The sugar invasion of your heart!
- By Dr. Neha Agrawal
We already know how most of the lifestyle diseases are interlinked together. Name two and you will find a connection – obesity, diabetes, heart disease, hypertension, etc.
Once such connection is that of diabetes and heart disease. High blood sugar levels directly affect the heart in many ways. Diabetes can lead to thickening of arteries and affecting the blood flow to heart. Medically known as coronary heart disease, this process gets accelerated and heart disease begins to develop much earlier.
The risk of developing a heart disease increases by 3-4 times if you have diabetes.
Besides the chronic heart disease, diabetes may also lead to irregular beating of the heart. This is called as arrhythmia. In this condition, the heart is unable to function normally and the electrical activity in the heart loses its rhythm.
Recent researches have proven a specific biological link between diabetes and heart disease. These studies have shown that moderately high and high blood sugar levels lead to activation of a biochemical process in the cells within the heart. This particular process is responsible for the electrical activity in the heart. Activation of the same because of high sugar levels may lead to irregularity in rhythm. This causes arrhythmia where pattern of heart beat changes. Not only is this injurious to cardiac cells, it may also lead to death.
The purpose here is not to instill fear of arrhythmia. The motive is to bring to your attention newer findings from the world of medical research. The takeaway here is simple – watch your sugar levels and be vigilant.
If you are at risk for diabetes
Change your lifestyle, follow a discipline in routine, eat healthy, exercise adequately and reduce the risk of developing diabetes.
If you have already been diagnosed with diabetes
Again, modify your lifestyle in terms of diet and exercise, this will keep the sugar levels in check.
Monitor your blood sugar regularly and ensure you are putting in effort to keep the level within normal limits.
See a doctor regularly.
Follow the medical prescriptions without fail. Do not forget to take your medication at the advised time.
Get your heart checked every six months. Periodic ECGs are recommended.
There is nothing to fear. If you love yourself, take care of your body and take the medicines, as needed.
Effective control and management of blood sugar will eventually help in preventing heart disease.