Diabetes and Hypertension | The Lethal Combination

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diabetes and hypertension

Hypertension (high blood pressure) often affects people with type 1 and type 2 diabetes. Having these conditions together can make them both worse. Hypertension is also known as the “silent killer”. This is because it usually has no signs or symptoms and many people are not aware they have it. In this blog, read how diabetes and hypertension are related.

A blood pressure higher than 140/90 needs to be monitored, especially if you are a diabetic. High blood pressure can increase a person’s risk of stroke and heart attack and is quite often an occurrence with diabetes.

What is Blood Pressure?

It is measured in millimetres of mercury and can be assessed with the help of a blood pressure monitor.

A normal BP is 120/80. The first number refers to systolic BP or the highest level of pressure during a heart beat, and the second is diastolic and points to the lowest level.

If your reading is between 120 and 139 for systolic pressure and between 80 and 89 for diastolic pressure, your condition is considered pre-hypertension. For readings of 140/90 mm Hg or higher, the condition is considered high blood pressure or hypertension.

Hypertension is a condition that can be controlled with a healthy lifestyle. This includes exercise, a low fat and low sodium diet, and overall management of your health. If necessary, even by using medication. As per various studies, at least 1 out of 3 patients with diabetes type 1 were found to have hypertension. The effect of any one of these diseases makes the other worse.


Diabetes and Hypertension


  • Decreases the ability of blood vessels to stretch
  • Increases the amount of fluid in the body
  • Changes the way your body manages insulin

Hypertension and diabetes generally share similar risk factors, including being overweight. This happens usually because of an unhealthy diet, and an inactive lifestyle. If your blood pressure goes below the normal mark, consult your doctor to avoid complications. The combination can be lethal, and together they can increase the risk of a heart attack or stroke. It can also lead to kidney and eye complications. 

In addition to diabetes, these conditions can also affect your blood pressure:

  • Having a family history of heart disease
  • Regular stress
  • Consuming high fat or high sodium diet
  • Being inactive
  • Being overweight
  • Regular smoking
  • Over-consumption of alcohol
  • Low levels of potassium
  • Having other conditions like kidney disease or inflammatory arthritis

Read More: Diabetes Insipidus vs Mellitus: Causes and Treatment

Hence, lifestyle management is the best way to lower the risk of high blood pressure. Losing even a small amount of weight can make a huge difference in bringing down blood pressure. People who live with both conditions should try to be active at least five days a week. Also closely monitor your diet and blood sugar levels. Keep a glucometer handy to know when sugar levels get out of control.

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