Diabetes,  Heart

heart disease and diabetes-Know this dangerous link

Heart disease and diabetes are the most deadliest diseases that exist on earth. Majority of people who are in hospital are suffering fromHeart disease and diabetes either one or both of these diseases.

Diabetes which is referred to as the condition of a person having high blood glucose or when the body cells are not sensitive to insulin.

People with diabetes are said to be at high risk of having a heart disease or stroke according to the America Heart Association. The good news is that the Association reported that diabetes is one of the major contributing risk factors for cardiovascular disease.

In this article I will be talking about the link between heart disease and diabetes. This will give you adequate information of the risk a person who is diabetic has regarding any heart related disease.


What is the link between heart disease and diabetes

According to the American Heart Association there is strong link between diabetes and cardiovascular disease. It is said that people of the age 65 and older who have diabetes, 68% of them die of heart related disease while 16% of them are reported to die of a stroke.

The American Heart Association further states that people with diabetes are four times more likely to develop heart disease than people with no diabetes.

The risk is extended to the point where it is said that people with diabetes tend to develop heart related disease earlier on in their lives.

The reasons for this is because a person with diabetes has the following factors which contribute significantly to heart disease.

  • Obesity

Obesity is a huge factor which has always been known to be the number contributor to heart disease. People with diabetes are normally the heart disease and diabetesones with obesity problems.

This thus increases their chances of developing heart disease even earlier in their lives.

  • Hypertension

Research and studies have shown a correlation between hypertension and insulin resistance. Hypertension and diabetes greatly increases the chances of a person getting a heart disease.

  • Bad cholesterol levels

Generally people who have diabetes have abnormal cholesterol levels: Their bad cholesterol (LDL) is very high while their good cholesterol level (HDL) is very low. This makes their risk to heart disease will be greatly increased.

Factors out of your control

When it comes to heart disease there are factors you cannot control since they are in born. These uncontrollable factors for heart disease are generally those you inherit from your parents from birth.

If you already have diabetes however you have more added uncontrollable factors which increases your risk even more.

Below are the further uncontrollable factors that you have if you have diabetes:

  • Family history

If you have a history of your family having either one or both of these diseases (heart disease or diabetes) you are likely to develop both these diseases very easily because of the genes may already have.

  • Age

Heart disease and diabetes

As you grow older you are more at risk on getting diabetic heart disease since your immune system is not as effective.

As you age you should always ensure your daily exercise doesn’t stop to keep your heart very healthy and strong.

Causes of heart disease in diabetic people

At this stage you may be wondering what is actually the cause of people with diabetes to be at risk of getting heart disease. Well actually the process is somewhat a bit complex.

I will lay it out in this article the best way I can.

There is said to be four factors which cause a person who is diabetic to contract a heart disease, The following are the factors:

  1. Cardiovascular disease, High blood pressure combination
  2. Metabolic syndrome
  3. Insulin resistance
  4. Atherosclerosis

The diabetic heart disease may be caused by either one of or a combination of these factors I mentioned above.

This is the reason why it is wise to know all about these factors to lessen your chances of getting diabetic heart disease.

I will expand on each of these so you can know a lot about them.

  • Cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure and diabetes combination
    Heart disease and diabetes

Cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure and diabetes are all equally the same when it comes to damaging your heart.

Cardiovascular disease is linked to or develops from high blood pressure since the heart’s muscles get weakened due to the stress in the heart arteries.

Cardiovascular disease is the disease whereby the heart arteries are blocked which causes the heart to get less oxygenated blood. Less oxygenated blood causes the muscles and the effectiveness of the heart to reduced drastically.

Diabetes alone causes huge blood glucose which makes the blood more sticky which then causes it to stick to the heart arteries. This cause blood to not be able circulate properly with oxygen in the body.

This makes the combination of these 3 factors too great which then comprises the functioning of the heart.

  • Metabolic syndrome

Metabolic syndrome is a condition of having many bad health conditions. These conditions are high blood pressure, excess fat around the waist, high blood sugar level, abnormal cholesterol levels and triglyceride levels. However,having just one of these conditions doesn’t mean that you have metabolic syndrome.

Having these conditions or the metabolic syndrome greatly increases your risk of getting heart disease, diabetes or stroke.

  • Insulin resistance
    heart disease and diabetes

The insulin resistance occurs to people with type 2 diabetes. This makes the blood glucose increase in their body which leads to more blood clots.

This process makes the people more prone to heart disease.

The atherosclerosis is a heart problem where there is a plaque in the blood which eventually causes a heart attack. This heart disease occurs commonly in people with diabetes.


Although the chances of getting a heart disease are alleviated for a person with diabetes there are still ways in which you can prevent this disease from causing havoc to your heart. Below are the ways to prevent the heart disease.

  • Healthy eating
    Heart disease and diabetes

Being a diabetic person you may already have many food restrictions or set ways to eat. But to reduce your chances of being heart healthy you diet needs to be even more regulated. You may look into eating a more heart healthy diet.

This is done by focusing on foods that are good for your heart and that will keep your heart arteries unclogged.

More than eating hearty foods what is more important is drinking heart healthy beverages as well as heart healthy snacks.

These two meals tend to take a lot of portion in what you eat daily so if you maximize in eating heart healthy in all respect you will help keep heart disease at bay.

  • Regular exercise
    Heart disease and diabetes

To get rid of obesity which contributes to diabetes it is vital to add exercise as a daily routine. The best exercises for heart disease is that which gives you less hassle and is easy to do. You can read this article here.

  • Reduce sugar/glucose in your daily consumption

Sugar is a big one because it has the potential of bring both the diabetes and heart disease in a person’s life.

It is wise to look for drinks and food that have no added sugar or excessive sugar. If you really want to have sugar in your drinks or food rather aim to get the source from fruits such as a banana.

This will assist not only in managing diabetes if you already have it. but it will reduce drastically the chances of you getting a heart disease.

  • Taking aspirins

Taking aspirins is a very good preventative or protective measure for diabetic heart disease. Aspirin is a medication used to prevent a person from having a heart attack.

It can also been used to unclogged heart arteries which is a condition that can develop in people with diabetes.

Although I wouldn’t 100% comfortable using aspirins due to their many side effects but it is a good choice. Please consult a doctor before taking aspirins as this medication can cause bad effects to some people.

The following are the related side effects from aspirins:

  • Upsetting of stomach
  • Gastrointestinal Ulcerations
  • Rash
  • Bleeding
  • nausea
  • Increase HDL (good) cholesterol and decrease LDL (bad) cholesterol
    Heart disease and diabetes

Increasing your HDL and decreasing your LDL cholesterol will help with preventing your heart arteries to be clogged which is the main contributor to diabetic heart disease.

This will ensure your heart arteries are not only clean but will keep your heart artery walls very strong and healthy.

The American Heart Association recommends a LDL (bad) cholesterol level of less than100 mg/dl.

You can also do this by eating omega 3 rich foods such as fish. The best choice is to follow a mediterranean diet as it will give you all the benefits of omega 3 naturally.

The best choice to increase your HDL cholesterol is to take a flaxseed oil capsule supplements daily or if you do not enjoy swallowing capsules you can substitute it with flaxseed oil as it can be incorporated into your food too.

Final thoughts

Having heart disease which is related to diabetes is a very chronic condition and if not managed before it happens it can be harmful to your life and reduce your lifespan.

The great thing is that if you take the right steps,as mentioned above, you can be able to put heart disease at bay while you are diabetic.

The great thing about the prevention factors which are mentioned above is that they can be used together or in isolation depend on what is effective to a specific person.







  • Edmond Boateng

    Thank you for the break down of these two conditions. People tend to ignore the fact that the problem is right in front of us but we ignore it and go with the flow.
    I do exercises and like to eat from natural sources and cut back on sugary stuff. That way I know I’m in check with my health and stay away from the hospitals and save myself a bank. haha.
    Thank you for this information.

    • Thabo

      Great to hear that you are keeping yourself healthy and in this way you will be able to keep heart disease and diabetes at bay.

      Neglect of taking care of a diabetic or heart disease can lead to a lot of complications in one’s health.

  • Melinda

    I think that you should be able to reverse heart disease and diabetes with proper lifestyle changes. People should exercise and eat a ketogenic diet if they want to reverse heart disease and diabetes.

    • Thabo

      Thanx for your feedback Melinda

      I disagree with using a ketogenic diet to reverse heart disease. The reason is because the ketogenic diet has dairy product which is actually the main culprit for clogged heart arteries.
      Actually when I had a heart artery blockage dairy products made my heart condition even more worse.

  • WIlliam

    One thing always affects another in the body. If you don’t take care of diabetes, it will get you in more ways than you think. Also, taking a low dose aspirin is good. I take one every day. Hopefully, I don’t have a heart attack any time soon.

    If you don’t watch what you eat it can be bad. My father is a diabetic and could care less about what he eats. He loves whole milk which is full of sugar. He almost killed himself.

    • Thabo

      Hi william

      You are right disease are always interconnected in one form or another. That is why when I cured my clogged heart arteries it made me very wary of protecting my whole health.
      Sorry to hear that about your father.

  • Allan

    Thank you for this great post I found out last year that I had high cholesterol and I now I am on tablets for the rest of my life to keep my cholesterol levels under control. Not the best for me health wise and to have to take tablets every day I hate it.

    I have been doing a lot of research on how to achevive this naturally and I am going to try flaxseed option now thanks and I’ll continue to follow your posts 😃

    • Thabo

      Hi Allan

      I am glad I could assist you live naturally as this community and website is all about (helping people with heart related disease).
      Living with the consumption of tablets daily is not a good way to live at all and I would never advice and you can check my other posts which talk about the wonders of flaxseed and the options you have with flaxseed oils.

  • Gail

    Hi Thabo.
    Thanks for this great article linking these two killer conditions. I used to work in health care education and these were two of the biggest areas I worked in, trying to educate patients about prevention, and then doctors about how to treat these conditions.
    For me, one of the biggest problems here is the way that these conditions can be ‘silent’ in that you often don’t realise that you have them until it is too late. Having regular blood pressure and glucose tolerance checks would be a great way for people to take more responsibility for their health too I think.
    Also, insulin resistance is a creeping condition that gets worse generally as people get older or are more obese so it’s great that you are highlighting it here.

    • Thabo

      Hi Gail
      What a great insight from a person who worked in healthcare. I am very happy that you have experienced these facts about these two diseases first hand as a health care practitioner.
      Indeed these disease creep in silently in people and that is what happened to me. But I am glad I was able to learn from it earlier on in life ,because now I know how to eat the right foods and focus on foods that will give my heart and body life.
      Thanx for your insight and helping the community learn more

  • Philip

    Hi Thabo,

    I read some time ago that aspirin can reduce cholesterol in ones heart valves. It is good to get that reminder here. I will be definitely buying some soon and taking one a day.

    I have known some people will diabetes and one lady in particular said its worse than cancer. When asked why, she said “because, with diabetes, you have to live with it for life!” – bit illogical, but there you go.

    I had no idea that heart disease and diabetes are so closely related. I have known very healthy people to be struck down with ailments. Seems like family history is going to get you even if you are super healthy.

    Hypertension – stay relaxed people. Even way back in the sixties Doctors noticed a link with tension and other ailments. They could not know why but just that stressed out people were falling ill over their counter parts. Nothing is worth more than your health.

    Great article and learned a lot here to day.

    Thanks Thabo.

    – Philip.

    • Thabo

      Thank you for a great and informative insight Philip. I do agree that family history will always get you even no matter what and the main thing one can do is to drastically be cautious at what they consume as this will somewhat help in the long run.
      This is what I always tell people close to me and it has come to a point where people think I am a health freak, but the thing is I have learnt from my bad experiences that bad health can be the worst thing you can get especially at a older age since your body and heart will not be as strong to recover again.

      Heart disease and diabetes are very related and in fact one makes the other worse especially diabetes. This is because diabetes tends to have all the facts that heart disease have such a producing high glucose in the blood which cause the clogging of heart arteries.

  • Fred

    Great post-Thabo I always love to read about ways to keep the heart healthy whether a diabetic or not. You have put together some great information that should be followed to the tee. One of the main things for diabetics and for all people to stay heart healthy is to keep their arteries clean.

    • Thabo

      Thank you Fred for your feedback, I appreciate it.
      Yes heart health is what this site is all about and if you follow all the information undoubtedly your heart will be very healthy and your heart arteries clean just like I did in my life.

  • Win

    Hi Thabo,

    This is a very informative website. I was able to learn that diabetes also affects the heart. I would be very careful with my glucose intake.

    I think I prefer to drink tea instead of coffee but it is still good to have coffee at least in the morning.

    Having a history of such disease is something out of our control but is something that we can also lessen with the knowledge and tips just like what you’ve mentioned in this article.

    Regular exercise is still one of the best way to get away from those diseases. That’s the reason that I usually jog every morning.

    • Thabo

      I am glad I could assist you. Indeed it is all about regulating your glucose intake with diabetes.
      Yes coffee is not a bad option at all especially if you opt for the heart healthy tea just like the ones I put on my previous posts.
      I am glad and happy to hear that you take care of your heart health by jogging every morning. Keep it up 🙂

  • Rania Masaeed

    Hi Thabo!
    Thanks for this beneficial article which connects the two killing diseases diabetes and heart diseases. It is the first time I know that People with diabetes are said to be at high risk of having a heart disease or stroke.
    I started from now before having diabetes or stroke to change my meals to healthy ones and depend mainly on fruit and vegetables. May God bless you all!

    • Thabo

      Great to hear your feedback there Rania

      Yeah these disease are very related and should never be neglected. I also started eating a plant based diet which focused on vegetables so as to cleanse by heart arteries.
      I assure you if you keep at it you will be able to achieve great heart health and overall health.

  • Judy Edwards

    This was a very informative post about the link between diabetes and heart disease. I had no idea they are so closely aligned but it does make sense.
    My father had severe arthritis over a long period of time but although he did mot have any other symptoms of heart disease he died of a heart attack at aged 53. It was the opinion of the doctors at the time that the arthritis put his heart under stress.
    Perhaps it is anything which causes the heart to stress which can cause the heart to fail. Diabetes is a very common illness among older people now and it is a consequence of lifestyle and diet choices as are many other health issues.
    You have addressed this well i the latter part of your post where we can take steps to alleviate these issues through diet and exercise.

    • Thabo

      Hey Judy

      Thanx for sharing your story and explaining how the heart can be put under strain by any illness. That is why it is vital for all people whether old or young, with heart disease and diabetes or not to take care of their health.

      I am very glad I could assist you

    • Thabo

      Yes diabetes and heart disease are very interconnected.
      I would suggest that you take flaxseed oil capsules instead of aspirins because flaxseeds are not dangerous to the body, but always check with a doctor to see if you do not have allergies for the flaxseed oil

  • stefanie taylor

    Hi there, wow, very interesting and informative article!

    It’s crazy that these 2 diseases are the biggest killers in the Western world, but makes absolute sense when you consider the average diet of refined sugars and trans fats. We’ve created a monster with our modern lifestyle and many are suffering for it.

    It makes me so sad because in most cases (even if you are genetically predisposed) it can be prevented with a healthy diet and exercise. I think the cure lies in education about healthy eating, and less advertisements promoting junk foods – even to kids! But that will probably never happen, therefore we have to educate ourselves. You are playing a part in that, so keep up the good work 🙂

    • Thabo

      Hey Stef

      You are very right the media will never educate people about healthy eating and it is for this reason why we have to stand together to promote heart healthy living

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