What can women with diabetes do about their heart disease risk?
- Control your diabetes: A1C - measure of your average blood glucose control for the last 3 months. Measure at least twice a year. ADA recommends a A1C of 7% although your doctor will may recommend more or less stringent goals
- Quit smoking!
- Maintain a healthy weight: Obesity is associated with insulin resistance
- Exercise: In addition to helping to maintain a healthy weight, exercise
- Control your blood pressure: The American Diabetes Association (ADA) recommends lowering your blood pressure to 130/80 or lower
- Lower your LDL (bad cholesterol) level and raise your HDL (good cholesterol) level: The ADA recommends a LDL level less than 100, and with therapeutic lowering agents, a goal of 70 is recommended for patients with multiple risk factors. An HDL level greater than 45 is recommended, although the higher the better!
- Know the atypical presentation of a heart attack: Heart attack symptoms in women often are different from those experienced by men. Although chest pain remains the most common symptom, women often also experience a burning sensation in their upper abdomen as well as lightheadedness, upset stomach or sweating.