High blood sugar and cardiovascular disease are interconnected. In our country, nearly 30 million people have diabetes, and a vast majority of our population unknowingly has what’s known as prediabetes, which quickly escalates into the disease within a short amount of time. If you have diabetes, it’s critical that you see a cardiologist because it’s not a matter of, “will I have heart issues,” but rather “when.”
Heart disease and the issue of high blood glucose are very closely associated because of many risk factors contributing to what’s known as metabolic syndrome. Metabolic syndrome is a condition in which the high insulin and leptin levels are resistant, causing high blood pressure, high cholesterol, high triglycerides, and visceral fat to become significant risk factors for heart disease and coronary disorders.
Insulin is a hormone that helps move sugar into the blood for energy, in the case of an insulin-resistant person, they have too much sugar, and the body cannot adequately utilize the source. This leads to weight gain, obesity, and subsequently, a more sedentary lifestyle. Leptin is a hormone that helps regulate body weight by sending signals to the hypothalamus in the brain. When the signals are damaged, the body becomes leptin resistant, and a person may often feel extremely hungry and irritable, which contributes to a vicious cycle of overeating foods that are high in sugar and unhealthy fats.
In recent years, metabolic syndrome has become a commonly identified risk factor for cardiovascular disease because a vast number of Americans are overweight, and their bodies become inflamed; this inflammatory response affects their vascular structures. When the vessels are circulating high-glucose blood, atherosclerosis occurs at a greater intensity. Atherosclerosis is a build-up of plaque and causes a hardening of the arteries.
Unfortunately, sugar has become a significant staple in the American diet. The normal fasting blood sugar levels should be around 70-99 mg/dl. The normal A1C, which measures the blood glucose level, should be below 5.7%.
With diabetes and even prediabetes, these levels are at an unhealthy height and can be very hard to lower without major intervention with medication, exercise, dietary changes, and a lifestyle overhaul.
Metabolic Syndrome is caused by high lipid counts, high blood sugar, being overweight, eating a poor diet (sugar cravings), abdominal fat, high blood pressure (greater than 130/85 mmHg), and a lack of exercise. The risks associated are heart disease, diabetes, and stroke. Once you have metabolic syndrome, you must lose weight, lower your lipid levels, and reduce hypertension and combat stress. At this point, merely lowering your blood glucose is not enough. This is precisely the reason why so many people with diabetes that reduce their blood sugar, still are at high risk for cardiac episodes.
Type II Diabetes Complications Include:
• Heart Disease
• Vascular disease
• Kidney disease
• Skin Conditions
• Vision loss and disorders
• Non-Healing ulcers
• Alzheimer’s and Dementia
There is growing number of individuals (young and old) that are developing “prediabetes”. If this condition is left untreated their risk of heart disease, cognitive decline, strokes and other adverse conditions are extremely high due to impending diabetes an insulin resistance.
Being proactive about your health is critical. If you need testing, diagnostic imaging or a cardiology check-up, don’t wait. The earlier the diagnosis, the better the outcome and prospect for reversal of disease.
Rivers Family Medicine continues to provide their patients with the highest quality of care; they are continually looking for innovative methods of working together with their patients to ensure that they are not only aware of but also involved in the management and improvement of their patient’s health.
Rivers Family Medicine welcomes Dr. Erin Dariano. Dr. Dariano has been practicing Family Medicine in Lima Ohio at Lima Memorial Hospital for the past seven years. Dr. Dariano, D.O, Completed her undergraduate degree at Bowling Green State University, and her medical degree at Ohio University College of Osteopathic Medicine. She is a board certified D.O., Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine. Dr. Dariano is committed to providing thorough, compassionate, mindful care for her patients.
To schedule an appointment with Rivers Family Medicine, please call (352) 205-4302.
Dr. Dariano, D.O.
Rivers Family Medicine
1503 Buenos Aires Boulevard, Building 110
The Villages, FL 32159