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Diabetes and Your Heart: November is National Diabetes Month

Ignoring symptoms of diabetes or pre-diabetes is easy to do. And if you’ve been diagnosed, it can feel inconvenient to follow treatment recommendations from your doctor.

But your heart needs you to do your best to keep your numbers under control.  

Diabetes-Cardiovascular Disease Link 

Individuals with diabetes have a higher chance of developing heart disease (and at a younger age) and are two to three times more at risk for heart attacks and stroke. Adults with diabetes are also more likely to die from heart disease compared to adults without diabetes. At least 7 out of 10 people aged 65 and over die from heart disease and 16% die of stroke.

A number of factors are associated with increased cardiovascular disease risk in people with diabetes, including:

  • Age
  • Family history of heart disease
  • Obesity and belly fat
  • High blood pressure
  • Abnormal cholesterol levels
  • High triglycerides
  • Poorly controlled blood sugar
  • Lack of physical activity
  • Smoking 

Prevention is key in combating the growing numbers of Americans affected with diabetes.

Your Lifestyle, Your Choice 

While some of the risk factors cannot be changed, the good news is that there are many ways to lower your chances of developing diabetes through lifestyle changes. The American Heart Association also considers diabetes to be one of the seven major controllable risk factors for cardiovascular disease. 

Developing and maintaining healthy habits is the first line of action in preventing diabetes, improving overall health, and controlling the rise in drug and disability claim costs. 

Lowering your risk for diabetes and its potential cardiac complications involves:  

1) Losing weight and keeping it off – long term studies have shown that losing 5% of your current weight through intensive lifestyle intervention is associated with beneficial health outcomes.

2) Making regularly activity a priority – American guidelines call for at least 150 minutes of moderate or 75 minutes of vigorous exercise a week, so start slow and build up towards your goals as it is never too late to start

3) Eating mindfully – choose a varied diet full of fiber-rich foods, such as fresh vegetables, fruits, and whole grains, and avoid foods that are high in sugar, salt, and fat  

4) Stop smoking 

Making major shifts in lifestyle can often feel overwhelming and it’s easy to lose focus when change becomes challenging.  This is why many individuals are turning to health coaches to support them on their journey to healthy living. Individuals who hire health coaches often report that they appreciate having access to an accountability partner and someone to give them customized actionable tips that can be easily implemented into daily life.

Newtopia is one such company. Its personalized model is unique because of the focus on simple sustainable lifestyle improvements that will help you develop more healthy habits, lose weight, and keep it off once and for all.

If you are interested in learning more about the impact of health coaching and how it can impact you if you have been diagnosed with diabetes or are at risk for developing diabetes or a related heart condition, click here now to learn how diabetes health coaching programs can improve glycemic control and reduce diabetes distress.  

Also, since November is Diabetes Awareness Month, creating greater awareness of this important topic is crucial because diabetes is common and has the potential to impact your life. Nearly everyone knows someone who is diagnosed with diabetes, whether it be a grandparent, aunt, coworker, or friend. You can share this education with someone you know by sharing this blog post.

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