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People with diabetes are at a greater risk of heart problems. When a person is suffering with diabetes, the blood sugar levels will be high. High levels of blood sugar can cause damage to many parts of the body including blood vessels. A person’s lifestyle also raises the risk of heart disease.
In diabetic patients, the blood vessel linings become thicker, making it more difficult for blood flow through the vessels. When impairment to the blood flow takes place, stroke or heart problems occur. Damage of blood vessels takes place in any part of the body leading to kidney problems, eye problems and poor circulation to the feet and legs.
Risk factors for heart disease in diabetic patients:
Abnormal blood fat or cholesterol levels: LDL or bad cholesterol builds up inside the blood vessels which lead to hardening and narrowing of arteries. The arteries are the blood vessels which carry blood from heart to various parts of the body. Once arteries are narrowed, they become blocked. Therefore, LDL or bad cholesterol in high levels raises the risk of heart disease.
High triglyceride levels can also raise the risk of heart disease. The HDL or good cholesterol functions to remove deposits from inside the blood vessels and takes to the liver for removal. If HDL or good cholesterol is low, the heart disease risk can be raised.
High blood pressure or hypertension: High blood pressure or hypertension makes the heart work harder to pump blood. Hypertension can strain the heart, damages the blood vessels, increases risk of stroke, heart attack, kidney and eye problems.
Obesity: If extra weight is present around the waist, risk of heart disease is higher. The abdominal fat increases the LDL cholesterol production, which is deposited inside walls of blood vessel.
The heart disease risk is increased if the diabetes is not properly managed. Lifestyle factors like smoking, physically inactive and family history contributes to the risk of heart disease. If the diabetes is poorly managed, it can result in high levels of blood glucose and abnormal levels of cholesterol.
People with type 1 diabetes are at high risk of heart disease, because levels of glucose are harder to manage in type of diabetic patients than in type 2 diabetic patients. Type 1 diabetes is diagnosed at young age which can lead to heart disease and develop over a life time.
Prevention: In diabetic patients, heart disease should be treated and prevented with proper care. The diabetes risk factors should be eliminated tor educe the risk factors of heart disease. The blood sugar levels are controlled. Change in lifestyle such as diet, exercise, and medication are necessary. Avoid smoking and drinking alcohol as these factors exaggerate heart problems in diabetic patients.