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Cardiac Conditions and Diabetes

Cardiac Conditions and Diabetes

Cardiac Conditions and Diabetes

When you have diabetes means that you are more likely to develop a cardiac condition. Individuals with diabetes are also more likely to have certain risk factors, such as high cholesterol and high blood pressure, which increase their chances of stroke or heart attack.

If you have diabetes, you may protect your heart and your health by controlling your blood glucose which is the blood sugar. You may also safeguard yourself by managing your cholesterol or high blood pressure. If you smoke, the best advice is to get help to quit.

Link Between Diabetes And Cardiac Conditions

High blood glucose due to diabetes may deteriorate the blood vessels and nerves that control the heart and blood vessels. Over time, this deterioration may lead to heart disease.

Individuals with diabetes tend to develop cardiac conditions earlier than those without diabetes. For example, adults with diabetes are almost twice as likely to have a cardiac condition such as heart disease or stroke as adults without diabetes.

The good news is that the measures you take to control your diabetes also help reduce your chances of having cardiac conditions.

What Boosts My Chances Of Cardiac Conditions If I Have Diabetes

Your risk of a cardiac condition such as heart disease is higher if you are a man than a woman, whether you have diabetes or not. However, if you have diabetes, other factors increase your chances of developing heart disease or stroke.


Smoking raises the risk of developing a cardiac condition. If you have diabetes, it is crucial to stop smoking because smoking and diabetes narrow your blood vessels. Smoking also adds your chances of developing other long-term problems, such as lower leg infections and ulcers, foot or leg amputation, and lung disease.


When you have high blood pressure, your heart works harder to pump blood. As a result, high blood pressure may strain your heart, affect your blood vessels and raise your risk of stroke, heart attack, and eye or kidney problems.

Monitor your blood pressure regularly and work with your physician to control or reduce high blood pressure.


Cholesterol is fat produced by the liver and found in the blood. We have two types of cholesterol in our blood: LDL and HDL.

LDL is bad cholesterol that may accumulate and clog blood vessels. High levels of LDL cholesterol elevate the risk of developing heart disease.

HDL is the good cholesterol associated with a lower risk of heart disease and stroke when at higher levels. To improve LDL and HDL levels, you should limit the fat in your diet, increase your consumption of plant-based foods, and get regular physical activity.

Triglycerides, another type of fat in the blood, may also increase the risk of a cardiac condition like heart disease when levels are higher than your healthcare provider recommended.


Being obese or overweight may make it more difficult to control diabetes and elevate your risk for several health concerns, including high blood pressure and heart disease.

If you are overweight, a healthy diet with fewer calories and physical activity will decrease your blood glucose levels and lessen your necessity for medications.

Excess abdominal fat around the waist, even if not overweight, may increase the chances of developing cardiac conditions.

You have excessive belly fat if you are a man, and your waistline measures more than forty inches of fat and more than thirty-five inches if you are a woman.


Heart disease is closely related to chronic kidney disease, in which damaged kidneys cannot filter blood as they are supposed. Being diabetic is a risk driver for developing kidney disease, which affects approximately forty percent of diabetic people.

Additional risk factors for developing kidney disease are high blood pressure and a family history of kidney failure.

Suppose you have risk factors; you should get checked for kidney disease and safeguard your kidneys by selecting healthy food choices, being more active, striving for a healthy weight, and managing health conditions that cause kidney damage.


A family medical background of cardiac conditions may increase your chances of developing the disorders. For example, suppose one or more family members had a heart attack before age fifty. In that case, you are twice as likely to develop heart disease compared to individuals with no family medical background of the disease.

It cannot change if cardiac conditions run in your family. However, if you have diabetes, it is even more vital to take measures to safeguard yourself from heart disease and lower your chances of stroke.

Ways Of Reducing The Chances Of Having A Heart Attack Or Stroke When Having Diabetes

Taking care of your diabetes is essential to help safeguard your heart. You may substantially reduce your chances of having a heart attack or stroke by following your physician’s recommended measures to ensure a healthy heart and blood vessels.

Manage Your Diabetes

You must know your diabetes to help control your blood pressure, blood glucose, and cholesterol. Also, quit smoking if diabetic to reduce your chances of developing cardiac conditions; diabetes and smoking constrict blood vessels, so your heart has to work extra. Finally, you should know that E-cigarettes are not a safe option either.

If you quit smoking, you will reduce your risk of cardiac conditions. Also, you will lower the risk of nerve, kidney, and eye disease; your blood glucose, blood pressure, cholesterol levels, and blood circulation will improve; you may also find it easier to be physically active.

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Develop And Maintain Healthy Lifestyle Habits

Healthy lifestyle habits may help you manage your diabetes and prevent cardiac conditions. For example:

  • Follow a healthy eating regimen
  • Incorporate physical activity as part of your routine
  • Achieve and maintain a healthy weight
  • Get sufficient sleep

Know How To Manage Stress

Dealing with diabetes is not always easy; being stressed, lonely, sad, or angry is typical when living with diabetes. You may know what to do to stay healthy but may have trouble sticking to your plan over time.

Long-term stress may increase blood pressure and blood glucose, but you may learn ways to reduce stress. For example, try profound breathing, walking, doing yoga, gardening, talking with someone you love, listening to music, or working on a hobby.

Yoga and other exercises may help reduce stress; physical activity may help you manage your diabetes and cope with stress.

Medication Intake To Safeguard Your Heart

Medication may be an integral part of your treatment plan. Your healthcare provider will prescribe medications based on your specific needs.

You should ask your physician if you should take aspirin every day. Aspirin is not safe for everyone; your physician can tell you if taking aspirin is right for you and exactly how much.

Statins may reduce the risk of heart attack or stroke in some individuals with diabetes. Also, doctors sometimes prescribe certain diabetes medications to reduce the risk of heart attack and death in patients at very high risk for heart attack.

Always talk to your healthcare provider to find out if statin or diabetes medication that reduces the risk of heart attack is proper for you or in case you have any questions about the medicine.

Before you start a new drug, check with your physician about possible side effects and how you can avoid them. If you are upset by the side effects of your medication, tell your doctor immediately.

Take your medicines as directed by your physician or another healthcare provider, and do not stop taking them without telling your doctor first.

How Doctors Diagnose Cardiac Conditions In Patients With Diabetes

Doctors diagnose cardiac conditions in patients with diabetes according to their:

  • Symptoms
  • Medical and family background
  • Likelihood of having a cardiac condition
  • Physical examination
  • Results of tests and screenings

The tests doctors utilize to monitor your diabetes (blood pressure and cholesterol) help your physician decide whether it is necessary to perform additional tests to monitor your heart health or refer you to a specialist, for example, to a cardiologist.

Warning Signs Of Heart Attack And Stroke

Contact 911 immediately if you have any of these warning signs of a heart attack:

  • Pressure or chest pain that lasts more than a few minutes or goes away and returns
  • Shortness of breath
  • Discomfort or achiness in one or both arms or shoulders or the back, neck, or jaw
  • Sweating or dizziness
  • Feeling exhausted
  • Indigestion or nausea

Treatment works best when given right away. Warning signs may differ in different people; you may not have all the symptoms listed.

Women may experience chest pain, nausea, vomiting, feel exhausted, and pain that spreads to the back, neck, throat, arms, shoulders, or jaw.

Individuals with diabetes-related nerve damage may not notice any chest pain.

If you have angina, it is crucial to know how and when to seek medical treatment:

  • Numbness, tingling, or weakness of your face, arm, or leg on one side of your body
  • Dizziness, loss of balance, or difficulty walking
  • Confusion or trouble speaking or understanding
  • Trouble seeing with one or both eyes
  • Severe, sudden headache

If you have any warning signs, call 911; you can help prevent permanent damage by going to a hospital within one hour of a stroke.

We are Modern Heart and Vascular Institute, a diagnostic and preventative medicine cardiology practice. For more information, contact us.

Every heart has a story… What’s yours?

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Modern Heart and Vascular, a preventive cardiology medical practice, has several offices around Houston. We have locations in Humble, Cleveland, The Woodlands, Katy, and Livingston.

We are Modern Heart and Vascular Institute, a diagnostic and preventative medicine cardiology practice.

Every heart has a story… What’s yours?

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At the Modern Heart and Vascular Institute, we offer state-of-the-art cardiovascular care with innovative diagnostic tools and compassionate patient care. Our priority at Modern Heart and Vascular Institute is prevention. We help patients lead healthier lives by avoiding unnecessary procedures and surgeries.

Contact us online to learn more and book an appointment. If you’d like to learn more about our practice, read our providers’ bios.

This article does not provide medical advice. It is intended for informational purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you need cardiovascular care, please call us at 832-644-8930.

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