Diabetes increases the risk of cardiovascular disease, making heart attack or stroke common causes of death among people with diabetes. Managing your diabetes is critical to heart health. The good news is that many of the same things that you are already doing to manage your diabetes will also benefit your heart health.
The following questions can help you talk to your physician about how you can manage diabetes and work to safeguard your heart health at the same time. Print out or write down these questions and take them with you to your appointment. Taking notes can help you remember your physician’s response when you get home.
- How high is my risk for cardiovascular disease, based on diabetes and my other risk factors?
- Do my cholesterol levels put me at risk for cardiovascular disease?
- Is my weight within a healthy range to prevent cardiovascular disease?
- Can you help me quit smoking? (If you smoke.)
- Is my blood pressure within the normal range? Can you help me control high blood pressure?
- What dietary choices should I be making to manage both diabetes and my cardiovascular health?
- What level of exercise is safe for me and will also have cardiovascular benefits?
- Are there lab tests or diagnostic tests that you would recommend based on my risk factors?
If You Have Been Diagnosed with Cardiovascular Disease and Diabetes
- What are my treatment options? What combination of lifestyle, medication, and in-hospital treatments/surgery may be necessary to combat cardiovascular disease and diabetes?
- What is my prognosis? What are the likely outcomes?
- Will I be able to have my desired quality of life? What can I do to improve the odds of this?
- Which medical professionals should I be seeing and how often?
- Who can I turn to for support (hospital staff, support groups, etc.)?
Please print this list of questions here. Take them with you to the doctor and share them with friends and loved ones when you are encouraging them to see their doctors.