High blood pressure is a common consequence of diabetes and vice versa. But how are they related, and what happens when the two co-exist? Read this article to know more.
- Diabetic patients are at a higher risk of developing other severe comorbidities, including high blood pressure.
- Type 2 diabetes and HBP are linked, and each can lead to serious health complications.
- One must follow a healthy lifestyle to prevent the conditions, including eating a balanced diet and exercising regularly.
Diabetes and high blood pressure are two of the most commonly found chronic diseases in the United States. As a matter of fact, the probability of high blood pressure is 2X more in a diabetic person than in a non-diabetic.
This article will explore the relationship between type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure, discuss some complications that can arise from this condition, and provide tips on how to prevent them.
What Is Type 2 Diabetes?
Type 2 diabetes can be a vicious condition that presents itself in many symptoms and affects how the body processes glucose. It can be caused by insulin resistance or a reduced ability of the body to produce enough insulin.
If you experience high blood sugar levels for longer periods, you could see yourself developing disorders in your circulatory, nervous, or immune systems. For the best results, consulting with a doctor is recommended for long-term management.
How Is Type 2 Diabetes Related To Blood Pressure?
One of the many life-threatening complications of untreated diabetes is high blood pressure.
If left untreated, cardiac events such as heart attack, stroke, and even death are more likely.
Note that someone with diabetes and high blood pressure is four times as likely to die from these diseases.
Hypertension and diabetes are highly prevalent in older adults, with the highest rates found in individuals over 80 years old.
Risk Elements For High Blood Pressure With Diabetes
Having type-2 diabetes and high BP raises your risk of developing other diabetes-related diseases. Your eyes may be affected with glaucoma, kidney disease, and retinopathy. One possible condition is blindness.
Current evidence suggests that hypertension, and chronic high blood pressure, may speed up the onset of other health problems associated with ageing, like Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.
High blood pressure is a hazardous factor in the ageing brain because it impacts how the blood vessels act.
High BP is one of the top causes of cardiovascular diseases and stroke. This means that blood vessels in your brain, which can lead to problems associated with dementia and stroke, are especially at risk.
One of the most severe forms of DM can lead to systolic hypertension with or without antihypertensive treatment, making it hard to manage.
Another risk factor is pregnancy. A study has shown that gestational diabetes in pregnant women is associated with increased blood pressure. However, if these women manage their glucose levels during pregnancy, they’re less likely to experience high blood pressure.
Doctors often advise pregnant women to monitor protein levels in their urine if they have high blood pressure or preeclampsia. High protein levels in the urine may indicate pregnancy-related high blood pressure, although other indicators in the blood would confirm such a diagnosis.
What Should Be Your Blood Pressure If You Have Diabetes?
For people with diabetes, the general target for blood pressure is 140/80mmHg. But it’s important to talk to your healthcare team about your target blood pressure reading. The target will depend on whichever condition you have.
Many people don’t have any symptoms of high blood pressure and still suffer from the negative effects, including an increased risk of heart problems and other ailments.
This is because they get pushed to the point where their heart can’t handle the pressure, leading to acute effects like a stroke or loss of consciousness.
How To Avert Blood Pressure If You Have Diabetes?
If you already have diabetes, here’s how you can ensure high blood pressure doesn’t come close:
- Maintain your blood sugar levels
- Leave smoking
- Follow your medication routine
- Exercise regularly
- Maintain oral health
- Drink alcohol in moderation
- Manage stress
How To Prevent High Blood Pressure (If It Develops) With Diabetes?
HBP can be managed with lifestyle changes and some combinations of medications as prescribed by the doctors.
Prevention with lifestyle interventions
The lifestyle changes may include:
- Weight loss
- Low sodium consumption (below 2400 mg/day)
- Increased potassium-rich diet (DASH- Dietary Approach to Stop Hypertension)
- Moderate intake of alcohol
- Exercise and regular physical activity
The diet and routine activities aren’t studied extensively in diabetic patients, but these interventions might prove helpful for these individuals.
The suggestions seem promising as these interventions are believed to improve glycemic management and cardiovascular health in people with diabetes.
Prevention with pharmacological intervention
Besides routine changes, medications for high blood pressure are also useful.
People with diabetes have long been recommended to use ACEI and ARB since these drugs have been proven to help prevent hypertension in patients with type 2 diabetes.
These drugs are used by people with both types of diabetes, giving them a unique advantage in managing their illness.
Diuretics are important agents used to treat high blood pressure in people with diabetes. However, diuretics may cause hypoglycemia and disrupt insulin levels in the process.
Evidence suggests that low-dose spironolactone helps control BP in patients with hypertension and diabetes. The improvement is especially significant in those with <4.5 mmol/L serum potassium levels.
Sodium-glucose-transporter 2 (SGLT2) inhibitors
The sodium-glucose transporter plays an integral part in regulating blood sugar levels. Agents such as dapagliflozin, canagliflozin, and empagliflozin have similar efficacy levels for their glucose-lowering capabilities, weight loss features and impact on cardiovascular risk factors.
If you’re struggling with type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure, knowing the relationship between the two conditions is essential. Type 2 diabetes is a risk factor for hypertension, and hypertension is a risk factor for type 2 diabetes.
Both conditions can be difficult to manage, but working together can lead to better outcomes. There are many ways to prevent or manage both conditions, so you must talk with your doctor about what might work best for you.
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