Suffering From Diabetes? Here's Why It Is Crucial To Take Extra Care Of Your Heart
Diabetes increases the risk of heart disease and other complications. Read here to know why it is crucial to safeguard your heart healthy and how.
Uncontrolled diabetes increase the risk of several health conditions
- Untreated diabetes can negatively affect different organs of the body
- A healthy diet and lifestyle can help manage diabetes
- Diabetes also increases the risk of heart disease
A pragmatic reality that we face today, is the high risk of non-communicable diseases, like heart-disease, which is one of the leading causes of premature deaths in the country. Uncontrolled diabetes, high blood-pressure, deranged cholesterol levels, high body-weight, and increased stress levels, are some risk-factors that underscore the problem of heart disease. While the pandemic has ushered greater consciousness about maintaining good health, it has also disrupted opportunities for good care of these risk-factors, in multiple ways. On one hand, the adoption of self-monitoring of blood-glucose and blood-pressure, has enhanced. On the other, in-person visits to healthcare facilities have reduced, resulting in inadequate assessments and monitoring of disease status. This outcome, combined with the stressors of pandemic, and lifestyle aspects like disturbed work and sleep patterns, lack of physical activity or dietary control, expectedly yields a backlog of risks for optimum care, and increases predisposition to heart disease.
In fact, mitigating the surge of non-communicable diseases, as influenced by the disruptions due to this pandemic, is recognized as a priority by the World Health Organization. Our national health policy also aims to reduce the burden of premature cardiovascular deaths by 25%, until 2025. This goal may remain a distant possibility, unless risk-factors like diabetes are addressed proactively, with a conscious and committed effort towards good health.
The first key step is the identification of underlying risks like diabetes or high blood-pressure, before the heart disease advances considerably. As per the estimates of international diabetes federation, more than half of the people who harbor type-2 diabetes, remain to be diagnosed. Moreover, both type-2 diabetes as well as heart disease, arise from the common soil. The risks for both these conditions are augmented by physical constitution, genetic predisposition, lifestyle aspects, and nutritional programming. By the time an individual develops type-2 diabetes, the underlying disease process in heart and blood vessels, is already on course. Hence, the importance of health consciousness, and meticulous care for mitigating the risk of heart disease, cannot be emphasized enough for people with type-2 diabetes.
For people with type-2 diabetes, the essential preventive measures of ABCDEF, should be followed:
A: A1c control (Hemoglobin A1c is an indicator of blood sugar levels)
B: Blood-pressure control
C: Cholesterol control
D: Diet control and Drugs (medicines)
F: Foot care
Following these essential health practices is not a complex activity. However, dedication and commitment over long-term care, with an optimistic attitude, compassion, and social-support, remain the vital principles for healthy life.
(Dr. Subhash Wangnoo, MBBS, MD (Medicine), FRCP, DM (Endocrinology))
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