Like HowStuffWorks on Facebook!

Heart Health and Diabetes


Treatment Choices for Diabetics with Heart Disease

Doctors generally treat heart disease in a patient with diabetes the same way as they treat it in other patients. For mild problems, they usually advise following a meal plan low in saturated fat, losing weight if you're overweight, and doing moderate exercise.

Treatment for heart disease also includes medicines. Some heart medicines have no known effect on blood glucose control. Other medicines can affect blood glucose. Diuretics, used to treat high blood pressure, may raise blood glucose levels. Be sure any doctor who prescribes medicine for you knows about your diabetes and any other medications you take.

Your doctor may suggest trying to repair or bypass blocked blood vessels. There are procedures to open the artery mechanically (angioplasty) or to bypass the blockage and get the blood flowing again.

Discuss your own case carefully with your doctor and cardiologist. Be sure to get all your questions answered. For major surgical procedures, you may want a second opinion, if time permits.

Diabetics Can Take Heart

Many people find that diabetes motivates them to live a healthier lifestyle. You can do a lot to work for cardiovascular health. Exercise. Quit smoking. Eat a low-fat diet. See your doctor regularly. There are ways to treat heart disease, but a healthy lifestyle is by far your best defense.

Source: American Diabetes Association


More to Explore