Diabetes Self-Management Articles

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Taking Diabetes to Heart

by Laura Hieronymus, MSEd, APRN, BC-ADM, CDE, and Kristina Humphries, MD

Another common form of heart disease is congestive heart failure, a chronic condition in which the heart cannot pump blood properly, causing tiredness and weakness, and fluid builds up inside body tissues. If the buildup is in the lungs, breathing becomes difficult. Fluid buildup can also result in swelling in the feet, legs, and abdomen. Uncontrolled blood glucose levels in people with diabetes may lead to small blood vessel (microvascular) disease, which contributes to loss of heart-muscle tone, resulting in congestive heart failure. People with diabetes have at least twice the risk of congestive heart failure as those without diabetes.

Staying heart-healthy
While having diabetes does increase your risk for heart disease, it doesn’t make it inevitable. Work with your diabetes care team to learn all you can about the risks you have, the ongoing options for treatment, and the best action plan to keep you in good health. After all, it is truly a matter to take to heart!

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