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What you should know about Diabetes

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Diabetes

Refers to the disease condition in which blood sugar (glucose) level increases to more than normal. Our bodies normally synthesize the food we eat into glucose and carries it through blood to all body cells with the help of the hormone insulin.

Type 1 diabetes is caused by the body lacking the ability to produce sufficient insulin while Type 2 results from the body cells lacking sufficient sensitivity to insulin. These two situations all lead to hyperglycemia which is more than normal concentration of glucose in the bloodstream. Type 1 diabetes which often starts from childhood is a lot easier to manage than adult based type 2 because it is often caused and accompanied by other high-risk complications because of habits such as smoking and obesity.

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Being diabetic increases the likelihood of developing heart disease, heart failure or stroke. The high blood glucose concentration from diabetes after a period of time can cause damage to blood vessels extending to harm the nerves in control of blood vessels and the heart. The chances of developing heart disease from diabetes increase depending on how long the condition has lasted. Even with effective regulation of blood glucose levels, diabetes especially type 2 still increases the risk of heart complications because infected people often suffer from the following conditions which further expose them to cardiovascular issues;

  • Physical Inactivity

Regular exercise and weight loss can totally prevent or prolong the arrival of diabetes (type 2) and further reduce the risk of stroke by having lowering effects on high blood pressure common with diabetes. Read also about 

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  • High Blood Pressure

High Blood Pressure has been a long lasting risk factor for cardiovascular complications with research indicating its positive relation to insulin resistance.

  • Smoking

Whether diabetic or not, smoking increases the risk of heart disease by narrowing blood vessels.

  • Abnormal Lipids and Cholesterol

Cholesterol refers to a kind of fat (lipid) synthesized by the liver found in blood. There exist two types of cholesterol; LDL (‘’bad’’ cholesterol which can accumulate blocking blood vessels) and HDL. Abnormally high LDL cholesterol levels increase risk of heart disease development.

Triglycerides are other blood lipids which in abnormally higher blood concentration raises heart disease risk.

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  • Obesity

Obesity is very much related to insulin resistance. Being overweight would require a healthy eating plan containing controlled low calories to lower blood glucose levels and reduce the chances of developing stroke. Excess lower belly fat even in normal weight individuals increase risk of heart disease.

Typography obesity. Image by Jon Lozano Adrianzén

  • Family History

Individuals with family history of diabetes have higher chances of being diabetic.

The heart diseases generally involved with diabetes include; Coronary Heart disease, diabetic cardiomyopathy, and heart failure.

  • Coronary Heart Disease

Coronary arteries are the blood vessels that supply the heart with blood rich in oxygen. In coronary heart disease, a wax like substance accumulates in the coronary arteries. This condition is referred to as Atherosclerosis. The wax like substance made up of cholesterol, fat, calcium and other blood contained substances is known as plaque and it accumulates narrowing the coronary arteries which in turn reduce the flow of blood to heart muscles increasing the possibility of blood clots.

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  • Diabetic Cardiomyopathy

This disease causes damage to heart structure and function. Diabetic cardiomyopathy can lead to heart failure even in diabetic individuals who don’t suffer from Coronary heart disease.

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  • Heart Failure

Heart failure refers to a situation in which your heart is unable to pump the enough blood as required by the body. Though heart failure doesn’t directly imply the heart stops working, it’s a serious condition which limits activities as it makes tiring easy and requires serious medical attention. Coronary heart disease when prolonged weakens heart muscles leading to heart failure.

 

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Kostas Deroukakis
Love to search, to try, to give, to learn. Knowledge, is the road for this achievement
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