Diabetes Self-Management Articles

People with diabetes are at increased risk for cardiovascular disease. To prevent heart and blood vessel problems, it’s important to keep your blood glucose, blood pressure, and levels of artery-clogging blood lipids, such as cholesterol and triglycerides, in check. Read the articles below to learn about the cardiovascular complications of diabetes and their treatment and prevention.

An Aspirin a Day by Laura Hieronymus, MSEd, APRN, BC-ADM, CDE, Stacy Griffin, PharmD, and Amit Vora, MD, FACE

The recommendation that certain people take a daily low dose of aspirin to prevent a heart attack has been around for a while now. But it’s still not entirely clear which people would benefit the most — or at all — from taking a daily aspirin and which may get no significant benefit…

Also inside: Heart Disease Risk Factors, Think You're Having a Heart Attack?, Low-Dose Aspirin Products

Heart Attack by Wayne L. Clark

When a heart attack strikes, time is of the essence. Intuitively, we all know it: The faster we get help, the better the outcome. Doctors say that “time is muscle,” because the longer a heart attack goes untreated, the more heart muscle…

Also inside: Anatomy of a Heart Attack

Home Blood Pressure Monitoring by Joy Pape, RN, BSN, CDE, WOCN, CFCN

When you were diagnosed with diabetes, you were most likely told about the importance of monitoring your blood glucose levels, given or prescribed a blood glucose meter, taught how to use it, and given target blood glucose goals…

Also inside: Top Tips for Lowering Blood Pressure, Finding Your Cuff Size

Lifestyle Habits for Lipid Management by Heidi Mochari, MPH, RD

It is no secret that abnormal levels of fats and cholesterol in the blood are associated with an increased risk of coronary heart disease. These fats and cholesterol are called blood lipids, and the good news is that there are effective ways to manage them. In fact, dramatic improvements in lipid levels can be achieved through simple lifestyle changes…

Also inside: Saturated Fat Goals, Sources of Soluble Fiber

Living Well With Heart Failure by Joy Pape, RN, BSN, CDE, WOCN, CFCN

Normally, the heart pumps oxygen-depleted blood to the lungs and oxygen-rich blood to the rest of the body. A diagnosis of heart failure (also called congestive heart failure) means that the heart is not pumping blood as effectively as it once was. As a result, the organs and other body parts aren’t getting as much oxygen and other nutrients as they did previously. In addition, some of the fluid that would normally circulate through the blood vessels is “backing up,” causing swelling and edema…

Also inside: The Heart

Lower Cholesterol to Lower Heart Risk by Wayne L. Clark

The news out of the United Kingdom in June 2003 was a call to action for people with diabetes and their physicians. Investigators in the Heart Protection Study had reported a year earlier that the drug simvastatin had lowered cholesterol levels in study…

Also inside: for Metabolic Sydrome and Lipid Goals

Natural Ways to Lower Your Cholesterol by Amy Campbell, MS, RD, CDE

High cholesterol has long been known to raise the risk of heart and blood vessel disease in people with diabetes and without. Unfortunately, it’s very common among Americans generally, including those with diabetes. The good news is that there’s a lot you can do to lower your cholesterol and, consequently, lower your risk of heart disease

Also inside: For More Information

Obesity, Type 2 Diabetes, and Physical Activity by Richard M. Weil, MEd, CDE

It’s no coincidence that the rate of Type 2 diabetes is
rising as rapidly as the rate of obesity in the United States. The two
are strongly related: The heavier people are, the more likely they are
to develop diabetes. So…

Also inside: Body-Mass Index

Preventing Coronary Heart Disease by Heidi Mochari, M.P.H., R.D.

Coronary heart disease is the single leading killer of women in the United States, and women with diabetes are at particularly high risk. High blood glucose itself is believed to contribute to this increased risk, but diabetes is also associated with…

Reducing Heart Disease Risk by Bonnie Bruce, DrPH, MPH, RD

Heart disease increases the risk of heart attacks and strokes and is still one of the major causes of death in the United States. However, the story of heart disease and diabetes is not all bleak. There are medication-free, lifestyle-related approaches that can help…

Staying Heart Healthy by Alwa Cooper

People with diabetes, for example, have a two to four times higher risk of developing heart or blood vessel disease than people who don’t have diabetes. But even with diabetes, the risks can be lowered, and these resources can help you do it…

Taking Diabetes to Heart by Laura Hieronymus, MSEd, APRN, BC-ADM, CDE, and Kristina Humphries, MD

While having diabetes does increase your risk for heart disease, it doesn’t make it inevitable. Learn about the basics, the risks, and what you can do for your heart…

Also inside: ABCs of Diabetes, Staying Active

The Pressure Is On by Craig G. Hurwitz, MD

If your doctor has told you that you have high blood pressure, or hypertension, you may well have groaned at the thought of more dietary restrictions and/or another pill to take. Or maybe you just tuned him out. After all, you have enough to do with caring for your diabetes, and how serious could high blood pressure be, anyway, since it has no symptoms?

In fact, high blood pressure is very serious. But paying attention to it now can save you a lot of grief down the road…

Understanding Cardiovascular Biomarkers by Laura Hieronymus, MSEd, RN, BC-ADM, CDE, and Genevieve Wortzman-Show, PhD

Despite considerable advances in the treatment of cardiovascular (heart) disease, it remains the leading cause of death in the United States. Diabetes, particularly Type 2 diabetes, is a major risk factor for cardiovascular disease. This article describes some of the more common tests that may be prescribed to get more information about your cardiovascular risk…

Also inside: Cardiovascular Biomarker Tests, Take-Away Tips for Preventing CVD

Update On Heart Disease by Wayne L. Clark

We all know that a lower cholesterol level is better, especially if you have diabetes. The most recent American Diabetes Association (ADA) guidelines recommend that people with diabetes maintain a low-density lipoprotein (LDL, or “bad”) cholesterol level…

What’s in Your Blood? by Joseph Gustaitis

It’s common knowledge these days that a crucial part of a physical checkup is a blood test. And for the prevention of heart disease, it’s important to know one’s cholesterol levels — how much LDL (low-density lipoprotein, or “bad”) cholesterol and HDL (high-density lipoprotein, or “good”) cholesterol is in the blood…

Statements and opinions expressed on this Web site are those of the authors and not necessarily those of the publishers or advertisers. The information provided on this Web site should not be construed as medical instruction. Consult appropriate health-care professionals before taking action based on this information.

How can a "sleep diary" help me improve my sleep quality? Get tip