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Can Diabetes Cause High Blood Pressure?

by Janet Alizo
dibetes and high blood pressure

Diabetes and high blood pressure have some common relations. The chance of a diabetic person having hypertension is far greater than someone who doesn’t have diabetes.

When you have hyperglycemia or high blood sugar if not well managed can damage the blood vessels and nerves which assist the heart in pump blood. the same thing occurs when you have high blood pressure, there is a strain on both the blood vessels and the heart.

When these two conditions combine, there is an increased risk of cardiovascular disease (heart disease) or stroke.

In this article, we’ll explore the relationship between diabetes and high blood pressure, and how best we can treat and prevent them.

Relationship between hypertension and diabetes

According to research, uncontrolled hypertension can lead to serious health complications including stroke and heart disease. What is less commonly known is that hypertension is also a common complication of diabetes. In fact, according to the American Heart Association, nearly 70 percent of people with diabetes also have high blood pressure.

There are a few reasons why hypertension is more common in people with diabetes. First, high blood sugar can damage blood vessels, making them more likely to narrow and harden over time. This process, called atherosclerosis, makes it difficult for the heart to pump blood efficiently and can eventually lead to hypertension.

In addition, both diabetes and hypertension tend to run in families, so there may be a genetic component to the comorbidity. And finally, obesity is a risk factor for both conditions, so the increased prevalence of obesity in recent years may be contributing to the rise in cases of hypertension among people with diabetes.

Whatever the cause, it’s important for people with diabetes to monitor their blood pressure carefully. High blood pressure can worsen diabetic nephropathy (kidney disease) and increase the risk of heart attack and stroke.

Can blood sugar levels affect blood pressure?

It’s a common question among those with diabetes: can blood sugar levels affect blood pressure? The answer is yes, they can. High blood sugar levels can cause damage to the blood vessels, causing them to narrow and accumulate plaque.

Plaque consists of substances like waste products, cholesterol, and fats. these substances build up and make the blood vessels narrower which in turn makes it harder for the heart to pump blood effectively.

when the heart is forced to work harder, it increases the force at which it circulates blood through the body which in turn can lead to high blood pressure.

This can decrease your chances of a heart attack, stroke, and sometimes even PAD (peripheral arterial disease). the number of diseases that affect the arteries which carry blood to a distant part of the body is often referred to as PAD

What type of diabetes causes high blood pressure?

Both type 1 and Type 2 diabetes can cause high blood pressure. When your blood sugar is too high and untreated for too long, it can damage your blood vessels, organs, and tissues.

This damage can lead to kidney disease, which can then cause high blood pressure. High blood pressure can also be caused by diabetes-related conditions such as heart disease, stroke, and peripheral artery disease.

What is normal blood pressure for diabetics?

blood pressure reading varies, but for someone with diabetes, the reading should not be above 130/80.

The 130 or the first number represents the pressure in the arteries anytime the heart squeezes and fills the vessel with blood. this is also known as systolic pressure.

The second number which is 80 represents the pressure in the arteries when the heart rests between beats and fills itself with blood for the next contraction.

It is important to note that having normal blood pressure is as important as having good control of your blood sugar level. This comes in handy when preventing diabetes complications.

what should a diabetic with high blood pressure eat?

If you have diabetes and high blood pressure, eating a healthy diet that includes plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and lean protein is important. You should also limit your intake of saturated fat, salt, and sugar.

AT best, try to work with your dietitian to help you create a meal plan that helps boost your insulin sensitivity and lower your A1c levels naturally.

hypertension symptoms and test

Hypertension usually doesn’t have symptoms this is why it’s often referred to as the silent killer.

According to the AHA (American Heart Association), almost half of the American population with age over 20 have hypertension. The sad thing is half of these numbers are unaware of their condition. 

 monitoring your blood pressure

Hypertension is calculated in millimeters of mercury (mm Hg). during measurement, there are two numbers indicated, one above and one below.

The number at the bottom is referred to as Diastolic blood pressure, and this is used to measure the force of blood when your heart is in between beats.

The number at the top is referred to as systolic blood pressure, and it is used to measure the force at which blood is flowing during each heartbeat.

Here is a chart of what the actual value of a blood pressure test should look like and details of when you need immediate medical attention.

Blood Pressure Category    Systolic   Diastolic
Normalbelow 120 below 80
Elevated     120–129 below 80
Stage 1 Hypertension 130–139 80–89
Stage 2 Hypertension 140 or higher 90 or higher
Hypertensive crisis  above 180 above 120

  Complications of Diabetes and High Blood Pressure

it’s important to control your blood sugar and blood hypertension.

Hypertension and blood sugar combined if left untreated or uncontrolled can damage your kidneys and other organs.

It can increase your risk of heart disease as well as stroke. some of its complications include;

Kidney disease

This is as a result of constriction and narrowing of the blood vessels in the kidney.  Hyperglycemia and hypertension are the common causes of constriction. When the vessels are damaged, they can no longer carry out their job effectively. This can cause excess buildup as fluid and waste can no longer be filtered.

Cardiovascular Disease

This generally refers to all diseases around the cardiovascular system. they include stroke, heart attack, heart failure, etc.

Peripheral artery disease

PAD involves the hardening of the arteries in the leg, arm, head, and abdomen which results in a decrease in blood flow from the heart to other parts of the body. This often results in pains and can also lead to neuropathy.

neuropathy is a condition that is common with diabetes. It causes problems with the connection between the body and the brain. This may lead to serious infection due to the slow healing of wounds and dead tissues.

Treatment and prevention

making modifications to your lifestyle is the best-known way to manage diabetes and high blood pressure. A simple change to your diet, exercise routine, and losing weight can impact your progress.

The first step in addressing hypertension is knowing you have it and how best you can. If you have diabetes and high blood pressure, here are a few things you can do to control it:

Watch your weight.

Losing even a few pounds can help lower your blood sugar. weight loss helps to reduce inflammation, improve insulin sensitivity, and improve vascular health.

losing weight can also help to lower hypertension by lessening the amount of stress on the heart.

Eat a healthy diet.

one of the best ways you can manage diabetes and high blood pressure is to have a healthy meal plan.

carbs are the major factor in blood sugar spikes. Consuming the right kind of carbs will provide your body with the right glucose that it needs to function effectively.

some fiber-rich carbs you can consume include; whole grains, non-starchy veggies, legumes, etc. these carbs provide the right kind of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that your body needs.

People with hypertension and diabetes might benefit from the DASH eating plan. This limits saturated and trans-fat as well as sugar and sodium. it promotes healthy foods like fruits, veggies, whole grains, fresh and dry herbs, legumes, and lean protein.

Medication

medication can be used to manage diabetes and high blood pressure. people with type 1 diabetes are required to take insulin daily. those with type 2 diabetes may need to take oral diabetes medication.

your physician will be in the best position to recommend the right medication based on how high your blood pressure is.

Warp up

Diabetes and high blood pressure often occur side by side. they can both damage blood vessels and give extra stress to your heart.

If you have diabetes and are concerned about your blood pressure, be sure to monitor your blood sugar levels closely.

Consult your doctor, they can provide tips on how to keep them under control.  As always, make healthy lifestyle choices like eating a nutritious diet and getting regular exercise to help keep your blood pressure in check.

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