Millennium Post

Sweet is sour, if you read your heart

Well, it’s time that you make a note of it. Tomorrow, that is 29 September, is World Heart Day and it’s good time to think about your eating patterns that have a direct bearing upon your life choices. For example the medical bills you would accrue, thanks to the yet another block of chocolate that you can’t resist. Or, the birthday cake you finished because come on, it’s your and your spouse’s or your child’s special day, and what harm could possibly come from having that brick of gastronomic glory, that palate-teasing yummy concoction made to boost your sex drive, or so they say! But give it a moment. Is it really worth risking your heart for that fleeting happiness?

Diabetes is being seen as one of the main threats to human health in the 21st century. And according to Would Health Organisation (WHO), 347 million people worldwide are suffering from diabetes, an ailment that’s touted to become the seventh leading cause of death by 2030. Okay, here’s a fun fact. The WHO estimates that India will have the dubious distinction of leading the world in diabetes! Well, don’t be shocked. All those sweets and pastries and cookies and cakes just have to find a place to go and where better than build a little colony of sugar monsters in our very own blood. Serves us well, yeah?

So, the moot point is, it isn’t just about the highs and lows of blood sugar that is the worry. It is also how they affect your heart, the blood vessels connecting it to the other vital organs and the rest of your body. Essentially, cardiovascular disease could be a complication, or a secondary stage, of diabetes, though it not guaranteed that every diabetic will have a troubled heart or that every cardiovascular patient would have a history of diabetes. But they overlap and it wouldn’t hurt to exercise some caution. First, arm up with information. Did you know that nearly 70 per cent of people with diabetes aren’t aware that they are at an increased risk of heart attack and stroke? But here’s the flipside, you wouldn’t find a clue in the diabetics that hey are up for some serious mess in the heart, because it doesn’t show up, reason why the diabetics don’t often seek adequate medical care to fortify their vulnerable hearts. In other words, ‘silent heart attacks’ aren’t uncommon among diabetics. Diabetes can damage your blood vessels, making it easier for fatty deposits, or plaques, to choke them. Heart diseases and stroke are the number one causes of death and disability among people with type 2 diabetes and adults with diabetes are two to four times more likely to have heart disease or a stroke than adults without diabetes.

Secondly, regular tests help. They identify the problem when it’s still treatable and before it worsens. Treatments such as angioplasty are effective and quick ways to open up blocked arties. The new approach, the Resolute Integrity Stent is the first drug-eluting stent (DES) approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the treatment of Coronary Artery Disease (CAD). In fact, doctors in India have been using the resolute integrity stent for the treatment of CAD for sometime now and the results have been encouraging to say the least.

Finally, it is important to remember that diabetes is treatable, though the connections (leading up to complications) of diabetes and your poor heart could be well, life-threatening. But a little caution and some awareness would go great lengths to keep you and your heart safe from the ravages of the disease, which is actually, let’s be honest about it, a lifestyle ailment. So, get out of the couch, go to the park two roads away and take a jog, whenever you’re free. Make time for it.

Get exercise, walk to the supermarket and yes, cut down on all that sugar. If you really walk, jog, run or gym for half an hour a day, that birthday cake too wouldn’t hurt. But don’t overdo it!
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