Knowing that your diabetes puts you at risk of developing heart failure means you can be proactive about preventing it. The following steps can help to lower your risk:
- Control your blood glucose, blood pressure, and blood lipid levels. Talk to your health-care provider about the best ways to do this.
- Moderate your sodium intake by cutting back on processed and restaurant foods that are high in sodium.
- Make regular physical activity a priority. Being active strengthens your heart, helps control blood pressure, and helps prevent weight gain.
- Stop smoking if you smoke.
- If you are being treated for high blood pressure, talk to your doctor about monitoring your blood pressure at home. There are accurate monitors that are easy to use. If you start to see numbers that are above your target range, call your health-care provider for early intervention. For people with diabetes, blood pressure should be lower than 130/80 mm Hg.
- If you take Actos or Avandia and notice any symptoms of heart failure, contact your health-care provider immediately.
Heart failure sounds scary, and having it probably will increase the amount of time you need to devote to caring for your health. But a lot of people with heart failure are able to work, travel, and lead active lives in spite of it. You can, too, by making your health a priority and learning to manage your diabetes and heart failure as best as possible.