Women with Diabetes Have a 40 Percent Greater Risk of Heart Disease Than Men with Diabetes
Experts aren’t sure why women with diabetes have a higher risk. Yet knowing the risk gives women the opportunity to make lifestyle changes that can make a difference. Some important steps to help take control of diabetes and decrease risk of heart disease:
- Check your blood pressure. The neighborhood pharmacy may have a free blood pressure machine. If your blood pressure is above 130/80, talk to your doctor.
- Eat foods that are low-salt and low-fat. Developing this habit can decrease your blood pressure and cholesterol.
- Get exercise most days of the week. It improves blood flow, lowers blood pressure and can lower cholesterol. Brisk walking is a great way to get moving.
- Lose weight if you are overweight. Shedding a few pounds can reduce the stress on your heart. Check with your doctor or a dietitian for a plan to get you started.
- Relax. Learn techniques to stay calm to help keep your blood pressure and blood sugar under control.
- If you smoke, quit. It’s okay to ask for help, too, and so worth it for you and your family.
- Take medication as prescribed. Ask your doctor if taking an aspirin would be helpful for you.
- See a doctor if: you notice pain or cramps in your legs or feet, are short of breath, have an elevated blood pressure (more than 130 / 80) or have a lot of swelling in your feet.
For more ways to manage diabetes and increase overall health, consider taking an informative class or joining a support group. #HeartHealth matters.