Diabetes and High Blood Pressure

July 17, 2012 0 Comments

Blood pressure is defined as the force of flow of blood inside the blood vessels. This measure is reported as two numbers such as 130/180 mm Hg. The first number is called systolic pressure and measures the push of the blood through the vessels as the heart beats. The second number called the diastolic pressure and measures pressure in between heartbeats or when the blood vessels relax.

High blood pressure is one of the most commonly associated medical conditions with diabetes. US statistics reveal 2 out of 3 adults with diabetes also have high blood pressure. High blood pressure increases the risk of diabetics for strokes, heart attacks, and kidney and eye problems.

Controlling blood pressure involves dietary and lifestyle changes plus medications. When one controls blood pressure through diet and lifestyle modifications; they are also helping control blood glucose. The same dietary and lifestyle changes are essential parts of a diabetes management plan. Making healthy food choices and planning each meal such that blood glucose and blood pressure levels are lowered and maintained at target levels are both measures that mitigate high blood pressure and diabetes.

Since obesity is also associated with high blood pressure and diabetes, losing weight and maintaining a target weight is beneficial to both conditions. Avoiding alcohol and smoking are also lifestyle changes that will help lower blood glucose, blood pressure and cholesterol.

The same with diabetes, high blood pressure is not ascertained unless a person’s blood pressure is measured. The symptoms for high blood pressure can be confused with other metabolic diseases including diabetes. Testing blood pressure should become routine the same way as blood glucose monitoring. There are already self-monitoring blood pressure apparatus available so monitoring blood pressure is as easy as using a glucose meter to measure blood glucose.

Medications for high blood pressure vary from person to person. A diabetic with high blood pressure needs to closely coordinate with his doctors to choose the best medications and consider interactions of the medicines and side-effects. Generally high blood medication includes ACE inhibitors and ARB’s to help blood vessel relax and protect the kidneys in the process, beta blockers that makes the heart beat slower and with less force, calcium and channel blockers that keep the calcium from the heart and diuretics that eliminate extra sodium and water via the urine.

Controlling high blood pressure allows one to also positively impact diabetes management. It also prevents more deadly complications such as heart attack, stroke and kidney failure.

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