Understanding The Link Between Heart Diseases & Diabetes
Heart disease and Diabetes – they are two of the scariest conditions in the world. But what if we tell you that there is a link between them?
It is statistically proven that people who have diabetes are at an increased risk of Heart Diseases—especially the ones having type 2 diabetes.
Many questions come to our minds when thinking about this, such as why are diabetes patients at greater risk, and what can we do to prevent it?
Let us tackle these questions one by one.
Why Are Diabetes Patients At Greater Risk?
Even when you feel like your diabetes is in control, there are great chances of developing heart conditions. This happens because of the following issues that a diabetes patient has to deal with –
#1 High or Abnormal Blood Pressure
High blood pressure or hypertension is standard in diabetes patients. When combined with insulin resistance (also a common diabetes symptom), the risk of cardiovascular issues in a patient increases drastically.
#2 Cholesterol & Atherosclerosis
One of the leading causes of heart trouble in diabetes patients is cholesterol build-up.
This then leads to Atherosclerosis.
When there is a lot of built-up cholesterol in our arteries, the risk of rupture is high. If the rupture occurs, the body tries to repair the damage by sending platelets to the arteries.
Sometimes, these platelets tend to block the arteries. This blockage leads to an increased risk of heart attacks or even heart failure.
Obesity leads to two leading causes of heart diseases –
- Insulin resistance
The excess fat in our body may lead to blockage in our veins and arteries. The blockage may then lead to a heart attack or even heart failure.
As we have already read, insulin resistance can be very dangerous when combined with other factors.
#4 Poor Blood Sugar Level
It is no brainer that maintaining blood sugar levels is crucial for people with diabetes.
If not done so, they can increase insulin resistance in their body. High insulin resistance means higher chances of it combining with factors like blood pressure. Ultimately, it all follows to cardiovascular diseases.
#5 Insufficient Physical Activity
When we don’t work out regularly, we make our bodies more prone to high blood pressure and insulin resistance.
Let us understand this with an example – consider two people; Person A and Person B.
Person A follows a pretty active exercise schedule, while Person B doesn’t. Even if today both of them reflect the same amount of symptoms, the chances are that after three months, Person B would be much more likely to develop diabetes while Person A may still have a lot of time.
What Can We Do To Prevent It?
After discussing the causes, let us discuss the preventive measures –
#1 Exercise Regularly
Exercising regularly can be beneficial in many ways.
It can delay the onset of diabetes, blood pressure problems, cholesterol, and, obviously, obesity.
Heavy exercising is not essential. There are many more ways you can remain active –
- Go on walks
- Take the stairs instead of the elevator.
- Try aerobics
- Participate more in household chores like gardening
- If you work, follow the practice of getting up after every ten minutes and take a small stroll around your workspace.
If not every day, then try working out at least 3-4 times a week. It is scientifically proven that a day’s workout can positively impact your body for up to 4 days!
#2 Balanced Diet
For an individual to function correctly, a certain balance of nutrients is highly essential. Without them, our body gets even more prone to diseases.
Some special dietary restrictions that a person with diabetes can take care of –
- Limiting excess sugar intake: try sticking with natural sugars (like what we find in fruits and vegetables) rather than eating foods with added sugar such as sodas.
- Follow an eating pattern: include more fiber, whole grains, low saturated fats, and non-starchy vegetables in your diet.
- Water: sufficient water intake is crucial.
A great way of ensuring that is to fix a bottle. For example, take a bottle that you know can accommodate three glasses of water at a time and drink only from that. That way, you can keep track of how many times you refilled it and measure your water intake easily.
#3 Stress Management
When we are under stress, our body shoots many hormones into our bloodstream.
To manage these hormones, our body releases adrenaline and cortisol, which in turn releases glucose. Our body’s capability of converting glucose into energy reduces when we have diabetes.
If the conversion does not take place, the glucose starts building up in our bloodstream. This, in turn, increases the blood glucose level of our body.
If not tackled, this problem can start affecting us physically and mentally in the long run.
A few tips for handling stress-
- Practice meditation: meditating every day, even for 15 minutes, can help regulate stress.
- Yoga: Yoga has a positive effect on our mental health in many ways.
(read the blog How Does Yoga Affect Our Mental Health to understand it better)
- Hobby: take out a set time frame from your schedule for hobbies. A creative and exciting outlet can do wonders for our stress.
#4 Limit Smoking & Alcohol Consumption
Smoking regularly may make our body more resistant to insulin. This can cause higher blood sugar levels.
Alcohol can have two types of effects –
- Limited portions: Consuming alcohol in small quantities can act as a source of added or excess sugar into our bloodstream. The result would be high sugar levels.
- Larger portions: On the contrary, excessive alcohol consumption can cause a sudden drop in our bodies’ blood sugar levels. Such a drop can cause many problems in a person with diabetes, such as low blood pressure and nerve damage.
So if you have diabetes or are on the verge of developing it, remember, it is never too late. By following these tips with the right and timely medication, you can easily control or even overcome diabetes and heart problems.
If you still have any queries, please contact our team of qualified trainers at Radical Body Transformation. You can also become a part of our Facebook Community, where we keep uploading such tips and tricks. Stay Fit fam!