How to Manage Heart Health along with Diabetes

Heart diseases are among the leading causes of deaths in the United States. And if you have been diagnosed with diabetes, then you are twice more likely to have heart disease or a stroke. But it doesn’t mean you won’t be able to lead a normal life. You can lower the risk of heart diseases and improve your heart health by making certain changes in your lifestyle. Such changes will help you manage diabetes as well.

Following factors can also increase your risk for heart disease:

  • Obesity
  • Smoking
  • Not enough physical activity
  • Excess alcohol intake
  • Eating foods high in saturated fat, cholesterol and sodium (salt)

The question is how a person with diabetes can prevent the risk of heart failure.

  • Keep your blood sugar in the normal range. Try to avoid sugary foods and satisfy your sweet cravings with foods having fewer sugar contents.
  • Control your blood pressure. Try to avoid triggers that elevate blood pressure like unhealthy food, stress, improper sleep etc. Take blood pressure medicines regularly. Many diabetic medicines are also proven to regulate blood pressure in diabetic patients. For more information take a look, Note that the target normal range of blood pressure is 130/80. Try to stay within this range.
  • Take a well-balanced diet. Fat and carbohydrate intake is crucial to managing heart disease and diabetes. For this, you have to take note of the nutrients you are taking in the form of food. Saturated fat found in meat, dairy products are unhealthy for you as it can elevate cholesterol levels in your bloodstream and create blockages in your heart valves. So it must be avoided. Plan diets that are heart-healthy such as the Mediterranean diet or DASH diet.
  • Reduce stress. Studies have shown that certain techniques, such as psychotherapy, meditation and biofeedback may help reduce stress. If a person is unwilling to perform workouts then these techniques can help.
  • Take care of digestive health. Your digestive system is most important in keeping overall body health in check. Take note of any digestive issues like acid reflux, heartburn, vomiting, nausea as they might have harmful effects on the heart. Start treatment immediately for digestive issues which might trigger chances of a stroke.
  • Quit smoking. Smoking increases the risk of heart disease as well as lung cancer. The nicotine and other harmful ingredients in a cigarette damage the heart vessels and increase build-up of plaque. If you are a habitual smoker, ask your doctor to suggest helpful techniques.
  • Get plenty of physical activity. Exercise is the most beneficial thing you can do for your health. Exercise lowers the risk of cardiovascular disease in people with diabetes. There can be many forms of exercise you can do like aerobic exercise, High Intense Training, Swimming, and cardio workouts. Daily physical activity will help improve blood flow throughout your body. Make sure to consult your diabetes healthcare team to create a workout plan according to your physical needs.