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World Diabetes Day 2020: What diabetics need to know about keeping their heart healthy

Strict sugar control, as early as possible once diabetes is diagnosed, is one of the most important ways to minimise the future risk for heart disease, says Dr Jasjeet Singh Wasir, the Associate Director Endocrinology and Diabetology at Medanta – The Medicity

By: Lifestyle Desk | New Delhi | November 14, 2020 10:55:23 am
World Diabetes Day, World Diabetes Day 2020, diabetes and heart health, diabetes and cardiovascular health, health, indian express newsOne of the main reasons for advising strict sugar control to diabetic patients is to limit the future risk of heart disease. (Source: Pixabay)

Diabetes is one of the key problems plaguing many people around the world, especially Indians. India houses the second-largest number of people with diabetes — more than 95 per cent of whom have type 2 diabetes — second only to China. According to the International Diabetes Federation (IDF), with the current explosive growth trends, the number of diabetics is likely to increase to 134 million in 2045 from 77 million in 2019.

“The sad reality is India is the ‘diabetes capital’ of the world, as a large percentage of the diabetic patients don’t know they have the disease (undiagnosed diabetes). People are moving towards urbanisation, eating habits are tilting towards processed foods (fast/junk foods), people are becoming physically inactive, stress levels are peaking and environmental pollution is shifting the balance towards greater risk of diabetes. More importantly, India is a young country, and diabetes is now afflicting the young population,” Dr Jasjeet Singh Wasir, Associate Director Endocrinology and Diabetology at Medanta – The Medicity, tells indianexpress.com.

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The correlation between diabetes and cardiac disease:

The connection between diabetes and heart disease is an important one, says the doctor, stating the following reasons:

* Presence of diabetes increases the risk of heart disease by 2-4 times.
* The main reason for the loss of quality and quantity of life in a diabetic patient is heart disease.
* Diabetics may develop heart disease at an earlier age as compared to their non-diabetic counterparts.
* Heart disease in diabetics has a greater likelihood of being more severe, involving multiple arteries of the heart.
* Important risk factors which predict the future threat of heart disease in a diabetic patient are age, gender, family history of heart disease, bad eating habits, physical inactivity, obesity, hypertension, high cholesterol, smoking/tobacco, alcohol, mental stress, etc.
* One of the main reasons for advising strict sugar control to diabetic patients is to limit the future risk of heart disease.
* Strict sugar control, as early as possible once diabetes is diagnosed, is one of the most important ways to minimise the future risk for heart disease.

* Optimal sugar control in the early years after diagnosis of diabetes helps create a good ‘metabolic memory’ in the body which translates into a ‘legacy’ of prevention of heart diseases in the future.
* Some important ways for prevention of heart disease in diabetics include maintaining optimal weight, blood pressure and cholesterol control, healthy diet, regular exercise, tobacco cessation, mental relaxation and use of anti-diabetic medicines.

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Maintaining cardiovascular health for a diabetic patient:

– Focus on what you eat. It is important not just to balance the calorie intake, but also to ensure a healthy proportion of carbohydrate, fat and proteins. The diet must be enriched with micronutrients, fats, fibre and minerals.
– Regular exercise is the other vital pillar for a healthy heart. Your exercise program must include flexibility, aerobic, strength training and yoga.
– Muscle is one of the most important organs involved in blood sugar regulation. Hence, good muscle health along with fat loss will help control your sugar levels more effectively and durably and keep your heart healthy.
– Limiting mental stress is also vital for heart protection.
– Finally, periodic testing and regular consultation with your diabetes care doctor will not only ensure that your sugar levels are controlled, but also that the heart disease risk factors are optimally taken care of.

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