Tuesday, March 23, 2021 is Diabetes Alert Day, a one-day “wake-up call” that focuses on the seriousness of diabetes and the importance of understanding your risk. Diabetes affects around 10.5 percent of the U.S. population. However, nearly 1 in 5 adults living with diabetes are unaware that they have the condition.
At Advanced Heart and Vein Center, we want to help patients understand their risk and fight back against diabetes and heart disease.
Who is at Risk for Diabetes?
There are two main types of diabetes. Type 1 diabetes is often diagnosed in childhood and occurs when your body doesn’t produce insulin. Type 2 diabetes occurs later in life and develops when your body no longer responds to insulin the way that it should.
Type 2 diabetes is extremely preventable yet relatively common in the U.S. due to numerous lifestyle factors. While we may not understand the exact cause of what triggers type 2 diabetes, there are certain factors that place you at greater risk:
- Family history of type 2 diabetes
- Being overweight
- Living a sedentary lifestyle
- Eating excessive junk foods
What are the Symptoms of Diabetes?
Patients with type 2 diabetes have bodies that are unable to effectively use insulin. This causes the body to rely on alternative energy sources, which can cause a variety of symptoms, including:
- Lack of energy
- Excessive thirst
- Frequent urination
- Dry mouth
- Blurry vision
Diabetes and Heart Health
Diabetes and heart disease go hand in hand, meaning that patients who have one are likely to have the other. High blood sugar associated with diabetes can damage blood vessels and the nerves that control the heart. Patients with heart disease are likely to have other conditions that raise the risk for heart disease, including:
- High blood pressure
- Too much LDL (bad) cholesterol
- High triglycerides
Preventing Diabetes and Heart Disease
Keeping your heart healthy and preventing diabetes are essential for overall health and general wellbeing. Luckily, there are several ways to prevent diabetes and heart disease:
- Eat a healthy diet
- Limit the amount of added sugar you consume
- Exercise regularly
- Practice healthy weight management
These changes work together to keep your blood glucose levels within the ideal range all day long while keeping your heart healthy and strong.