Caring for your heart if you have diabetes

Diabetes and your heart

Diabetes can damage blood vessels in the body. If the larger blood vessels become damaged, this can lead to heart problems.

Your doctor can help you reduce the chances of developing heart problems.

Talk to your doctor about:

  • Blood sugar control
  • Blood pressure and cholesterol checks
  • Medicines to prevent heart problems

Healthy lifestyle choices to discuss with your doctor include:

  • Not smoking
  • Eating a balanced, nutritious diet
  • Maintaining a healthy body weight
  • Limiting your salt and alcohol intake
  • Taking part in regular physical activity

Medicines and your heart

Keeping control of your blood pressure and cholesterol is just as important as keeping your blood sugar in check.

Medicines can reduce and prevent heart problems.

These medicines may:

  • Lower blood pressure;
  • Lower cholesterol levels;
  • Help prevent blood vessels from becoming blocked.

People with diabetes often need to take several different medicines to protect their heart.

Combinations of heart medicines are often needed

Most people with diabetes will need a combination of medicines to reduce their risk of heart problems.

Take this brochure and speak to your doctor about your medicines and caring for your heart.

Speak to your doctor about how you can best care for your heart if you have diabetes.

What should I do?

To care for your heart, and get the best from your medicines, it is important that you:

  • Ask your doctor what each medicine is for.
  • Know how to take them properly – at the right time and in the correct dose.
  • Keep taking them regularly and don’t stop without first discussing it with your doctor.
  • Ask your doctor or pharmacist about any possible unwanted effects and know what to do if they occur.
  • Ask for a CMI (Consumer Medicine Information) leaflet for each of your medicines from your pharmacist or doctor.
  • Tell your doctor about all the medicines and health products you are taking, including vitamins and herbal preparations purchased from health food shops, supermarkets and pharmacies.
Ask your doctor and your pharmacist for more information.

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