Heart Health Risks With Advanced Diabetes
There’s a big link between diabetes, heart disease, and stroke, which is why protecting your cardiac health is a crucial part of type 2 diabetes management.
By Everyday Health Editors
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Heart disease and stroke are the top causes of death and disability in people with diabetes. Heart-attack symptoms may be severe and appear suddenly or they may be subtle, with only mild pain and discomfort.
If you experience any of the following heart-attack warning signs, call 911:
- Chest discomfort that feels like pressure, squeezing, fullness, or pain in the center of your chest and that lasts for a short time or goes away and returns
- Pain elsewhere, including the back, jaw, stomach, or neck; or pain in one or both arms
- Shortness of breath
- Nausea or lightheadedness
Diabetes, High Blood Pressure, and Stroke
The American Diabetes Association (ADA) reports that as many as two out of three adults with diabetes have high blood pressure. Because of the risks that accompany high blood pressure, the ADA and the National Institutes of Health suggest a lower blood-pressure target for people with diabetes (less than 130/80 mmHg) than they recommend for the general public.
You can control your blood pressure with lifestyle changes, such as diet, exercise, and medication. (Sound familiar?)
Blood pressure — also called hypertension — raises your risk for heart attack, stroke, eye problems, and kidney disease. Having your blood pressure checked regularly and taking action to reach your target blood pressure can prevent or delay complications caused by high blood pressure.
It’s also important to recognize the symptoms of a stroke. As with a heart attack, immediate emergency treatment can mean the difference between life and death.
Video: Five Steps to improve Heart Health, Avoid Diabetes, and Feel Great
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