Cardiovascular diseases (CVDs) are a group of disorders of the heart and blood vessels heart and vascular disease often go hand in hand with diabetes.
What causes heart disease in people with diabetes?
People with diabetes often experience changes in the blood vessels that can lead to cardiovascular disease. Clogs arteries cause cardiovascular disease. The linings of the blood vessels may become thicker, making it more difficult for blood to flow through the vessels. In clogged arteries plaque builds up on the inner walls, it can include fat and cholesterol. When blood flow is reduced, heart problems or stroke can occur and poor circulation to legs and feet.
What are the symptoms of heart disease?
Sometimes there are no easily recognised symptoms. The following are the most common symptoms of heart disease. However, each individual may experience symptoms differently. Symptoms may include -
- Chest pain
- Shortness of breath
- Irregular heartbeat
- Swollen ankles
The symptoms of heart disease may resemble other medical conditions or problems. Always consult your doctor for a diagnosis.
What can I do?
- Pay attention to symptoms and report them promptly to your doctor or nurse
- Keep blood glucose levels as close to agreed targets as possible
- Keep blood pressure levels at <130/80 mmHg or as individually agreed with your healthcare professional
- Manage cholesterol levels
- Aim for healthy and balanced eating and managing weight
- Stay active and exercise regularly
- Stop smoking and avoid exposure to second hand smoke
- Limit consumption of alcoholic beverages
Even when taking proper care of yourself heart disease may still occur. Specific treatment will be decided with your doctor or nurse in partnership with you.