medication or exercise.