Diabetes is a big risk factor for cardiovascular disease, which is something that you have definitely already heard.
Adults who have diabetes have roughly twice the risk of having a heart attack or stroke as those who do not have diabetes, as stated by the American Diabetes Association (ADA). Maintaining a healthy heart can be accomplished in large part through a regimen of consistent physical activity and wholesome food. On the other hand, your physician might also suggest medication to assist lessen your risk.
What follows is essential information regarding the medications that are most commonly used to treat several of the common risk factors for heart disease.
Managing high blood pressure through treatment
The force of blood flow via your arteries is equal to your blood pressure (blood vessels). If your blood presses too hard on your vessels, your heart has to work harder than it should, which raises your risk of having a heart attack, stroke, vision issues, and renal illness. If your blood puts too much stress on your vessels, they will break. Adults who have diabetes are more likely to have high blood pressure, generally known as hypertension, than those who do not have diabetes. If you have diabetes, the American Diabetes Association advises having your blood pressure measured at each and every routine appointment you have with your doctor.
The members of your healthcare team will summarise your results using two numbers, such as 120 over 80, for example. The first number, which is referred to as “systolic” pressure, refers to the pressure that your blood produces when it pushes through your blood arteries while your heart beats. This pressure is measured in millimetres of mercury (mmHg). The second number, referred to as the “diastolic” pressure, relates to the pressure that is experienced between heartbeats, when the arteries are allowed to relax. If you have diabetes, the American Diabetes Association (ADA) advises you to maintain a blood pressure that is below 130-140/80-90.
If your doctor determines that modifications to your lifestyle are not sufficient to properly treat your hypertension, he or she may prescribe medication. There is a wide variety of medication available to treat high blood pressure; however, not all of it is beneficial to those who have diabetes. Some of them increase blood glucose levels, while others cover up some of the signs and symptoms of low blood glucose (hypoglycemia). And it’s possible that you’ll need one or more of these in order to achieve your desired blood pressure.
ACE inhibitors, which is an abbreviation for angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors, are indicated for the vast majority of individuals who suffer from diabetes, high blood pressure, and kidney disease. These medications, which include captopril and enalapril, help maintain your blood vessels relaxed in order to have their desired effect. To be more specific, they stop a hormone known as angiotensin from being produced in your body, which would otherwise restrict your blood vessels.
In addition to lowering blood pressure, angiotensin II receptor blockers, often known as ARBs, keep the blood arteries open and relaxed in the body. By controlling blood pressure, ARBs, just like ACE inhibitors, are able to slow down or even stop the progression of renal disease. This is accomplished by the reduction of protein levels in the blood. If you suffer from both diabetes and renal problems, the American Diabetes Association advises that you choose one of these two hypertension medications.
Calcium channel blockers
By preventing calcium from entering the blood vessels and the heart, these medications make it possible for the blood vessels to relax. If you have diabetes but do not have renal disease and are interested in preventing cardiovascular disease, your doctor may prescribe a calcium channel blocker instead of an ACE inhibitor or ARB, or in addition to one of these medications.
The so-called “water pills” assist the body in eliminating excess water and sodium through the process of urination. This lowers the volume of fluid that is moving through your arteries, which in turn minimises the pressure that is being exerted on them. Diuretics are not indicated for use in the management of blood pressure for women who are pregnant or breastfeeding.
Bringing down high levels of cholesterol
The dangers of cholesterol, a form of fat that is created by the liver and can be found in your blood, are common knowledge at this point. It is essential to have a clear understanding of the distinction between the “good” sort and the “bad” kind.
It is possible for low-density lipoproteins, generally known as LDL or the “bad” cholesterol, to accumulate in your blood arteries and cause blockages. Plaque is the common name for this accumulation. If your LDL levels are excessively high, you put yourself at an increased risk of having a heart attack or a stroke.
The removal of LDL from your blood arteries is facilitated by high-density lipoproteins, which are also known as HDL and are referred to as the “good” cholesterol.
People who have diabetes are often given the recommendation to make adjustments to their lifestyle in order to assist in lowering their cholesterol, and many are also given a statin to reduce the amounts of LDL in their blood. If you meet any of the following criteria, the ADA suggests that you take a statin:
It has been determined that you suffer from heart disease.
You are older than 40 years of age.
Your doctor may also prescribe an extra LDL-lowering drug in addition to statins for you, but this will depend on how well statins work for you. Whether or not you have other risk factors for cardiovascular disease will determine the dosage that is recommended for you. After a diagnosis of high cholesterol has been made, your primary care physician will most likely monitor your readings on a yearly basis, at the very least.
Is it okay for you to take an aspirin?
It is not safe to assume that aspirin is risk-free just because it can be purchased without a doctor’s prescription. If you want to help keep your heart healthy, the American Heart Association suggests that you take an aspirin every day at a modest dose.
You are at least 50 years old and diagnosed with diabetes.
- You are at risk due to the presence of at least one of the following factors:
- A history of coronary disease in the family
- Either high blood pressure or elevated levels of cholesterol
- Kidney illness with albuminuria that is chronic
- I see that you smoke.
It has been determined that factors such as your age, anaemia, or kidney disease do not place you at a higher risk of bleeding.
According to the ADA, the potential benefits of aspirin are outweighed by the danger of bleeding that it presents. Talk to your doctor or other healthcare practitioner if you are unsure whether or not taking an aspirin every day should be a part of your routine.
It’s possible that the connection between diabetes and heart disease will appear to be overwhelming. However, you can lessen the likelihood of developing cardiac problems by following the recommendations of your physician and taking the prescribed drugs.