Posts Tagged ‘diabetes’

Lower Your Blood Sugar and Protect Your Heart

Lower Blood SugarEmory Healthcare is a proud sponsor of the American Heart Association’s My Heart. My Life. This program was created by the American Heart Association to help people understand it is never too late to make changes that can improve your health. As part of our partnership for heart health, this week we will discuss the importance of lowering blood sugar.

It is very important to keep your blood sugar in a normal range for the health of your heart. If your fasting blood sugar level is below 100, it is in a healthy range. If your levels are higher than this number, you could have pre-diabetes or diabetes. When we eat something, our bodies turn this food into glucose and our bodies then use this for energy.

You can decrease your risk for heart disease and stroke by lowering your blood sugar and managing it carefully to keep it in a healthy range.

The American Heart Association considers diabetes a controllable risk factor for heart disease. By lowering your blood sugar, you are taking an active approach to protect your vital organs and give yourself a chance for a healthy heart!

If you have been diagnosed or suspect you have high blood sugar levels, I recommend you consult with your physician and he/she can prescribe a course of action to lower the number that may include:

  • Reduce your consumption of simple sugars like those found in soda, candy and many desserts.
  • Get active! Make sure that you get 30 minutes of exercise five days a week. This can be as simple as taking your dog for a walk! Physical actively helps your body respond to insulin.
  • If you have been prescribed medication, take your medication or insulin as prescribed.

If you are proactive in lowering your blood sugar you can slow the progression of long-term complications. Small changes  can improve your levels and possibly help you avoid the need for medication.

Learn more about the Emory Heart & Vascular Center’s Heart Disease Prevention Program.

Looking for a free and easy way to reduce your risk for heart disease? Dr. Ijeoma Isiadinso is hosting a live chat on the topic of Women & Heart Disease on Wednesday, October 19th. You can learn more about the heart disease chat here & sign up for the chat here.

About Susmita Parashar
Dr. Parashar is a cardiologist at the Emory Heart & Vascular Center. She specializes in preventive cardiology and has special interests in women’s heart disease. She is the newest member of the Emory team and looks forward to helping patients in Atlanta prevent heart disease.  She completed her residency in Internal Medicine at Medical College of Georgia, Augusta, and Cardiology fellowship at Emory University. Prior to joining Emory faculty in the Division of Cardiology, Dr. Parashar was Assistant Professor of Medicine in the Division of General Medicine at Emory for eight years.

Heart Disease: Learning the Facts and Risk Factors

Many people may not be aware of the fact that heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women in the US. It’s estimated that heart disease will cost the US $316.4 billion in 2010—a figure that includes the costs of health care, medication, and lost productivity.

One of the most promising treatments for heart disease is prevention. Having a sound strategy for combating heart disease will also ward off other chronic diseases such as diabetes, certain cancers, osteoporosis and ongoing lower back pain. Even if you have the unhealthiest of habits, scientists state that the body’s remarkable ability to heal allows you to avoid future illnesses through lifestyle changes.

Heart healthy facts:

Exercise and diet are crucial components in avoiding heart disease. Here are some heart healthy facts that you may not be aware of:

–  Consuming eight ounces of fish on a weekly basis can potentially cut the risk of stroke in half.

–  Being 30 pounds or more over your ideal weight significantly increases your chance of having heart disease and other chronic illnesses.

–  Once you quit smoking, your blood vessels and coronary tissues will respond quickly, and your risk of heart disease will drop.

–  Even small changes, such as increasing your intake of fruits and vegetables and exercising more can improve your health and reduce risk.

–  Dark chocolate (in moderation) contains a rich source of substances known as antioxidants that can combat heart disease.

Heart Disease Risk Factors:

Studies have shown that nine out of ten patients suffering from heart disease have at least one of the following risk factors:

–  High blood pressure

–  High cholesterol

–  Cigarette Smoking

–  Physical Inactivity

–  Alcohol Use

–  Overweight/Obesity

–  Diabetes

–  Poor diet and nutrition

Do you have questions about the risk factors of heart disease? If so, I’m happy to address them in the comments.

About Jefferson Baer, MD, MPH:

Dr. Baer, the Director of Preventative Cardiology at Emory University Hospital Midtown, specializes in preventive cardiology. His areas of clinical interest include cholesterol metabolism, novel cardiovascular risk factors, and novel methods for the detection of coronary disease. Dr. Baer has been published in The American Journal of Cardiology , The Journal of Clinical Lipidolog, Current Treatment Options in Cardiovascular Medicine and the Journal of Infectious Diseases.