Diabetes Guidelines to Prevent Heart Attack and Stroke
More diabetes guidelines? This is more information to prevent heart attack and stroke. We can't have enough of this. The heart is a big muscle that drives blood through the body. This blood transports oxygen to big vessels called arteries and to small vessels called capillaries. Then the veins carry blood back to the heart. See how important the heart is?
Are heart disease and stroke preventable? Sure, there are a lot of things one can do to prevent heart disease and stroke. Actually, if these nine diabetes guidelines are religiously followed, the chances of having heart attack and stroke go down, way down. So why don’t we follow them? They’re just 9, not even 10.
1. Keep the cholesterol level within certain limits. Get it tested once a year for confirmation that the diabetes guidelines targets are met:
- Bad cholesterol or LDL - below 100
- Good cholesterol or HDL - above 50 in women and above 40 for men
- Triglycerides - below 150
2. Keep the blood pressure under control, the target of which is below 130/80. Check this at every doctor's visit or better still buy a sphygmomanometer (It’s not expensive.) so you can check the blood pressure yourself once a week. This way you can adjust the way you eat and exercise to try to keep it on target as the diabetes guidelines recommend.
3. Manage the blood glucose by keeping it under control. How? The diabetes guidelines say to get an A1C test at least twice a year and you will know your average blood sugar level for the past two or three months. The goal is below 7.
4. Be physically active for thirty minutes a day, five days a week at least. Check with your doctor what exercise you plan to do. The simplest way is to take a walk for half an hour every day but choose one that you will truly enjoy. Exercise should be fun. This way, there is less chance of giving up exercising, so do the diabetes guidelines tell us. It is easy to make excuses and skip a day here and a day there. They all add up.
5. Eat heart-healthy foods that are high in fiber like whole grain bread, cereals, oatmeal, oat bran, fruits and vegetables. Avoid or reduce those that are high in saturated fat or cholesterol like meats, dairy products, butter, eggs, shortening and those with coconut and palm oils. All these the diabetes guidelines tell us.
6. Quit smoking if you haven’t done so yet. Your health care team will point you in the right direction as to how to do this. But the diabetes guidelines have this to say. People who stop smoking reduce their risk of smoking-related heart disease by almost 50% in the first year. And in five years? They go down to the level of the people who do not smoke. Wow! Doesn’t this give you the incentive to quit smoking?
7. Take a low dose aspirin each day but check it with your doctor just in case you have a condition that will be contraindicated with this therapy. According to the diabetes guidelines, research has shown that a low dose aspirin a day will decrease the risk of heart disease and stroke.
8. Take medicines as the doctor ordered them.
9. Lose weight and keep it within normal limits. Exercise and well-planned out meals with lower fat and calories will help achieve the goal. A member of your health care team like the dietitian will help you do this. The diabetes guidelines think this is crucial in preventing heart attack and stroke.
There they are, the big nine. Just follow them and you will be on the road to good health. This is the way to manage your risk of having heart attack and stroke due to diabetes. The diabetes guidelines will help you meet your future with confidence. Be optimistic.
There's a new study that showed health loss from type 2 diabetes will double by 2023 in Australia while loss due to other causes will be down. The researchers arrived at this conclusion by using a measurement called DALY which is acronym for "disability adjusted life year". One DALY is equals to one year of healthy life that is lost.
These researchers investigated 14 risk factors like increased weight, smoking, physical inactivity, alcohol intake, and high blood pressure. One of the team members, Dr. Vos, said that all these can be improved through intervention. Therefore health loss through diabetes can be eliminated as well.
Now what to do is the question. Dr. Vos further said that there is a need for new approaches so that the Australians will be motivated to lose weight just like the campaign they ran regarding anti-smoking which reduced the risk for cardiovascular disease. This goes to show that health loss through diabetes could be eliminated too.
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