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Caring for your heart when you have type 2 diabetes

Heart health and diabetes management go hand-in-hand—here are some ways for you to stay on top of both.

Did you know that adults with diabetes are two times more likely to have a heart attack or stroke than people without diabetes? Here's why:

  • Diabetes can damage your blood vessels and nerves 
  • People with type 2 diabetes might also have high blood pressure, high cholesterol, or be overweight 

These increase the chances of getting cardiovascular disease. Additionally, the longer you live with diabetes, the higher your risk of heart disease and stroke.

While this may sound scary, knowing your risk is the first step in starting to reduce it. If you have type 2 diabetes, managing your risk for cardiovascular disease is one of the ways you can take care of yourself.

Keep in touch with your diabetes care team

Regular check-ins with your diabetes care teamDiabetes care teamYour diabetes care team may include a primary care doctor, a diabetes and hormone doctor (endocrinologist), a registered nurse, a diabetes educator, a dietitian, a heart doctor (cardiologist), a foot doctor (podiatrist), an eye doctor (ophthalmologist/optometrist), a kidney doctor (nephrologist), a dentist, a pharmacist, and a mental health professional.  may help you keep your diabetes in control and may help lower your chances of heart disease and stroke. All it takes is one conversation with your trusted health care professional to help begin lowering your risk. Below are 4 questions to get that conversation started: 

  1. What changes can I make to take care of my heart? 
  2. What resources can help me learn more? 
  3. How will I know if the changes I’ve made are making a difference? 
  4. What can I do before my next appointment?

Tips for a healthier heart

In addition to keeping the lines of communication with your doctor wide open, add these tips to your self-care checklist to care for your heart and body to make all of your efforts count even more.

sliced apple
  • Continue healthy eating habits. Add fruits and veggies as a start. Eating better will help you feel better.
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  • Keep moving. Alone or with a friend, it can feel great.
  • Self-care can be heart care. Lowering your stress is good for your mind and body.
  • Quit smoking.
  • Monitor your blood glucose, blood pressure, cholesterol, and weight.*
diabetes prescription
  • Take medication(s) as prescribed.*

*Your doctor can help you make a plan for these.

You’ve got this. Join the millions of people with diabetes who are taking care of their hearts and leading healthier lives.

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