Grab a coffee and put aside the laundry for a moment. I know, I know, I’ve had a pile staring at me all week too, but this is worth ignoring for a few more minutes. We need to have a chat. It’s a tough conversation for those living with type 2 diabetes and a tough conversation for those who have risk factors they may not be aware of.
What if I told you that one in two people with type 2 diabetes will die of heart disease? Diabetes has to be taken seriously and some of these stats are difficult to hear but important. Managing blood sugar alone when you have diabetes may not be enough to protect the heart. The good news is, there are steps we can take to reduce the risk of heart disease.
I often worry about my own heart health. In my family we have a history of heart disease as well as diabetes. I understand personally the importance of knowing more about the connection between diabetes and heart failure, stroke and heart attacks, and yet, in all these years, it’s rarely come up when talking about the two. I’m glad now to know.
Heart disease is the number one cause of death for those with diabetes. 49% of those living with diabetes are not aware that their risk of heart disease increases significantly because of their diabetes.
I know what it’s like to look at my children and want the people in their lives to be with them as long as possible; their grandparents, aunts, uncles, family friends and of course ourselves. Let’s speak up for ourselves, and for those we care about and push forward this information. Here’s how:
By opening up the discussion, by becoming more aware of the issue, and by encouraging those we love to talk to their doctors, we can help. And there is good news. There are steps people with diabetes can take to reduce the risk thanks to recent advances.
Encourage your loved ones to speak to their doctor about ways to manage their risk. Send them a link with resources and information that they can browse themselves. If you are the one with diabetes, prioritize this message and book your appointment with your doctor today. It’s encouraging to see readily available resources and tools that can help guide the conversation as well, like a website that offers a discussion check list to bring with you to the appointment to help guide your questions.
When it comes to matters of the heart, health is paramount. We already know that the kids in our lives have a piece of our heart, which is even more of a motivation to ensure we take care of it. Protect your heart. Chat about heart disease and diabetes with your doctor, and visit myheartmatters.ca for more information.
This post is sponsored by an alliance of two of Canada’s leading research-based pharmaceutical companies, but the opinions are our own.