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Health Corners
Cardiac care

Diabetes is an ailment that can be controlled not cured. A diabetic is at a greater risk of heart disease. There are several factors he can keep in check that will reduce his risk of heart disease. The diabetic should:

Keep blood sugar level under control:

Persistent high blood sugar level can damage small blood vessels. It may also begin to affect the bigger ones in the long run.

Controlling blood sugar requires determination. A treatment plan, which advises on right diet, exercise and medication, if necessary, can go a long way in realising this goal.

Keep blood pressure as near normal as possible:

High blood pressure could indicate that your blood vessels are having trouble. Hypertension could complicate a diabetic’s problem. It could affect the functioning of the heart and even the kidneys.

Regular exercise, reduction of weight (if you are over weight), limiting salt in your food could help in keeping hypertension in check. Sometimes medication becomes necessary. But you should check with your doctor if the prescribed medicines will increase your blood sugar level.

Cut out fatty food from his diet:

Fats increase cholesterol. This narrows down the blood vessels by accumulating unwanted deposits along the walls of the blood vessels.

Avoid saturated fat (fats like vanaspathi and ghee). Eat boiled rather than fried food. Exercise. If these are not enough, consult your doctor and get medicines.

Stop smoking cigarettes, if you have the habit.

Smoking can narrow the blood vessel over a period of time. It can also increase your blood fat level. You can reduce your risk of heart disease and stroke by quitting this habit.

Keep weight in check:

Those who are significantly overweight are predisposed to many health complications. Keeping weight in check not only reduces the risk of heart disease, but can also aid the control of the diabetic’s blood glucose level.

Pursue an active lifestyle:

Physical activity, especially exercises can do wonders for the diabetic as well as those with heart problems. Build up levels of activity (or your exercise programme) gradually. Aerobics,(such as walking and swimming) exercises the heart, lungs and large muscles and keeps them fit.

Go for checkups regularly:

A diabetic’s blood glucose level needs regular monitoring. Depending on the level of control a patient has, the doctor advises him to take monthly or quarterly or yearly check-ups. Apart from blood and urine tests to test sugar level, the doctor may also advise an electrocardiogram (ECG). ECG gauges the electrical activity of the heart. It can assess the heart rhythms and blood flow through it. It can indicate if there has been a muscle damage, or if there has been a heart attack previously.

If you take the above precautions you may never need to have surgery for your heart or experience any artery diseases, even though you are a diabetic.

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