People diagnosed with diabetes are at a greater risk for heart disease. This means that taking care of your diabetes will also in turn help you take care of your heart.
Every November for National Diabetes Awareness month, the National Diabetes Education Program (NDEP) works with its partners to raise awareness for diabetes management and prevention. This year’s theme is “Be Smart About Your Heart: Control the ABCs of Diabetes.”
The ABCs of Diabetes:
A: A1C Test
The A1C blood test will show you your blood glucose level over the last three months. Ideally, the A1C goal should be below 7. Blood glucose levels that are too elevated can bring damage to your heart, blood vessels, kidneys, feet and eyes.
B: Blood Pressure
Diabetic patients should ideally report blood pressure levels below 140/90. Blood pressure levels that are too high can cause excess strain on your heart and can lead to serious conditions such as heart attack, stroke or kidney disease.
There are two types of cholesterol: HDL (good cholesterol) and LDL (bad cholesterol). When LDL levels build up, it can lead to clogged blood vessels that can cause a heart attack or stroke. HDL, or good cholesterol will actually help to clear out bad cholesterol from your arteries and veins.
S: Stop Smoking
Smoking is especially harmful for diabetic patients as it only increases the chance of complications from diabetes such as heart disease, neuropathy and poor blood circulation in the legs and feet.
If you keep these tips in mind when you’re faced with a diagnosis of diabetes, you’ll be well on your way to being prepared and ready to face any issues your feet and ankles may face. Call Lighthouse Foot & Ankle Center today at (207) 774-0028 to make an appointment with Dr. Michele Kurlanski at our location in Scarborough, Maine.
More Resources from the NDEP