7 Tips to Talk About Diabetes and Heart Disease

Find out how to start a lifesaving conversation.

7 Tips to Talk About Diabetes and Heart Disease

If your loved ones are currently living with diabetes, it's important that they know how to manage their condition to lower their risk of heart disease and other serious complications. If you want to talk to your friends and family but you're not sure how to start, here are seven tips to start a meaningful conversation: 

1. Help your loved ones find a healthcare provider they trust.

Seeking professional help is the first step to preventing complications from diabetes. 

2. Advise them to get seven to eight hours of sleep nightly.

Studies have shown that people who sleep less than six hours have nearly two times the risk of developing heart disease. 

3. Offer to go grocery shopping with them. 

Help your loved one stock up on diabetes-friendly foods like beans, fresh fruit, non-starchy vegetables, high-fiber foods, full-fat dairy, and plenty of lean protein.

4. Suggest taking a yoga or meditation class together.

Taking the time to breathe, unwind, and relax can do your heart a lot of good. Staying calm and collected can keep your heart healthy in the long run.

5. Encourage them to go online and fill out the ASCVD Risk Calculator.

This tool, available from the American College of Cardiology and the American Heart Association, can help demonstrate how their diabetes and other conditions play a large role in their risk for developing heart disease later on.

6. Buy them a pill organizer.

Not everybody with diabetes needs insulin – many can be managed with oral medications only.  And many people need to take other pills as well, like an aspirin or a statin. But being compliant with so many pills can be difficult! A simple pill organizer can help your loved one remember to take all of their medications every day, keeping their medical conditions well-controlled. 

7. Make sure they go to all of their follow-up appointments.

Diabetes has many complications besides heart problems.  Make sure your loved ones are regularly being seen by all of the different kinds of doctors their primary care physician recommends – especially an endocrinologist, podiatrist, ophthalmologist, and nephrologist.

4 Steps to Shedding Your Pandemic Pounds

Forgive yourself, and start walking toward a healthier you.

For those of you who have put on the Pandemic Pounds or added several new COVID Curves, you are not alone. Alarmingly, the American Psychological Association has recently published that almost half of all adults in their survey now have a larger physique. In fact, 42% of people reported gaining roughly 15 pounds (the average published was surprisingly 29 pounds but that included outliers) over the past year. Interestingly, 20% of adults in this survey lost about 12 pounds (I am surely not in this group). Clearly, there is a relationship between stress and weight change. In addition, one in four adults disclosed an increase in alcohol consumption, and 67% of participants distressingly revealed that they have new sleeping patterns.

This past year has brought about what has been called the 'new normal.' Social isolation and inactivity due to quarantining and remote working have sadly contributed to the decline in many people's mental and physical health, as demonstrated by the widespread changes in people's weight, alcohol consumption, and sleeping patterns. Gym closures, frequent ordering of unhealthy takeout, and increased time at home cooking and devouring comfort foods have had a perceptible impact. In addition, many people have delayed routine medical care and screening tests over fear of contracting Covid-19 during these visits. Unfortunately, the 'new normal' has now placed too many people at risk for serious health consequences, including heart attacks and strokes.

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