Diabetes is a chronic condition that affects how your body processes sugar. It is estimated that about 3.9 million Nigerians are living with diabetes, and this number is expected to rise in the coming years. As a senior with diabetes, it is important to understand the link between diabetes and heart health. This is. a four part series on Diabetes. Read Part 1 here
Studies have shown that people with diabetes are more likely to develop heart disease than those without diabetes. In fact, heart disease is the leading cause of death among people with diabetes. The reason for this link is not fully understood, but there are several factors that may contribute to the increased risk.
One of the main factors is high blood sugar levels. When your blood sugar is consistently high, it can damage the blood vessels that supply your heart. Over time, this damage can cause the blood vessels to narrow and harden, which can increase the risk of a heart attack or stroke. This damage can also cause a buildup of plaque in the arteries, which can further increase the risk of heart disease.
In addition to high blood sugar levels, there are several other factors that may contribute to the link between diabetes and heart disease. These include:
High blood pressure: People with diabetes are more likely to develop high blood pressure, which can increase the risk of heart disease. High blood pressure means that the force of blood against the walls of your blood vessels is consistently high. This can damage your blood vessels and increase your risk of heart disease.
Abnormal cholesterol and triglyceride levels: People with diabetes often have abnormal cholesterol and triglyceride levels, which can contribute to the buildup of plaque in the arteries. Cholesterol and triglycerides are types of fats that circulate in your blood. When you have too much of these fats, they can stick to the walls of your blood vessels and contribute to the buildup of plaque.
Inflammation: Diabetes is associated with chronic inflammation, which can damage the blood vessels and increase the risk of heart disease. Inflammation is your body’s natural response to injury or infection. However, when inflammation is chronic, it can damage your blood vessels and increase your risk of heart disease.
Obesity: People with diabetes are more likely to be overweight or obese, which can increase the risk of heart disease. Obesity means that you have too much body fat, which can contribute to high blood pressure, abnormal cholesterol levels, and inflammation.
It is important for seniors with diabetes to take steps to manage their blood sugar levels, as well as their overall health, in order to reduce their risk of heart disease. This may include following a healthy diet, getting regular exercise, and taking medications as prescribed by their doctor.
In conclusion, seniors in Nigeria with diabetes should be aware of the link between diabetes and heart health. By understanding the risk factors and taking steps to manage their diabetes and overall health, they can reduce their risk of heart disease and lead a healthy, fulfilling life. Read more health tips for seniors here