Health & Wellness

3 Ways to Avoid Heart Attacks and Strokes If You Have Diabetes

People with diabetes are twice as likely to suffer from heart disease—here's what you can do to protect yourself.
3 Ways to Avoid Heart Attacks and Strokes If You Have Diabetes

Photo credit: Jason Tuinstra/Unsplash.com

Sean Evans

By 

Sean Evans,   

Apr 14, 2020 • 3 min read

Share Blog on FacebookShare Blog on TwitterShare Blog on LinkedInShare Blog via Email

Because having diabetes means your body isn’t able to properly control its blood sugar, this can often lead to an excess of glucose in your blood vessels. That overload of sugar can result in clotting and clogs within your blood vessels over time, increasing your chance and risk of heart attack and stroke. 

Some sobering facts for those with diabetes include that women are three times more likely to have a heart attack than women who don’t have diabetes, and men are twice as likely to have a heart attack as their peers without diabetes. Both genders are more likely to experience complications after a heart issue than people without diabetes, and both genders with diabetes are at a higher risk of dying from a heart complication than those people without diabetes.

Whether you have Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes, your heart health should be something you’re constantly thinking about. Here are three simple ways you can help prevent heart disease and keep your ticker strong. 

Sweat for 30 Minutes

The most important things you can do every day to avoid heart disease and heart complications are exercise and enjoy a healthy diet, says Michael Quartuccio, MD, an endocrinologist at Rochester Regional Health. “The American Diabetes Association is our main organization for leading information about diabetes and we follow their recommended advice of 150 minutes of moderate to vigorous exercise per week,” he says. “Moderate or vigorous means that you’re working out hard enough that you can talk to someone beside you but you’re struggling to sing,” he explains, adding that you should spread out your cardiovascular exercise over five days per week, 30 minutes per session. 

Watch the Salt

From a homeopathic approach, Dr. Quartuccio recommends watching your salt intake. “It’s important to keep your blood pressure and cholesterol under control,” he says. Excess salt can negatively impact both and lead to a decrease in your ability to control your diabetes. “Lower your consumption of red meats and processed foods. You’ll want to eat more vegetables, especially those high in fiber, and more lean meats. Both fish and chicken have been shown to have benefits. There’s also evidence that a plant-based diet does well, so you could consider that, too,” says Dr. Quartuccio. 

Stick with Your Meds

You should also make sure you’re taking your prescribed medications. “Pharmaceutically, anyone with diabetes over the age of 40 may benefit from statins, like atorvastatin (Lipitor), or rosuvastatin (Crestor),” he says. Statins are a class of lipid-lowering medications that reduce cholesterol and help reduce issues and complications from those at a higher risk of cardiovascular disease. “With diabetes, you’re at a higher risk for heart disease or a stroke, and there’s good evidence that statins help lower this,” he says. (If you do need a prescription, check to see if you can get it at a discounted price and with free home delivery through Blink Health.)

A common question Dr. Quartuccio fields is whether or not diabetics should be on a daily aspirin regimen to help protect their heart. “If you’ve had a prior heart attack or a stroke, we do recommend a daily aspirin, unless you’re at a high bleeding risk. It’s not a blanket statement, but we typically do push for that. If you’ve not had a heart event, there’s research that you may not benefit from this,” he says. “Five years ago, we were saying everyone with diabetes should be on aspirin, but we’re stepping back from that now. More research is needed, but we’re thinking it doesn’t do quite as much good as we had originally believed.”

· · ·

This article is not medical advice. It is intended for general informational purposes and is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. If you think you may have a medical emergency, immediately call your physician or dial 911.

Blink Health is not insurance. The discount prescription drug provider is Blink Health Administration, LLC, 1407 Broadway, Suite 2100, New York, NY 10018, 1 (844) 265-6444, www.blinkhealth.com.

· · ·

Try the app now

FAQs • Contact Us
Our support team is available Monday through Friday 8AM - 10PM EST, and Saturday and Sunday 9AM - 7PM EST.

Blink Health will always honor the price reflected at the time you purchased your medication. Your final price is based on the medication you pick up at the pharmacy. If you pick up a different form, dosage, or quantity, you will be charged or credited the difference. Blink Health reserves the right to cancel a transaction and refund you if the underlying cost of the prescription drug changes significantly after you have purchased your medication. Blink Health reserves the right to change its prescription drug prices in real time based on supply and demand trends and other factors. Any savings claims made by Blink are based on U.S. retail prices without prescription drug coverage. *Retail Prices (Cash Prices) vary among pharmacies. The Retail Prices displayed are estimates based on multiple sources, including price lists, historical claims and data provided by pharmacies. Our Price Match Guarantee covers generic drugs. Additional conditions apply. For more details visit our Price Match page. †Delivery may be subject to delays. Free shipping is available for most orders through USPS first class shipping. If an order is placed, or if a delivery period falls, on a USPS holiday, the delivery time window will be extended by additional days, as applicable. No deliveries on Sunday or USPS holidays. Home delivery orders ship from a licensed, US based pharmacy after a valid prescription has been received. No home delivery orders will ship without a valid prescription written by a prescriber. Blink Health's pharmacy team will transfer prescriptions from other pharmacies or prescribers. Home delivery orders may be subject to delays if those pharmacies or prescribers do not immediately respond to requests to transfer prescriptions to Blink Health's pharmacy team. ‡Promotional offer excludes opioids, E.D. (i.e. sildenafil, tadalafil and generics Viagra and Cialis) and hair loss medications (i.e. finasteride, generic Propecia), and any orders that include online doctor visits for E.D., hair loss, birth control, cold sores, high cholesterol or acid reflux. Cannot be combined with other offers. Blink Health is not sponsored by or affiliated with any of the pharmacies identified. The pharmacy trademarks and logos above are the property of their respective owners. Blink Health is not offering advice, recommending or endorsing any specific prescription drug, pharmacy or other information. Please seek medical advice before starting, changing or terminating any medication or prescription.

Disclosures: Blink Health is NOT insurance or a Medicare prescription drug plan. Users are obligated to pay the price presented during the checkout process. Blink Health is available to users at participating pharmacies only. No enrollment or periodic fees apply. Our address is 1407 Broadway, Suite 2100, New York, NY 10018, 1 (844) 265 - 6444, www.blinkhealth.com.