Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey
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People who have diabetes have a higher chance of developing many health problems, including heart disease.
This video will show you how heart disease can develop, how it affects your health, and what you can do to help reduce your risk of heart disease.
If you have diabetes, it means your blood glucose, or blood sugar, is elevated.
Over time, high blood sugar can damage the blood vessels of your heart and other organs, leading to other health problems.
This means the longer you have diabetes, the greater your risk for heart disease.
There are different types of heart disease, including:
coronary heart disease, cardiomyopathy, arrhythmias, and heart failure.
Coronary heart disease is a build up of a cholesterol-filled substance, called plaque, inside the blood vessels of your heart.
The buildup of plaque in coronary heart disease can increase your risk of having a heart attack.
Cardiomyopathy refers to diseases of your heart muscle.
Cardiomyopathy may lead to abnormal heartbeats, called arrhythmias.
Cardiomyopathy may also lead to heart failure.
This means your weakened heart can’t pump enough blood to meet your body’s needs.
Having both diabetes and heart disease can affect you in many ways.
You will have a higher risk for other serious health problems, such as a heart attack, stroke, and even death.
It may be harder for you to go about your daily activities.
You may need help taking care of yourself.
You may also need to take more medications.
Living with these conditions may cause depression.
The good news is that there are things you can do to help lower your risk for heart disease.
For example, you may need to make changes to your lifestyle.
If you smoke, get the help you need to quit.
Both smoking and diabetes can narrow your blood vessels, which can increase your chance of developing heart disease or stroke.
Maintain or get to a healthy weight.
Follow a healthy eating plan.
And, get regular physical activity.
Check with your healthcare provider about the right amount of physical activity for you.
Make sure you work with your healthcare provider to control your blood sugar, cholesterol, and blood pressure.
This includes taking all medications prescribed by your healthcare provider, including insulin and pills to help lower blood sugar, blood pressure, and cholesterol.
Following the treatment plan you and your healthcare provider discussed will help you feel better and reduce your risk of getting heart disease.