Heart disease and diabetes

"I can't take a full swing," said John Brown. he is a little feeble on the follow through because his chest is still tender from bypass surgery. Three of his arteries were becoming too narrow for blood flow. "I'd been having a lot of light headedness, pain in me chest, shortness of breath," he said. John's been diabetic for eight years. Dr. Gregory Barsness says all pateints with diabetes have, "More and earlier blockages in all major arteries including the heart and they tend to die younger of heart problems." Normally, blood vessels and arteries respond to your body's needs by expanding to increase oxygen flow or coctracting to raise blood pressure. If you're diabetic your blood vessels may not work as effuciently. Blockages made of cholesterol and white blood cellsan form quickly. They cut off blood flow and increase your risk of  heart attack. Dr. Barnsess and a team at Mayo Clinic study ways to prevent and treat blockages. He says patients with diabetes should aggressively work to reduce risk factors and keep them under control. If you smoke, stop. Check your blood pressure, regulate your blood sugar, watch your cholesterol and watch your weight. And even though John's ribs still ache a bit three weeks after surgery. He takes steps every day toward regaining his life. It's a way John and his loved ones can plan on a future together.