When it comes to type 2 diabetes coronary artery disease is one of the most dangerous complications. In fact, very few people really know the truth about coronary artery disease and diabetes. Most people are just focusing on their blood sugar and don’t really think about the big picture long-term.
It’s like putting a band-aid on a cut and not treating the underlying infection. Looking at only blood sugar is like looking at the tip of the iceberg when it comes to type 2 diabetes. And hopefully, after reading what I’m about to share with you, you start to take a more serious look at how you can prevent some of the more serious complications.
What Is Coronary Artery Disease?
Your coronary arteries provide blood to your heart and when you have coronary artery disease (CAD) these arteries become smaller or narrower because of cholesterol buildup on the inside of the artery wall. As a result of this narrowing, you can either develop partial blockage or complete blockage. This is what leads to problems. The scientific term for this is atherosclerosis. Diabetes makes this situation worse and can lead to heart attack, stroke, or other complications.
What I often hear from doctors that I work with who “get it,” is that their main concern is not the high blood sugar, it’s what high blood sugar will do to the body in the long run. That is why most doctors also treat high blood pressure and high cholesterol so aggressively.
Two big dangers of coronary artery disease are:
- Lack of oxygen going to the cells of your heart causes chest pain (angina)
- Heart muscle cell death because the cells aren’t getting enough oxygen due to decreased blood flow (myocardial infarction known as heart attack)
Coronary Artery Disease And Diabetes
Diabetes is one of the major reasons why you have these blockages in your arteries. In fact, diabetes is an independent risk factor for coronary artery disease. This means that just having diabetes alone, increases your risk to CAD. And death and heart attack are greater in people who have diabetes than people without diabetes. NOTE: Coronary artery disease is the number one cause of death in people with type 2 diabetes.
So What Can Be Done About Coronary Artery Disease?
The research has shown that when you keep your blood sugar level near normal ranges you reduce the risk of developing coronary artery disease. And when you keep your blood pressure near normal levels and control your cholesterol you can greatly lower the risk.
Know Your ABC’s
If you want to reduce your risk to coronary artery disease with type 2 diabetes it is important that you know your ABC’s and I’m not talking about the alphabet.
The National Diabetes Education Program (NDEP) and the American Diabetes Association (ADA) developed an education and treatment program called the ABC’s for Managing Diabetes. This was developed to heighten the focus on reducing your:
A – A1C
B – Blood Pressure
C – Cholesterol
Research has found that reducing all three of the above can reduce your risk to coronary artery disease and is critical for long-term health. So know your ABC’s and keep them in check.
Prior to using any of this information, please consult with your physician.