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Diabetes Management: Why High Blood Pressure & Diabetes Is A Deadly Combination?

High blood pressure or hypertension as it is called has become a common medical condition given the hectic and stressful lifestyle. It has become more common among people with type 2 diabetes. It is a matter of consideration that why both diabetes and hypertension occur together. The following common causes lead to the onset of both diabetes and hypertension.

  • Obesity
  • A diet high in fat and sodium
  • Chronic inflammation
  • Inactivity or sedentary lifestyle

Studies have projected startling numbers with respect to hypertension among diabetics, making it an essential diabetes management segment. About 25% of people with Type 1 diabetes and 80% of people with Type 2 diabetes have high blood pressure which also result from lack of management of diabetes. Having high blood pressure and diabetes together increases your risk of developing health complications, thus requiring diabetes management.

Ideal Blood Pressure of a Diabetic

While the parameters vary from person to person, the ideal range for a diabetic is prescribed to be not above 130/80. The first reading (130) is the systolic pressure, that is the highest pressure applied as the blood pushes through the heart. The second reading (80) is the diastolic pressure, which is the pressure maintained by arteries when vessels are relaxed between heartbeats.

Risks Involved in High Blood Pressure with Diabetes

The American Diabetes Association has stated that a combination of high blood pressure and diabetes, even if normal sugar levels are maintained, can prove to be lethal and lead to heart attack or stroke if not maintained within range. Both hypertension and type 2 diabetes can result in other diabetes related complications like kidney disease and retinopathy.

Constantly high blood pressure along with fluctuating blood glucose levels as shown in blood sugar test can lead to problems related to the brain like Alzheimer’s disease or dementia. Certain factors also contribute towards increasing your risks of heart problems or stroke, apart from blood sugar levels. These include:

  • family history of heart disease
  • high-fat, high-sodium diet
  • sedentary lifestyle
  • high cholesterol
  • advanced age
  • obesity
  • current smoking habit
  • too much alcohol
  • chronic diseases such as kidney disease, diabetes, or sleep apnea

Prevent Onset of High Blood Pressure with Diabetes

Certain lifestyle changes like opting for a healthy diet and exercise regime can drastically improve your blood pressure readings. A minimum of 30-40 minutes of exercise helps keep your heart healthy. Eating heart healthy diet is another significant lifestyle change required to be made. This requires eating less of sugar, salt, high fat meats, whole fat dairy products etc.

A Healthy Diet

Include the following in your daily diet:

  • Several servings of veggies during the day.
  • Low fat dairy products.
  • Avoid processed foods and make sure they contain less than 140 milligrams (mg) of sodium per serving or 400-600 mg per serving for a meal.
  • Opt for lean substitutes for meats, fish or meat substitutes.
  • Include brown and red rice along with whole-grain pastas and breads.
  • Eat in a smaller plate to limit your food intake per serving.

Treat High Blood Pressure with Diabetes

Improve your type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure condition with lifestyle as well as medication for best results as per requirement. High blood pressure medicines are included in the following categories:

  • angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors
  • angiotensin II receptor blockers (ARBs)
  • beta-blockers
  • calcium channel blockers
  • diuretics

It is best to carry out sugar test to maintain normal sugar levels and consult and follow advice of your diabetes educator or doctor to ensure you don’t end up taking the wrong medicine or food for diabetic patient. Be sure to check your blood sugar levels using a compact glucometer to record readings in diabetes management app. Also discuss these sugar reading patterns obtained from glucometer measurement in order to have a healthy life with hypertension and diabetes.

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