The Link Between Diabetes and Heart Health: What You Need to Know

Not many people know that having diabetes puts you at a higher risk of developing heart disease. But unfortunately, it’s true – these two conditions often go hand in hand. That’s why it’s crucial to understand this link so you or your loved one can avoid it.

Larry King: How a Heart Attack and Diabetes Changed His Life

Larry King was one of the most famous and respected television and radio hosts in the world. He interviewed thousands of celebrities, politicians, and ordinary people on his show “Larry King Live”. But behind the scenes, he faced some serious health challenges.

In 1980, Larry was told he had heart disease and just seven years later at 54 years old he suffered a massive heart attack that required bypass surgery.

But it took eight years, to the moment he was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, for Larry to take his health seriously. Besides following his doctor’s advice and taking his medications regularly, three rules helped him manage his diabetes and prevent further complications.

1. He quit smoking.

2. Lost weight by exercising for half an hour a day, particularly through dancing.

3. & he replaced the greasy foods in his diet with fresh fruit and vegetables.

Larry believed that having diabetes gave him strength and toughness, because he had to face reality and learn more about his disease. This is part of why he became an advocate for diabetes awareness and education, culminating in setting up the Larry King Cardiac Foundation, which provides cardiac care to patients who can’t afford heart procedures. Something that was very close to his heart, as King’s father died of a heart attack aged 47.

He said that he was grateful for his family and friends who supported him along the way. Larry King is an example of how someone can overcome diabetes and heart disease and live a fulfilling life.

Understanding How Diabetes and Heart Disease Are Connected

Diabetes and heart disease are two conditions that are strongly connected. But it’s not just about blood sugar levels – people with diabetes have a higher risk of developing heart disease than people without diabetes.

This is because diabetes can damage the blood vessels and the nerves that control them, leading to atherosclerosis.

Atherosclerosis, is a fancy term for a build-up of plaque in the arteries, which can reduce blood flow to the heart and other organs.

This reduction in blood flow can cause a wide range of health issues, including chest pain, heart attack, stroke, or heart failure.

Understanding this link between diabetes and heart disease is crucial for managing your health and preventing serious complications down the line.

3 Ways High Blood Sugar Can Impact Your Heart Health

High blood sugar is a common symptom of diabetes, and over time, it can have a significant impact on your heart health. Namely:

 

1. When blood sugar levels are consistently high, it can cause
damage to the blood vessels and nerves that control the heart, leading
to another fancily named condition known as diabetic cardiomyopathy (Boudina & Abel, 2010).

This
condition can cause the heart to become less efficient at pumping
blood, leading to a range of health issues, including heart failure.

2. Inflammation throughout the body caused by high blood sugar can contribute to the development of atherosclerosis.

 

3. High blood sugar can also increase the likelihood of developing other risk factors for heart disease, such as high blood pressure and high cholesterol. All of these factors can contribute to an increased risk of heart disease in people with diabetes.

How Professional Diabetes Monitoring Tests Can Help

If you’re living with diabetes, it’s essential to monitor your blood sugar levels regularly to prevent serious complications.

That’s why we’re excited to announce that Epicentre Walk-In Lab is currently offering a Professional Diabetes Monitoring Package, complete with a comprehensive set of tests and screenings designed to help you stay on top of your health.

This package includes a range of essential tests, including A1C testing, blood glucose testing, and lipid profile testing. These tests will provide you with a clear picture of your blood sugar levels and overall heart health, helping you to make informed decisions about your care.

And the best part? From now until Friday the 28th of April 2023, Epicentre’s Walk-In Lab is offering a 10% discount on our Professional Diabetes Monitoring Package. That means you can take control of your health and save money at the same time. Don’t wait – schedule your appointment today and take the first step towards a healthier, happier life.

Preventing Heart Disease in People with Diabetes

Unfortunately people with diabetes have a higher risk of developing cardiovascular disease (CVD). CVD includes heart attacks, strokes, and even heart failure. Its no surprise then that CVD is the leading cause of death among people with diabetes.

But don’t panic there are ways to prevent or delay CVD in people with diabetes. Some of the steps are:

1. Controlling blood sugar levels:

High blood sugar can damage the blood vessels and nerves that affect the heart and other organs. Keeping blood sugar within the target range can help prevent or reduce the complications of diabetes. People with diabetes should check their blood sugar regularly and follow their doctor’s advice on medication, diet, and exercise.

2. Managing blood pressure and cholesterol levels:

High blood pressure and high cholesterol can also damage the blood vessels and increase the risk of CVD. People with diabetes should monitor their blood pressure and cholesterol levels and take medications if prescribed by their doctor. They should also limit the amount of salt, saturated fat, and trans fat that go into their bodies and eat more fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins.

3. Quit smoking:

Smoking is a major risk factor for CVD, especially for people with diabetes. Smoking can damage the lining of the blood vessels, increase blood pressure and heart rate, and reduce the oxygen supply to the heart. Just by changing this one habit can lower the risk of CVD and improve overall health.

4. Get active:

Physical activity can help lower blood sugar, blood pressure, and cholesterol levels, as well as improve heart function and circulation. It can also help maintain a healthy weight, reduce stress, and enhance ones mood. People with diabetes should aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity per week, such as brisk walking, cycling, or swimming. They should also do some strength training exercises at least twice a week, such as lifting weights or doing resistance bands.

5. Manage stress:

Stress can raise blood sugar, blood pressure, and heart rate, as well as trigger unhealthy behaviors such as smoking, overeating, or drinking alcohol. Stress can also affect mental health and well-being. Finding healthy ways to cope with stress, by meditating, yoga, breathing exercises, hobbies, or even just talking to someone they trust can make such a difference.

6. Get professionally monitored:

People with diabetes should go at least once a year for a comprehensive check-up that includes blood sugar, blood pressure, cholesterol, kidney function, eye exam, foot exam, and dental exam. They should also follow their doctor’s recommendations for screening tests and vaccinations. Any symptoms or concerns should be reported to their doctor as soon as possible.

How To Get Professionally Monitored & Claim Back From Medical Aid

At Epicentre, we are committed to providing top-notch medical testing services at an affordable price. We understand that navigating the world of medical aid can be complicated, which is why we’ve simplified the process for you.

By contracting out of medical aid, we can offer you our services without breaking the bank.

All we ask is that you pay with cash or card at our Walk-In Lab. It’s that simple! And if you have medical aid benefits, we’ve got you covered. We’ll email you an invoice after your visit that you can use to claim back from your medical aid provider. This way, you can still enjoy the benefits of your medical aid plan while taking advantage of our affordable prices.

Contracting out of medical aid has allowed us to reduce our administrative burden, which means we can pass the savings on to you. It also ensures that your medical savings last longer and you get more value for your money.

So why wait? Use our Walk-In Lab today for top-quality medical testing services at a fraction of the cost. We’re committed to making healthcare accessible to all, and we can’t wait to see you!

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