Diabetic? Don't Skip Your Physical Exams

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If you have been diagnosed with diabetes for a while you have probably gotten the hang of monitoring what you eat to keep your blood glucose levels within the normal limits. However, this does not mean that you can skip having regular physical exams by your primary care physician. In addition, your doctor may send you to see a cardiologist on a regular basis. Unfortunately, diabetes can lead to heart disease. Here are a few things you need to be aware of in addition to your sugar level:

High Blood Pressure

Although medical scientists are not sure why it happens, if you are diabetic you have a higher risk of having high blood pressure. This can lead to a heart attack and/or stroke. Since there are no real physical symptoms of this condition, it is a good idea to have a blood pressure cuff at home and monitor your pressure regularly. You could do it every morning when you check your glucose level. In addition to diabetes causing hypertension, hypertension can lead to diabetic complications. It is a vicious circle.


Another problem people with diabetes are more to is high cholesterol and triglycerides. Unfortunately, it is the "bad" cholesterol or LDL, that seems to be above normal. Both of these float around in the blood and can form clots. These clots can cause blockages in the veins and arteries preventing oxygen and nutrients from getting to the different body organs. When an organ is without blood and/or oxygen it starts to die. If the organ is the heart it will cause a heart attack.


High blood sugar can cause damage to your veins and arteries. I can cause a buildup of plaque inside the blood vessels that will weaken them. Hardened arteries will make the heart work harder to pump the blood to the different parts of your body. This build up can also cause blockages. Over time, the clogged arteries can rupture or die. While a new vessel may form to go around the blockage, it will also put extra pressure on your heart.

While keeping your blood glucose levels normal is a big help to your heart, you should still be sure to have regular physical exams. You won't notice if your blood pressure, cholesterol, or triglycerides are too high without an exam and lab work. If you wait until you start having some kind of symptoms it could be too late.

Contact a medical center like Summit View Clinic for more information and assistance.