“You gotta have heart….”

Sand with heart engraved

Welcome to my very first blog! I will be writing these articles as I have time. If you have a topic that you would like to be covered, please leave the information with the front desk.

Since February is Heart Month, I thought that writing about the link between diabetes and heart disease would be interesting.

 

Diabetes and heart disease are connected in many ways. It starts with your blood sugar levels. Since high glucose in the bloodstream can damage the arteries over time, this glucose buildup leads to complications inside the blood vessels. Such complications can prevent blood flow to your heart and brain, thus resulting in a heart attack or stroke.

If you have diabetes, you are more likely to deal with cardiovascular disease. Heart disease is also the leading cause of death for those with diabetes since the risk of a stroke or heart attack is increased. What’s even more scary is that individuals with diabetes have the same risk of heart attack as those who aren’t diabetic but have previously had a heart attack.

 

3 tips for Improving Your Heart’s Health If You Have Diabetes

 

Don’t despair. I’m not here to focus on the bad! I’m here to bring awareness as to what you can do to improve your heart’s health in relation to your diabetes. There are small changes you can begin implementing today to help improve your heart and manage your diabetes with ease.

1. Start moving

According to the American Heart Association, you should opt for at least 30 minutes of exercise five days a week and it doesn’t have to be done in one session. If fitting exercise into your routine is hard for you, try using your breaks at work to go for small walks or taking the stairs as often as possible. If you work at a desk, attempt to stretch and stand whenever possible. Most importantly, avoid sitting for hours on end. Exercise is important for improving your blood sugar level.

2. Eat a heart-friendly diet

Foods high in fiber such as vegetables, fruits, and whole grains are key to providing your heart with the nutrition it needs to remain as healthy. These foods are also excellent for managing your diabetes. Staying away from foods that contain high amounts of cholesterol, salt, trans fats, and saturated fats is also important. This means limiting your intake of fried foods, red meat, processed meat, and eggs, as much as possible. Oh bacon, how I miss you!

3. Work with a specialist

Diabetes is best managed with help from a professional. Knowing what type of diet, exercise, and medications to take are crucial to providing your body with the nutrition and supplements it needs to control things like your blood sugar level. When you’re able to better manage your diabetes, you’re able to limit your risk of heart disease in return. Treatment comes in various forms but working with a diabetes doctor and his staff is one of the best ways to educate yourself on your body’s various needs.

 

Finally, a Healthy Heart Equals a Healthy Body and Mind

 

Your heart plays a significant role in all aspects of your body. It pumps blood throughout your body, provides you with oxygen needed to breathe, sends nutrients to the tissues, and really, it’s what gives you life. Taking care of it is the most important thing we can do. When you have diabetes, it’s often a two-fold task.

If you would like to begin exploring professional diabetes management assistance, please connect with us today. At Palmetto Endocrinology, we can help you make more mindful everyday choices. In return, you’ll lead a healthier life with less health and heart complications. Please contact us today to learn more.

 

Author
Joseph W. Mathews, MD, FACP, FACE, ECNU, CCD Joseph Mathews, MD, FACP, FACE, ECNU, CCD Joseph W. Mathews M.D., a board certified Endocrinologist and Medical Director of Palmetto Endocrinology, was born and raised in South Carolina. He earned his Bachelor of Science in Biology from the College of Charleston, Cum Laude. He then achieved his M.D. at the Medical University of South Carolina where he also completed his residency in Internal Medicine and a Fellowship in Endocrinology, Diabetes, and Metabolism. Dr. Mathews is also a Fellow of both the American College of Endocrinology and the American College of Physicians, holds an Endocrine Certification in Neck Ultrasound (ECNU) and is a Certified Clinical Densitometrist (CCD). He has extensive experience performing ultrasound guided fine needle aspiration biopsies. His practice includes a range of specializations including prescribing and fitting patients with insulin pumps. Dr. Mathews' practice has drawn patients from out of state to benefit from his expertise in thyroid disorders, diabetes, cortisol problems and their Endocrine disorders.

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