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Heart Disease and Diabetes

What Is the Connection Between Diabetes and Heart Disease?

Patients with diabetes have an increased risk of heart disease. Both diabetes and heart disease have very similar conditions, including high blood pressure, unhealthy cholesterol levels, obesity, lack of physical activity, or high blood sugar. These conditions can cause arteries to harden and can eventually block blood flow to the brain or heart. The blockage of blood flow to the heart is what causes a heart attack.

What Are the Signs and Symptoms of Diabetes?

The signs and symptoms for diabetes vary depending on how much a person’s blood sugar is elevated. Talk to your Banner Health professional immediately if you’re experiencing any of these symptoms. Common type 1 and type 2 diabetes symptoms include:

  • Frequent urination
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Extreme hunger
  • Frequent infections, including gums, skin infections, or vaginal infections
  • Increased thirst
  • Irritability
  • Fatigue
  • Ketones in urine
  • Slow-healing sores
  • Blurred vision

What Are the Causes or Risk Factors for Diabetes?

Type 1 diabetes is caused when the immune system attacks and destroys the insulin-producing beta cells of the pancreas. Type 2 diabetes is caused by several factors, including genetics and lifestyle factors. Type 2 diabetes is the most common form of diabetes.

Type 1 Diabetes Risk Factors

The exact cause of type 1 diabetes is unknown. The following are risk factors for type 1 diabetes:

  • Family history
  • Environmental factors
  • The presence of autoantibodies
  • Geography

Type 2 Diabetes Risk Factors

Type 2 diabetes is the most common form of diabetes. Although researchers have yet to understand why some people develop type 2 diabetes, these are some of the common risk factors:

  • Lack of physical activity
  • Weight
  • Family history
  • High blood pressure
  • Age
  • Race
  • Polycystic ovarian syndrome
  • Gestational diabetes
  • Abnormal cholesterol and triglyceride levels

How Is Diabetes Treated?

Diabetes needs to be treated with the help of a doctor. The experts at Banner Health can help you build a treatment plan that is right for you. Depending on the severity of your diabetes, you may also need to see other healthcare professionals, including a foot doctor, eye doctor, endocrinologist, or nutritionist.

Having diabetes requires maintaining your blood sugar levels at an appropriate level set by your Banner Health doctor. Blood sugar levels can be maintained with a combination of exercise, diet and medications.

How Do I Prevent Diabetes?

Although the cause for type 1 diabetes is unknown, you can reduce your risk for type 2 diabetes by:

  • Getting more physical activity
  • Losing extra weight
  • Making healthy choices
  • Consuming fiber and whole grains

If you’re not sure where to start with diabetes prevention, our expert staff at Banner Health can help guide you towards the right lifestyle changes for you.