Heart disease claims the lives of over 17 million people each year. To combat this, The World Heart Federation created World Heart Day, celebrated on September 29 every year. It aims at raising awareness about cardiovascular disease (CVD) and its warning signs all around the world, as well as finds ways to extend help to those who may be suffering.
Diabetes and cardiovascular diseases are closely related. As diabetes becomes more of a lifestyle disease, the risk of heart disease doubles, as more and more young people fall prey to it. Managing it is a difficult task as a little miss on your sugar or cholesterol level will directly impact your heart health.
Diabetes and cardiovascular diseases can be caused by the same underlying causes. Developing diabetes means developing heart diseases gradually, with 80 percent of diabetic people developing diseases like heart attack, stroke, or even heart failure.
Guidelines every diabetic should follow to maintain their heart health:
It is important to keep a regular check on the cholesterol and blood pressure as higher cholesterol levels can damage the walls of the arteries, thereby narrowing it and reducing the blood flow in the heart.
Exercise should be a part of everyone's daily routine. It not only lowers blood sugar levels but also helps to eliminate the risk factors that lead to diabetes-related heart disease. 150 minutes of exercise per week can help to control blood sugar, lower cholesterol, strengthen the heart, and lower blood pressure.
If the person is overweight, he or she should engage in healthy activities to lose weight. A diabetic's body weight must be maintained at a healthy level. Enquire with your doctor about the types of exercises you can do to maintain your body weight. A natural way to lose weight, on the other hand, is always recommended. Aside from exercise, a low-fat diet should be consumed.
A person's way of life has a big impact on how long they live with a disease. Healthy eating should always include fresh green leafy vegetables and fruits, as well as adequate amounts of vitamins, minerals, protein, and carbohydrates. Trans fat and saturated fat are unhealthy fats that should be avoided. Consume low-carb diabetes diets that are easily digestible.
Avoid smoking to keep the disease from worsening.
In addition, a 30 to 40-minute exercise or a walk is always recommended to lose weight and stay active.
These little life modifications will go a long way in helping maintain your diabetes. Taking care of your diabetes entails looking after your heart as well.
(Dr. Gopi A, Director - Cardiology, Fortis Hospital, Cunningham Road)
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