Tag: heart disease

Healthy Swellness: 3 surprising heart facts you need to know if you have type 2 diabetes


It was only in the last decade or so when I learned about the serious complications that can result from type 2 diabetes.

I had thought diabetes was something most people could manage and control with medication and by improving lifestyle habits, yet research studies have shown that 1 in 2 people who have type 2 diabetes will die from heart disease.

When coupled with the dramatic increase in the number of people being diagnosed with type 2 diabetes every year, especially among the Chinese Canadian population where the incidence of diabetes jumped 15-fold between 1996 and 2005, those numbers are devastating.

While I don’t personally have a family history of diabetes, we do have a family history of heart disease, and so I know it’s smart to focus on healthy lifestyle habits that reduce my risk factors for both – including keeping active and trying to manage my stress levels (which, for me, means getting out in nature to hike or run with my dog).

Chinese Canadians are at a much higher risk of a diabetes diagnosis than Canadians of European descent, due to a combination of genetics and lifestyle changes. When I think of the people I know who have type 2 diabetes, and that half of them may not live to see their kids grow up, or go on that dream vacation they’ve got on their bucket list, or even simply enjoy everyday things for many years to come, like going for a walk with their dog, it’s heartbreaking. Which is why I think it’s important that we raise awareness around the connection between diabetes and heart disease. It could save lives.

Three things you need to know about type 2 diabetes and heart health:


  1. Diabetes significantly increases your risk of dying of heart attack, stroke and heart failure. Although most people with diabetes feel they are knowledgeable about how to manage their diabetes, more than half are unaware of the impact their diabetes has on their risk of heart disease.
  2. Simply controlling your blood sugar levels may not be enough if you have a history of heart disease While it is a critical part of managing your diabetes, there are medications that, along with following a healthy diet and exercise, have been shown to lower your risk of dying from problems related to your heart and blood vessels.
  3. People with type 2 diabetes develop heart disease at an earlier age than those without diabetes. How much earlier? 10 to 15 years earlier than those who do not have type 2 diabetes.



All of which is to say that there is no better time than now to take managing your type 2 diabetes and heart health to the next level if you aren’t already, or to encourage the loved ones in your life to do so themselves.

You can learn more at myheartmatters.ca, where you’ll also find a useful risk assessment tool to help determine what your personal risk is when it comes to type 2 diabetes-related heart disease. The more you know now, the more you can do to improve your health and reduce those odds of heart disease.



2 Comments November 22, 2018

Is that cupcake making you aggressive?

Cupcakes, evil? Possibly, if they contain transfats — or rather they could be causing you to be evil:

Eating trans fats could be making you be irritable and aggressive, says new research published in the journal PLoS ONE.

(and, in case you forgot, trans fats can increase your risk of heart disease)

Also, something I was reminded of today: when grocery shopping, check the ingredients for partially hydrogenated oil — if it’s listed there, that food’s got trans fatty acids in it.

Leave a Comment March 13, 2012

Focus on fitness, not weight

That’s right, shake ‘em buns!

Rather than weighing ‘em buns. What am I getting at? A lot of people, present company included, fret more about the number on the scale than we do about how fit we are. My weight’s stayed the same since I started running, and do I find that frustrating? Hellz yeah. Even though I’m obviously fitter (I sure don’t huff and puff as much as I used to and I’m much faster).

It’s how fit we are that may be as key (perhaps even more important) than our actual weight when it comes to lowering our mortality and heart disease risks, says a study conducted at the University of South Carolina School of Public Health. See, weight’s not necessarily a direct reflection of how fit we are (consider the muscle tone you gain when you become fitter, for example); you can read more about the study in the link above.

(the sign, btw, is one I photographed in Hong Kong this summer)

(and does anyone else have that Mystikal song stuck in their head now? Nope? Just me. OK.)

Leave a Comment December 6, 2011

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