How Diabetes Affects Heart Health

Diabetes can affect many integral organs and systems in your body, including your heart.

Over 25 million people in the United States have diabetes, a disease in which blood glucose (sugar) levels are too high. Type 2 diabetes, the most common type, occurs when the body does not make or does not use insulin properly. This causes too much glucose to stay in the blood.

Over time, high glucose levels can lead to serious health problems with several different parts of your body, including the eyes, kidneys, nerves, gums, teeth and the heart.

Heart problems are a major concern for diabetes patients and the term “diabetic heart disease” is even used to specifically describe heart disease that develops in diabetics. When compared with people who do not have diabetes, diabetics:

  • Have a higher risk of developing heart disease
  • Often have additional causes of heart disease
  • May develop heart disease at a younger age
  • May have more severe heart disease

The three heart diseases that most often affect diabetes patients are as follows:

  • Coronary heart disease, which occurs due to plaque buildup inside the coronary arteries
  • Heart failure, which means that the heart cannot pump enough blood to meet the body’s needs
  • Diabetic cardiomyopathy, which is a disease that damages the heart and can lead to heart failure and irregular heartbeat

Diabetes does not have a cure, but it can be managed with a healthy diet, regular physical activity, and blood glucose monitoring. It is important to follow your doctor’s advice and inform him of any questions or concerns that you may have. Find out more about the symptoms of type 2 diabetes and treatment options here.

Denton Regional Hospital is a full service hospital that serves the population of Denton and its surrounding areas. Our mission is to enhance community health through service with compassion, excellence and efficiency. Learn more about us and the services we offer online or contact us at 1-855-477-DRMC for a physician referral.

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