Friday, 19 March 2010

Diabetes Management to Reduce Heart Disease & Strokes

Manage diabetes to prevent heart disease and strokes

Heart disease is common in people with diabetes, but the good news is that taking good care of diabetes and the body today can help delay or possibly prevent this and other serious health problems.

The American Heart Association says that heart disease and stroke are responsible for two-thirds to three-fourths of deaths among people with diabetes.

Not only are people with diabetes at higher risk for heart disease, but the condition also puts them at greater risk of developing eye problems, foot problems, and skin issues.

Two Types of Diabetes

There are two major types of diabetes. In type 1 diabetes, the body completely stops producing insulin, a hormone that enables the body to use glucose found in foods for energy.

Individuals with this type of diabetes must take daily insulin injections to survive. This form of diabetes usually develops in children or young adults, but can occur at any age.

Most people with diabetes have type 2. With this type of diabetes, the body produces insulin, but not enough to properly convert food into energy.

This form typically occurs in people over the age of 45 who are overweight, don't exercise, have cholesterol problems and have a family history of diabetes.

Women who develop diabetes while pregnant (a condition known as gestational diabetes) are more likely to develop type 2 diabetes later in life.

Type 2 diabetes often develops so gradually that symptoms may not be recognized. People can live for months, even years, without knowing they have the disease.

Managing Diabetes

The goal of diabetes management and prevention of heart disease is to keep blood glucose, blood pressure and cholesterol levels as close to the normal range as safely possible.

In some people, diet and exercise can keep diabetes under control. When diet and exercise aren't effective, a physician may prescribe diabetes pills or insulin. The treatment prescribed depends on the type and severity of the disease, the person's age, family history and lifestyle.

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