Diabetes Self-Management Articles

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Preventing Coronary Heart Disease

by Heidi Mochari, M.P.H., R.D.

The following are some recommended questions you may wish to pose to your health-care provider at your next medical visit:

  • What are my cholesterol levels? Should I be taking any medicines such as statins, niacin, or fibrates in addition to working on nutrition and exercise?
  • I know that my diabetes increases my risk of heart disease and stroke. Should I be on a statin or an ACE inhibitor to lower my risk?
  • What is my blood pressure, and how can I reach and maintain a healthy level?
  • What is my body-mass index (BMI), and what range is healthy for me?
  • How can I find a dietitian to help me develop a good, long-term, weight-loss plan?
  • Should I drink alcohol?
  • How can I quit smoking?
  • How much physical activity is a good amount for me?
  • How can I remember when to take my medicine?
  • What should I do if I have any of the symptoms of a heart attack?

Though the risk for heart disease is increased for people with diabetes in general, you can lower your personal risk by managing your risk factors. Most of the risk factors for heart disease are modifiable and can be improved through lifestyle changes and taking prescribed medicines as instructed.

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