If you have type 2 diabetes, you have a much higher risk of developing heart disease.
So, in addition to keeping a close eye on your glucose levels, you and your doctor will want to monitor and treat conditions that contribute to heart disease, such a high blood pressure and high cholesterol.
Treating your diabetes and reducing your risk of heart problems will include lifestyle change, such as eating a healthier diet and being more active, and possibly medications to lower your blood glucose, blood pressure and cholesterol levels.
The connection between diabetes and heart disease starts with high blood glucose (sugar) levels. Over time, high glucose in the bloodstream damages your arteries, causing them to become stiff and hard.
In addition, fatty material builds up on the inside of the blood vessels and can eventually block blood flow to the heart or brain, leading to a heart attack or stroke.
High blood glucose levels from diabetes can also damage the nerves that control your heart and blood vessels.
To help you stayed focused on the conditions and numbers you need to monitor, the American Diabetes Association and the American College of Cardiology have teamed up to create the ABCs of Diabetes:
Before symptoms appear, consider a screening to evaluate your risk for cardiovascular disease. Screenings are recommended for those over 45 years of age, with a family history of heart disease, diabetes, and high blood pressure or cholesterol.