Diabetes And Cardiovascular Disease. Every time there is a gathering of the members of the geriatric generation, talk will always center around the aches, pains, pills, and doctor’s bills of those present. It can be sometime surprising how many among those present will mention that they have diabetes mellitus or simply diabetes, a type of metabolic disease in which a person registers high levels of sugar in his blood.
The reason can be that his body does not produce the insulin needed to break down the sugar. This is Type 1 diabetes mellitus where the person will need insulin injections, or because he has Type 2 diabetes, an insulin-resistant condition, where his body cells fail to use the insulin already present in his system.
A third type of diabetes is called gestational diabetes, a case where pregnant women who never had diabetes before, registers high blood glucose levels during her pregnancy. If not addressed properly, this condition may sometimes lead to Type 2 diabetes but more often, the diabetes disappears after the baby is born.
With the ready availability of insulin and the accompanying advances in medicine, patients afflicted with diabetes mellitus are now able to manage their blood sugar levels more easily. Pre-measured injectable insulin packets are easy to carry around and the patient can give himself the prescribed dose at any time or any place when it is needed. There are also time-release insulin injections that can be given at the start of the day that will keep the blood glucose level of the patient at an even keel for the rest of the day.
It is not the diabetes mellitus itself that will kill the patient; it is the complications that arise because of acute diabetes that will ring the death knell – cardiovascular disease, renal failure, a stroke, retinal damage leading to blindness – complications that can be fatal.
It is therefore very important that someone suffering from diabetes mellitus take a pro-active role in combating the condition and be given adequate treatment. It is equally important to make major changes in the lifestyle of someone with diabetes like giving up smoking and maintaining a healthy body weight. Smokers double their risks of becoming prone to cardiovascular diseases.
- Statistics show a direct correlation between diabetes mellitus and cardiovascular disease.
- Cardiovascular disease has been shown to be a major complication of diabetes and is the leading cause of death among people afflicted with diabetes.
- About 65% of patients with diabetes die from cardiovascular disease or from a stroke.
- Adult diabetics are two to four times more likely to have cardiovascular disease or suffer a stroke than healthy people.
The high blood glucose levels in adults with diabetes make them more susceptible to having a heart attack, a stroke, angina or coronary artery disease. This can be explained by the fact that the blood of people with diabetes mellitus tend to be more viscous, making for a more sluggish flow, and their veins and arteries become more constricted, as a result.
Patients with type 2 diabetes also register high blood pressure readings, have lipid problems and suffer from obesity, all of which conditions contribute to their succumbing to cardiovascular diseases.