November is National Diabetes Month and this year the experts are focusing on the link between diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
Did you know, adults living with diabetes are more likely to develop heart disease and have a greater chance of a heart attack or stroke? Two times more likely, to be exact.
Similarly, people with diabetes are also more likely to have certain conditions, or risk factors, that increase the chances of having heart disease or a stroke, such as high blood pressure or high cholesterol.
Why is this you may ask? Over time, high blood glucose from diabetes can damage your blood vessels and the nerves that control your heart. Thus, making your heart work harder to do its job. So, the longer you have diabetes, the higher the chances that you will develop heart disease.
The good news? There are steps you can take to manage your diabetes and help lower your chances of having heart disease or a stroke:
- Stop smoking or using other tobacco products
- Manage your A1C, blood pressure, and cholesterol levels
- Ask your health care team what your goals should be
- Develop or maintain healthy lifestyle habits
- Be physically active and make and follow a healthy eating plan
- Learn ways to manage stress
- Try deep breathing, , doing yoga, or taking some time for yourself
- Stay on top of your medications
- Take medicines as prescribed by your doctor