Dr. Joseph Freedman MD, MBA
High blood sugar and cardiovascular disease are interconnected. In our country, nearly 30 million people have diabetes, and a vast majority of our population unknowingly has what’s known as prediabetes, which quickly escalates into the disease within a short amount of time. If you have diabetes, it’s critical that you see a cardiologist because it’s not a matter of, “will I have heart issues,” but rather “when.”
Heart disease and the issue of high blood glucose are very closely associated because of many risk factors contributing to what’s known as metabolic syndrome. Metabolic syndrome is a condition in which the high insulin and leptin levels are resistant, causing high blood pressure, high cholesterol, high triglycerides, and visceral fat to become significant risk factors for heart disease and coronary disorders.
Insulin is a hormone that helps move sugar into the blood for energy, in the case of an insulin-resistant person, they have too much sugar, and the body cannot adequately utilize the source. This leads to weight gain, obesity, and subsequently, a more sedentary lifestyle. Leptin is a hormone that helps regulate body weight by sending signals to the hypothalamus in the brain. When the signals are damaged, the body becomes leptin resistant, and a person may often feel extremely hungry and irritable, which contributes to a vicious cycle of overeating foods that are high in sugar and unhealthy fats.
In recent years, metabolic syndrome has become a commonly identified risk factor for cardiovascular disease because a vast number of Americans are overweight, and their bodies become inflamed; this inflammatory response affects their vascular structures. When the vessels are circulating high-glucose blood, atherosclerosis occurs at a greater intensity. Atherosclerosis is a build-up of plaque and causes a hardening of the arteries.
Unfortunately, sugar has become a significant staple in the American diet. The normal fasting blood sugar levels should be around 70-99 mg/dl. The normal A1C, which measures the blood glucose level, should be below 5.7%.
With diabetes and even prediabetes, these levels are at an unhealthy height and can be very hard to lower without major intervention with medication, exercise, dietary changes, and a lifestyle overhaul.
Metabolic Syndrome is caused by high lipid counts, high blood sugar, being overweight, eating a poor diet (sugar cravings), abdominal fat, high blood pressure (greater than 130/85 mmHg), and a lack of exercise. The risks associated are heart disease, diabetes, and stroke. Once you have metabolic syndrome, you must lose weight, lower your lipid levels, and reduce hypertension and combat stress. At this point, merely lowering your blood glucose is not enough. This is precisely the reason why so many people with diabetes that reduce their blood sugar, still are at high risk for cardiac episodes.
Type II Diabetes Complications Include:
• Heart Disease
• Vascular disease
• Kidney disease
• Skin Conditions
• Vision loss and disorders
• Non-Healing ulcers
• Alzheimer’s and Dementia
There is growing number of individuals (young and old) that are developing “prediabetes”. If this condition is left untreated their risk of heart disease, cognitive decline, strokes and other adverse conditions are extremely high due to impending diabetes an insulin resistance.
Being proactive about your health is critical. If you need testing, diagnostic imaging or a cardiology check-up, don’t wait. The earlier the diagnosis, the better the outcome and prospect for reversal of disease.
Joseph Freedman, M.D., Cardiac Care Group
Dr. Freedman brings many years of experience as a cutting edge cardiologist specializing in the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of all cardiac disease. He trained at the prestigious Cleveland Clinic, continually ranked #1 in Cardiovascular Care, where he focused on cardiac imaging. He achieved five board certifications in Internal Medicine, Cardiology, Comprehensive Adult ECHO, Nuclear Cardiology and Cardiac CT. During his tenure as the lead noninvasive cardiologist at Florida Medical Center in Ft. Lauderdale, he helped lead the hospital to achieve Level 5 chest pain certification, the highest designation of cardiac excellence.
He has spoken on national health care radio programs and has appeared on local news, highlighting the latest in cardiovascular care. Dr. Freedman prides himself on being an advocate for the patient. Every patient is unique, and he works carefully with leading local and national experts to make sure patients receive the best specialty procedural care possible for that particular case. Dr. Freedman has done research in cardiac MRI studies of the heart, in nuclear scanning, and has participated in the research trials of several leading cholesterol-lowering drugs. Dr. Freedman also has extensive experience in pulmonary hypertension and ran a large clinic in Broward County for these specific and often undiagnosed patients. Dr. Freedman speaks Spanish.
Contact Cardiac Care Group at (239) 574-8463
3208 Chiquita Blvd S., Suite 110, Cape Coral, FL 33914
This information is for educational purposes only and is not intended to replace the advice of your doctor or health care provider. We encourage you to discuss with your doctor any questions or concerns you may have.