The Heart Disease and Diabetes Connection
It is a scientific fact that people with diabetes have an elevated risk of heart disease.
Individuals with diabetes are two to four times more likely to get heart disease or a stroke than individuals who don’t have diabetes.
Luckily, however, this risk can be easily mitigated through diet and lifestyle changes.
What is Diabetes?
Diabetes is a group of diseases associated with high blood glucose due to the body’s inability to produce or use insulin. The role of the hormone insulin is to take glucose out of the blood and put it in cells where it belongs.
Due to dysregulation of insulin with diabetes, blood glucose remains high after a meal and the result is hyperglycemia. Again, insulin in diabetes is either inadequate or ineffective.
There are four types of diabetes:
- Prediabetes: Occurs in individuals with some form of insulin resistance. These individuals have high blood glucose, but it’s not high enough to be diagnosed as diabetes.
- Gestational diabetes: This type occurs with pregnancy. Pregnancy affects how your cells use everything, including glucose. This form can cause high blood sugar that can affect both the pregnancy and the baby’s health.
- Type 1 diabetes: This is an autoimmune form of diabetes, in which the pancreas stops producing insulin.
- Type 2 diabetes: This is the most common form of diabetes. The pancreas may still be producing insulin with this condition, yet the body’s cells are not able to recognize its action. This results in insulin resistance and high blood glucose levels. This used to be a disease only found in adults, but due to the obesity, children are now developing it at epidemic proportions.
Type 2 diabetes is the condition with the greatest incidence we see today. This type of diabetes is greatly linked to the obesity epidemic. Obesity, or increased fat mass, alters cell proteins and as a result they change shape and stop responding to insulin normally.
With all types, however, the basic problem is that glucose cannot get into the cell.
Treatment options for diabetes currently include diet, physical activity, lifestyle changes and insulin/ pharmaceuticals.
What is the link between Diabetes and Heart Disease?
The link between the two is high blood glucose. Overtime, the elevated levels of sugar in the bloodstream can cause damage to arteries and blood vessels, making them hard and stiff.
Once the vessels become damaged, the immune system kicks on delivering a host of inflammatory cells and causing inflammation in the damaged area. Eventually, fatty material and calcium deposits begin to stick to this damaged area, laying the foundation for atherosclerosis. This can lead to a blockage, which can impair blood flow to the heart or brain and increase risk of heart attack or stroke.
The leading cause of death of among diabetics is a heart attack or stroke.
How can I prevent Diabetes to protect my heart?
There are several things you can do to prevent diabetes and cardiovascular risk.
- 1. Shed the weight
Losing weight is one of the best ways to prevent or reverse Type 2 Diabetes. This is because this disease is largely the result of excess adiposity, especially in the abdominal region. Excess fat on the body contributes to inflammation and cellular dysfunction, both of which are the basis for insulin resistance and Diabetes.
- 2. Eat Paleo
The Paleo diet is one of the best diets for the heart. It is rich in natural vegetables, meats, fats and fruits while limiting grains. It is highly anti-inflammatory and provides essential key nutrients for total health. A study showed that when obese Type 2 Diabetic patients were put on either a Paleo diet or an American Diabetes Association recommended diet, the Paleo diet group had better improvements to glucose control and cholesterol markers (Source).
- 3. Get active
Physical activity naturally lowers blood sugar because it helps to burn off energy in the form of glucose. Moving your body daily regulates blood sugar and controls weight, which helps to prevent Type 2 Diabetes.
- 4. Get sunshine
Sunshine converts cholesterol on the skin into vitamin D, the immune vitamin. This is heart-healthy and necessary to health. It is the body’s way of naturally regulating cholesterol levels and keeping arteries open.
- 5. Take a daily Omega 3
Omega 3 fatty acids are essential to obtain in the diet as they greatly protect the heart and body. They are highly anti-inflammatory and help to keep blood vessels healthy.
- 6. Use Berberine to control blood sugar
Berberine, or Berbe, is our supplement that does it all. Number 1 thing it does it control blood sugar. It also normalizes cholesterol levels, reduces inflammation and protects the heart.
- 7. Maintain healthy blood pressure levels and cholesterol numbers
While preventing Type 2 Diabetes is key, it is also important to keep your blood pressure and cholesterol in check. When we say cholesterol in check, we mean we want you to have the right types of cholesterol: this kind of testing includes size and particle number. This is because we want to keep blood vessel structure and function healthy. There are many natural treatment options for managing the right types of cholesterol.
- 8. Get enough sleep
Sleep is imperative to preventing just about every disease. Sleep is when your body restores itself and its cellular functions. It is needed in quality and quantity.
How can I protect my heart if I already have Diabetes?
If you have diabetes, the best thing you can do is to make some rapid diet and lifestyle changes. Research has shown that diet and lifestyle changes can reverse this condition. Physical activity can lower blood glucose. A healthy Paleo diet can help with weight management and lower inflammation.
Weight loss is the primary factor for individuals who have reversed their Type 2 Diabetes. Losing stored fat in the body will help to restore the function of cells in the pancreas and their response to insulin.
Additionally, lowering inflammation will help to speed up the healing process (cellular dysfunction is always linked to inflammation) and protect the heart.
Eat healthier, lose weight, increase physical activity and get more sunshine to protect your heart. Take some supplements if you must! All of this will help to prevent or reverse Type 2 Diabetes.