For individuals with diabetes, maintaining a healthy heart is extremely important, as diabetes increases the risk of heart disease. In fact, heart disease, particularly coronary artery disease and congestive heart failure, is nearly twice as common for diabetics because high blood sugar can be harmful to the heart’s blood vessels.
Coronary artery disease occurs when plaque builds in the heart’s arteries causing the artery to become too narrow. This can lead to a heart attack if one of the arteries becomes completely blocked.
Congestive heart failure is a chronic condition that occurs when the heart can no longer pump blood to the rest of the body effectively. Someone who is experiencing heart failure may also have swelling in the legs and difficulty breathing.
But there are ways of lowering your risk. One of the most effective ways is to increase physical exercise. By increasing your aerobic exercise, even by taking a simple daily walk, you can strengthen your heart muscles and take excess pressure off your heart so that it can pump blood more easily.
In addition to aerobic exercise, one way of reducing your risk of heart disease is to halt harmful habits, like smoking. If you have diabetes, smoking puts you at an even greater risk of developing heart disease. You should speak to your primary care physician as soon as possible about taking the necessary steps to quit smoking.
Keeping up with information on heart disease and following these suggestions can help keep your heart healthy. Learn the HEART of heart healthy living.