Can Diabetes affect the heart?

People with diabetes have an elevated risk of heart disease. According to American Heart Association:  While all people with diabetes have an increased chance of developing heart disease, the condition is more common in those with type 2 diabetes. In fact, heart disease is the number one cause of death among people with type 2 diabetes.

  • At least 68 percent of people age 65 or older with diabetes die from some form of heart disease;
  • Adults with diabetes are two to four times more likely to die from heart disease than adults without diabetes.
  • The American Heart Association considers diabetes to be one of the seven major controllable risk factors for cardiovascular disease.

What is Type II Diabetes?: The digestive tract breaks down carbohydrates (from sugars and starches) into glucose. The cells use glucose for energy. When glucose enters our bloodstream, pancreas release a hormone called “Insulin”.  Insulin plays a major role in metabolism and is the key that unlocks the door of the cell to let the glucose in. When we have a high carb/high sugar diet, the pancreas has to secrete more insulin in order to keep up with the high glucose in the blood. The doors of the cell (cell receptors) are smart enough to know how much glucose the cell would require. They shut the door after their needs are met. The “extra” glucose now keeps floating in the bloodstream causing the cell receptors to become insulin resistant. This is how Type II Diabetes is developed in adults.

Diabetes and Cardiovascular Diseases: The most common cause of Type II Diabetes is eating too much of unhealthy, junk food and lack of optimum physical exercise. In people with Type II Diabetes, the risk of Cardiovascular disorders go up mainly because the “extra” glucose in the blood makes the blood too thick to flow easily. The glucose also starts depositing on the walls of the arteries making the passage narrow, arteries stiff or damage the blood vessel altogether.  This causes the blood pressure to go up and also increase the probability of heart attack and strokes.

The good news is that Type II Diabetes can be prevented, controlled and even reversed. Here are some of the ways to prevent Type II Diabetes:

  • Eat more real foods
  • Avoid sweetened beverages
  • Avoid foods with high-fructose corn syrup
  • Graze
  • Exercise

If you have a family history of Diabetes or have been diagnosed with a Pre-Diabetic condition, please reach out to see how we can help develop healthy eating habits to reduce the risk of Diabetes and Cardiovascular Disorders.


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