Adults with diabetes are two to four times more likely to have heart disease or a stroke than adults without diabetes. There’s a big link between diabetes, heart disease, and stroke. With that in mind, the American Association of Diabetes Educators (AADE, www.diabeteseducator.org) is urging people with diabetes to remember that while diabetes can seriously affect heart health, there are ways to manage the condition and mitigate its effects on the heart.
AADE is presenting five tips that will help people with diabetes maintain their heart health as Valentine’s Day approaches.
- Enjoy sweets, in moderation. Diabetes does not mean that you have to stay away from any and all sweets. It does mean however, that you should be mindful of portion sizes and if you do eat a sweet reduce other carbohydrate choices from the meal.
- Limit alcohol. Again, it is not necessary to completely avoid drinking. Moderation is the key. For women that should be no more than 1 drink per day and for men no more than 2 drinks per day.
- Physical activity. Particularly if someone has had a drink, or something sweet, or too much to eat, physical activity is the best way to counter balance any negative effects, and maintain stable blood glucose levels.
- Know the signs and symptoms of heart disease. Being familiar with the symptoms of heart disease will help people address the situation early. For example, chest pain, shortness of breath, faster heartbeat, sweating and nausea are all symptoms to be taken seriously.
- Understand and avoid risk factors where possible. Family history is a predictor of heart disease and obviously cannot be altered; however, obesity, smoking, uncontrolled stress, and high cholesterol are all controllable risk factors.
“Valentines Day is a great time to be reminded that people with diabetes need to be aware about their heart health,” said Dawn Sherr, MS, RD, CDE, diabetes educator and AADE Associate Director of Practice Management. “The good news is that people with diabetes can manage their disease with the help of a diabetes educator.”
About the AADE:
AADE is a multi-disciplinary professional membership organization dedicated to improving diabetes care through innovative education, management and support. With more than 14,000 professional members including nurses, dietitians, pharmacists, exercise specialists, and others, AADE has a vast network of practitioners working with people who have, are affected by or are at risk for diabetes. Learn more:www.diabeteseducator.org.