The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) calculates that about 100 million Americans have type 2 diabetes. If you have the condition and want to check whether it’s affecting your heart and circulatory system, board-certified interventional cardiologist and vascular specialist Oghenerukevwe Odiete, MD, FACC, can help. At Peachstate Advanced Cardiac and Endovascular (PACE) in Atlanta, Georgia, Griffin, Georgia & Newnan, Georgia, Dr. Odiete provides evidence-based, personalized care to patients who have diabetes. If you’re worried about your heart health, contact Peachstate Advanced Cardiac and Endovascular (PACE).
Diabetes is a serious, long-term condition that develops when you don’t produce the hormone insulin at all, don’t make enough insulin, or your body can’t use the insulin it’s making. You need insulin to regulate sugar in your blood. Your body makes insulin in the pancreas and then secretes it into your bloodstream.
Some people have the autoimmune condition, type 1 diabetes. That means their body kills the cells that make insulin. Without insulin, your blood sugar levels can rise or fall dramatically, causing life-threatening complications. Type 1 diabetes usually develops in children and young people, and there’s nothing you can do to prevent it.
Far more people have type 2 diabetes, which means their body either isn’t producing enough insulin or it can’t make use of what it’s producing. Type 2 diabetes tends to affect older people, and, in most cases, is preventable.
Lifestyle is the chief reason why you would develop type 2 diabetes. If you’re overweight or obese, you have a far higher risk of developing the condition. Other risk factors include:
Weight is the main factor that influences your risk of getting diabetes. Losing weight and making healthy lifestyle changes should be a priority if you want to avoid the complications diabetes can cause.
There are numerous complications you could get if you have diabetes. Some of the more serious complications include:
Diabetes causes damage to the blood vessels around your body and makes you more likely to have high cholesterol, which leads to atherosclerosis or narrowed arteries. This, in turn, leads to heart disease and heart failure, and then to heart attack and stroke.
Diabetic peripheral neuropathy tends to affect the feet as they’re furthest from your heart. The peripheral nerves in your feet start to malfunction, causing tingling, prickling, or other odd sensations. Then your feet can go numb.
As a result, you might not realize when you have a foot injury. Infection sets in because you haven’t cleaned the wound. Poor circulation in your legs because of diabetes means injuries are slow to heal, and you could end up with a deep, painful open wound called an ulcer.
Ulcers are hard to heal, and people who have diabetic ulcers sometimes have to have their toes or feet amputated.
If you have type 1 diabetes, you need to take insulin. You might also need insulin or other medications like metformin if you have type 2 diabetes. The most effective way to manage type 2 diabetes is to lead a healthier lifestyle, so making changes is essential.
Dr. Odiete at Peachstate Advanced Cardiac and Endovascular (PACE) can help by treating your heart and circulatory problems.
Find out more about diabetes and heart health by contacting Peachstate Advanced Cardiac and Endovascular (PACE).