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Diabetes and heart disease often go hand in hand.  Adults with diabetes are twice as likely to have a heart attack or stoke than those without diabetes.  However, there are ways to decrease your risk for developing heart disease. 

Know Your ABC's

A1c Test

This test shows what your blood glucose has been over the last 3 months. It is usually checked 2-4 times each year and shows you if your blood glucose level is on target.  Keeping your blood glucose under good control help prevent complications.  The A1c goal for most people with diabetes is below 7%.

Blood Pressure

The higher your blood pressure, the harder your heart has to work. Get your blood pressure measured at every doctor visit.  Your blood pressure goal should be below 130/80 unless your doctor helps you set a different goal. 

Cholesterol

Have your cholesterol tested once per year.

Stop Smoking

Smoking raises your blood glucose, blood pressure, and cholesterol levels. When you stop smoking, you lower your risk for heart attack and stroke.

Live a Healthy Lifestyle

Be Physically Active

Make it your goal to be physically active for 30 minutes most days of the week. Start slow by taking a 10-minute walk after each of your meals.

Make Healthy Food Choices

If you’re looking for an easy place to start, follow the diabetes plate method.  Fill up half your plate with non-starchy veggies (like broccoli, green beans, salad), one quarter of the plate with protein foods (like chicken breast, salmon, or tofu) and the last quarter with carbohydrate foods (like quinoa, potato, or whole grain bread).  You could also request a referral to see a registered dietitian (RD).  An RD can help you create a personal meal plan to meet your specific needs. 

Learn Healthy Coping Skills

Having diabetes can be overwhelming at times. You may feel discouraged, worried, frustrated, or tired of dealing with daily diabetes care.  But there are things that can be done to cope with diabetes and manage stress.

  • Find ways to laugh and spend time with people you enjoy.
  • Ask for help instead of trying to do everything yourself.
  • Take up a hobby or activity you enjoy.
  • Try ways to relax, like deep breathing or yoga.

Follow-up With Your Care Team

Every three to six months, have your A1C checked by your doctor. Once a year, have a dilated eye exam to check for eye problems, get a flu shot, have your cholesterol checked, and have a complete foot exam.

Please join us for our diabetes support group on Thursday, February 8. We will have a virtual meeting at 1:00pm via Zoom. If you have any questions, please call 316-804-6147.

Resources: Diabetes and Your Heart. American Diabetes Association. https://diabetes.org/diabetes/type-2/diabetes-and-your-heart  

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