If your primary doctor diagnoses you with type 2 diabetes, you may have many concerns about your condition and how to manage it. But what you may not consider is how your diabetes can affect your heart, blood vessels and nerves. Adult onset diabetes, or type 2, can potentially cause cardiovascular problems in some individuals. If you don't keep your blood sugar within the recommended numbers or levels before and after meals, it may damage the arteries of your heart. Here's what you should know about your diabetic condition and how you can keep it from affecting your cardiovascular system.
How Does Diabetes Affect Your Heart?
Your doctor most likely already explained that adult onset diabetes develop when the cells in your muscles, liver and fat reject insulin or become insulin-resistant. Insulin is a natural hormone that regulates the glucose, sugar in your blood. Organs that receive glucose typically store it as an energy source. When your cells become insulin-resistant, glucose builds up in your blood and compromises the health of your blood vessels and nerves.
Blood vessels transport blood all over your body, including to and from your heart. Your arteries are very important to your heart because they use it to transport blood to other organs in the body. Cardiovascular and nerve problems, such as high blood pressure and coronary heart disease, can develop if your arteries weaken or damage from diabetes. Unregulated fatty deposits can also form inside your blood vessels and clog them up. Clogged vessels can't transport or regulate blood flow properly, which places stress on the muscles and valves of your heart, which is why you may need to get more info from someone who specializes in heart disease treatment, not just diabetes.
Although it's not readily understood why or how, high glucose levels can also affect your body's nerves and tiniest blood vessels, or capillaries. Nerves allow your tissues to feel and convey sensation to your brain. The tissues rely on healthy, oxygenated blood from your capillaries to complete their functions. Type 2 diabetes weakens your body's capillaries until they can't supply blood to your nerves, which gradually lose their ability to convey messages to your brain.
You can take steps to keep your blood sugar down and protect your cardiovascular system.
What Can You Do to Protect Your Blood Sugar and Heart?
It's important that you eat a proper diet of fresh fruits and vegetables each meals. Foods that lower blood sugar include spinach, kale and collard greens. Certain seeds or seed-based foods also reduce your glucose levels, including flax and chia seeds. Seeds contain magnesium and iron, which both strengthen your red blood cells and vessels. You can benefit the most from glucose-lowering foods by making daily or weekly meal plans. The plans allow you to make changes to your diet based on how you feel and how well your sugar lowers.
Also, drink plenty of water and consume watery fruit to help hydrate your organs' cells. Cells depend on water to grow, develop and carry out their daily functions. By not consuming enough water each day, you may damage your cells. You want to keep the cells of your liver, muscles and fat as healthy as you can to help regulate your blood sugar.
Finally, speak to a cardiologist or heart doctor about your type 2 diabetes. A heart doctor can examine your heart and blood vessels to see if your high blood sugar compromised them in any way. If so, you may receive treatments that strengthen or unclog your blood vessels. A doctor may place you on an exercise plan that includes light cardiovascular exercises to keep your heart healthy. The types of treatments a doctor prescribes you may depend on your age, medical history and overall health.
For more information about type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease, speak to a specialist today.