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Diabetes And Heart Disease


Source: American Family Physician, Oct 15, 2003

Diabetes and Heart Disease - Information From Your Family Doctor

I have diabetes--why should I worry about heart disease?

If you have diabetes, you have a high risk for having a heart attack or a stroke. You are more likely to get heart disease--and at a younger age--than someone without diabetes.

There are things you can do to reduce your risk for heart disease. Learning about the ABCs of diabetes can help you control your condition and stay healthy.

What are the ABCs of diabetes?

A stands for the A1c test. This test measures your blood sugar over the past three months. It is the best way to know if your blood sugar is under control. Ask your doctor for an A1c test at least two times a year. Get the test more often if your blood sugar stays too high or if your doctor changes your treatment plan. The A1c goal for people with diabetes is below 7 percent.

B stands for blood pressure. High blood pressure makes your heart work too hard. Your doctor should take your blood pressure at every office visit. The blood pressure goal for people with diabetes is below 130 over 80 (this is the same as 130/80 mm Hg).

C stands for cholesterol. "Bad" cholesterol, or low-density lipoprotein (LDL, for short) cholesterol, builds up and clogs your arteries. Ask your doctor to check your cholesterol level at least once a year. The LDL cholesterol goal for people with diabetes is below 100 milligrams per deciliter (100 mg per dL).

What can I do to reduce my risk for heart disease?

* Keep blood sugar under control

* Ask your doctor what your ABC numbers are and what you can do to reach your target ABC numbers.

* Exercise every day.

* Eat less fat and salt.

* Eat more fiber: whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and beans.

* Stay at a healthy weight.

* If you smoke, ask your doctor to help you stop.

* Take the medicines your doctor prescribes for you.

* Ask your doctor if you should take aspirin every day.

Flourish

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*Many of the statements on this web site have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration or other government, research or academic body; any that were are so marked. This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent diabetes or any disease. Information on this site is provided for informational purposes and is not meant to substitute for the advice provided by your own physician or other medical professional. Not intended to diagnose or prescribe for medical or psychological conditions nor to claim to prevent, treat, mitigate or cure such conditions. You should not use the information contained herein for diagnosing or treating a health problem or disease, or prescribing any medication. Any products advertised are from third parties. You should read carefully all product packaging. You should consult with a healthcare professional before starting any diet, exercise or supplementation program. Do not discontinue the use of prescription medication without the approval of your physician.

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