Your Heart and Heart Disease

A Healthy Heart at Work:
Your heart pumps blood to all parts of your body. Your blood picks up oxygen from the lungs and then travels back to the heart. From there, oxygen-rich blood is pumped to the rest of your body through a network of arteries. To do its job, your heart also needs oxygen-rich blood. Your heart receives this blood from the coronary arteries. These blood vessels wrap around the heart. like all arteries in your body, coronary arteries need to remain healthy and unblocked to carry enough blood. Controlling your blood sugar helps keep them healthy.

When the Cornary Arteries Can't Carry Enough Blood:
Arteries in the heart may not carry enough blood to keep the heart healthy. When this problem occurs, it is called coronary artery disease, or heart disease. It starts with damage to the lining of an artery wall. The artery then narrows. Over time, it may become totally blocked and cause a heart attack (when part of the heart dies).

How High Blood Sugar Adds to the Damage:
High blood sugar may cause the walls of the arteries to become rough. This allows fatty substances to build up in the walls of an artery. More plaque may then form in these walls. Controlling your blood sugar can help slow or prevent this damage.