A Wealth of Resources at Your Fingertips
You are not alone on your diabetes journey. Millions of Americans are with you.
The collaboration between the American Diabetes Association® (ADA) and the American Heart Association® (AHA) brings our pioneering heart health initiative, Know Diabetes by Heart™. The initiative was originally designed with people living with type 2 diabetes in mind, and we know that people with prediabetes and type 1 and gestational diabetes are also at higher risk for developing cardiovascular disease. Whether you're living with prediabetes or type 1, type 2, or gestational diabetes, Know Diabetes by Heart provides the tools and information you need to help reduce your risk for cardiovascular disease, such as heart attack or stroke.
What is the connection between diabetes and cardiovascular disease (CVD)?
Yes. Here are the facts:
- High blood sugar (blood glucose) can weaken or damage the blood vessels and nerves in your body, including those that affect your heart.
- Many people with diabetes also have high blood pressure. This condition, also known as hypertension, forces blood through your arteries at an increased pressure.
- High cholesterol takes its toll, too. Plaque builds up on the artery walls, affecting blood flow.
Dealing with a Heart Condition and Taking Preventive Measures
The resources created by Know Diabetes by Heart offer guidance on how to manage your diabetes and your overall heart health. For example, many of us struggle with portion sizes and eat larger portions than we realize. Not reaching your blood sugar targets also puts you at higher risk for heart disease or heart attack or stroke.
“So, what can I eat?"
That's a common question that people who are newly diagnosed with diabetes ask.
Eating the right amount of food in your eating plan makes a big difference in your ability to reach your treatment targets. Check out Diabetes Food Hub® for healthy, easy, and fun recipes and tools like shopping lists with items that can be purchased on the site.
You can expect nutritious and satisfying recipes such as:
- Roast Turkey With Orange-Spice Rub
- Green Beans With Mushrooms and Onions
- Spinach and Artichoke Dip
- Poached Pears With Pomegranate Sauce
Listen and Learn: Ask the Experts Q&A
During our live Q&A series, you have the opportunity to ask your questions to our experts and learn about current research, practical tips, and support options to help tackle the issues that people with prediabetes and diabetes face. Want to understand the connection between heart health and diabetes? Are you wondering how to make the most out of your health visits?
The ADA experts have the answers and you'll hear them in real time. The sessions are live, so you can send in your questions online or by phone. Sign-up to stay in the know about upcoming events.
Know Diabetes by Heart also offers tips to help you deal with everyday stress. Common causes of stress—such as a busy schedule, a change in routine, family difficulties, or all of the above—can impact your blood sugar and strain your heart.
Here are tips for managing stress:
- Stick to your eating plan. This will help you avoid feeling hungry and give you the energy you need through the day. Get moving. It will boost your mood. Go for an after-meal walk. It help your body use blood sugar and burn calories and, if you walk with them or call them during your walk, give you time to catch up with family and friends. For added encouragement, try reading our Get Motivated to Get Moving guide.
- Prioritize your emotional health too. When you are upset or feeling stressed, your body makes stress hormones that can make your blood glucose go up and make diabetes harder to manage. Stress can also make it harder to think about taking care of yourself. Everyone deals with feelings in different ways. Finding what works for you is important.
How do you usually deal with stress? From alcohol to comfort eating or smoking, be conscious of negative coping mechanisms so you can actively avoid them. Learn more about Taking Care of Your Mental Health.
Build a strong support network. Share your health goals with family and friends and ask them for their encouragement to help you to stay on track to reach your goals.
Join the Know Diabetes by Heart Initiative
Whether you have diabetes or are caring for someone who does, sign up for the Know Diabetes by Heart Initiative to receive the monthly newsletter, containing:
- Tips and tools from the ADA and the AHA.
- Resources backed by the most current research in the medical field.
- Personal stories from people living with or caring for those with diabetes and heart disease.
- Delicious recipes. Find healthy twists on your favorite meals and introduce you to creative, low-calorie, easy-to-make dishes.
- Access to the Know Diabetes by Heart initiative library
Maintain Your Health With Know Diabetes by Heart
Since managing your diabetes and preventing associated heart conditions requires your active involvement on a daily basis, we've created tips (available in English and Spanish) to inform and empower you.
- Where to Begin on Your Heart Care Journey
- Type 2 Diabetes and Understanding my Medications
- Heart Health: The Link Between Type 2 Diabetes and Chronic Kidney Disease
- COVID-19: How to Get Ready for a Telehealth Appointment
- Things You Can Do to Reduce Risk of Heart Failure
- Seven Tips to Care for Your Heart When You Have Type 2 Diabetes
Explore our Ask the Experts Archive for more practical advice.
If you’ve missed any of our monthly Q&A sessions, you can always stream the full audio and highlight clips online. Past sessions include:
- Best Foot Forward: Type 2 Health Care
- Build Healthy Meals While Eating at Home
- Getting and Giving Support
- Physical Activity: Getting Started and Staying on Track
- Diabetes Education Programs
Meet the ADA Ambassadors and Champions
Allow the ADA's Ambassadors and Champions to enlighten and inspire you. We've collected stories from everyday people—those who have faced challenges and persevered, such as Christina Herrera, a Dallas teacher from a family with a history of diabetes. Diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, she became a 10k marathon runner despite having triple bypass surgery.
"Getting up every morning is a wonderful thing," says Herrera. “Diabetes is not hopeless. You can make changes."