Diabetes: Risk of Heart & Stroke
Diabetes and you
Did you know that many Pharmacists at Walmart are also Certified Diabetes Educators (CDEs) and can help you manage your diabetes?
The Pharmacist at Walmart has 3 great ways to offer you more information about diabetes.
- Visit the pharmacist at your convenience for a personalized diabetes consultation and medication review.
- Learn more by reading articles like this one in our Thinking Healthy/Diabetes centre.
Diabetes and yourheart
Not only do people with diabetes tend to develop heart disease earlier than people without diabetes, but their chances developing heart disease or having a stroke are 2 to 4 times greater.
In addition to the diabetes itself, people with diabetes (particularly type 2) tend to have other factors that also increase the risk of heart disease and stroke, such as:
Those are some harsh statistics... and who wants to be a statistic?
What’s the link?
Coronary artery disease, sometimes called hardening of the arteries, is caused by narrowing or blockage of the blood vessels in your heart. It is the most common form of heart disease in diabetes.
Your blood carries oxygen and other needed materials to your heart and brain. If the blood vessels in your heart become blocked, this can cause a heart attack. If the arteries that supply the brain are blocked, this can cause a stroke.
Over time, high blood sugar levels can increase fatty deposits on the insides of the blood vessel walls which, in turn, harden and narrow.
Signs of heart attack
During a heart attack (also called a myocardial infarction, or MI), you may have:
But you may have no warning signs at all. In people with diabetes, almost one-third of myocardial infarctions occur without recognized or typical symptoms. They’re called silent MIs.
Signs of stroke
The following signs may mean that you have had a stroke:
If you have symptoms of a heart attack or stroke, call 911 right away.
Helping out your heart
Increasing physical activity, eating a ‘heart healthy’ diet and taking any medicines prescribed by your health care provider can help you prevent or control many risk factors. (e.g., your blood pressure, blood glucose, cholesterol and your weight, and reduce stress).
- If you smoke, quit.
Tasty, healthy food tips
- Take a few minutes each week to plan your menus and a grocery list.
- Choose seasonal produce and pick the brightest colours that you can.
- Equip your kitchen for low fat food preparation.
- Use cooking methods that do not add extra fat to the dish.
- Reduce or eliminate high fat ingredients from your favourite recipes.
- Learn to use spices and herbs to kick up the flavour.
- Go vegetarian for a night.
- To keep control of your portions, think of the “more space on your plate.”
- Double check your serving size.
Exercise is important
- Aerobic exercise, like walking, biking or jogging, which increases breathing and your heart rate
- Resistance exercise, like working with weights, which builds muscle strength
- At least 150 minutes of moderate- to vigorous-intensity aerobic exercise each week
- Whenyou are ready, try adding resistance exercises like lifting weights three times a week
This information should not be used as a substitute for the medical care and advice of your doctor. There may be variations in treatment that your physician may recommend based on individual facts and circumstances. If you have questions about your symptoms, ask the Pharmacist at Walmart for more information, and/or contact your doctor.
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