Dr. Chauncey W. Crandall, author of Dr. Crandall’s Heart Health Report newsletter, is chief of the Cardiac Transplant Program at the world-renowned Palm Beach Cardiovascular Clinic in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla. He practices interventional, vascular, and transplant cardiology. Dr. Crandall received his post-graduate training at Yale University School of Medicine, where he also completed three years of research in the Cardiovascular Surgery Division. Dr. Crandall regularly lectures nationally and internationally on preventive cardiology, cardiology healthcare of the elderly, healing, interventional cardiology, and heart transplants. Known as the “Christian physician,” Dr. Crandall has been heralded for his values and message of hope to all his heart patients.

Tags: Diabetic Your Hearts at Risk

Diabetic? Your Heart's at Risk

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Friday, 13 May 2011 03:51 PM Current | Bio | Archive

Diabetes and heart disease go hand in hand. A study from the University of Texas showed that people with diabetes who do not have heart disease actually have the same risk of heart attack as people already diagnosed with heart disease. This report led the American Heart Association to label diabetes “a cardiovascular disease” in 1999.

Insulin is a hormone that allows the cells of your body to absorb glucose from the blood and convert it to energy. People with insulin dysfunctions develop diabetes. When the pancreas — the gland that secretes insulin — is unable to make the hormone, the condition is called Type-1 diabetes. When the body is unable to use the insulin the pancreas makes, it’s called Type-2 diabetes.

Type-2 diabetes is also known as “insulin resistance” because the cells “resist” using the insulin that is present. Insulin resistance results in high blood sugar, high triglyceride levels, and inflammation — all of which increase the risk of heart attack and stroke.

Insulin resistance also increases inflammation in the body, which leads to plaque buildup in the arteries and a threefold or greater risk of heart attack and stroke. Symptoms of insulin resistance (Type-2 diabetes) include abdominal obesity, high
cholesterol, and high blood pressure. The skin around the neck may become thickened and dark, and there can be an increased incidence of skin tags. In women, excess insulin can cause an overproduction of testosterone, which has a negative effect on women’s hearts.

The best way to avoid insulin resistance is through proper diet and supplements. The numbers you should shoot for are:

• Fasting blood triglycerides, less than 100 mg/dl

• Fasting blood glucose, less than 100 mg/dl

• HDL cholesterol greater than 40 to 50 mg/dl for men; greater than 50 mg/dl for women

• Waist measurement, less than 40 inches for men; less than 35 inches for women

To get those numbers where you want them to be and keep them there, here are some lifestyle adjustments you might make:

• Emphasize low-glycemic, high-fiber foods like fresh fruits and vegetables. Limit sugar and processed foods. Choose healthy fats like olive and canola oil.

• Exercise 30 to 60 minutes a day to improve your cells’ insulin sensitivity. In addition, 20 minutes of strength training twice a week greatly accelerates fat loss.

• Sleep seven to eight hours a night. Chronic sleep loss impairs insulin function and results in added belly fat. If you have trouble sleeping, try a melatonin supplement at bedtime.

• A good multivitamin supplement is a must, and fish oil is a good source of omega-3 fatty acids that reduce triglyceride levels. Make sure you are getting vitamin D year-round by taking supplements when you can’t get exposure to the sun. Vitamin D helps regulate blood pressure and insulin sensitivity.

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Diabetes and heart disease go hand in hand. A study from the University of Texas showed that people with diabetes who do not have heart disease actually have the same risk of heart attack as people already diagnosed with heart disease. This report led the American Heart...
Diabetic Your Hearts at Risk
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2011-51-13
Friday, 13 May 2011 03:51 PM
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