High Blood Pressure With Diabetes
The combination of hypertension and diabetes can be lethal, and together they can increase the risk of a heart attack or stroke. Having both conditions also increases the risk of kidney disease and problems with the blood vessels of the eyes, which could lead to blindness.
About 25% of people with Type 1 diabetes and 80% of people with Type 2 diabetes have high blood pressure.
Diabetes damages arteries and makes them targets for hardening, called atherosclerosis. That can cause high blood pressure, which if not treated, can lead to trouble including blood vessel damage, heart attack, and kidney failure.
High levels of sugar in your blood can lead to atherosclerosis. This is when there’s a build-up of fatty material inside your blood vessels, narrowing them. The narrower the blood vessels, the more the pressure builds up.
The more stress your blood vessels are under, the harder it is to push blood around the important areas of your body. This means your feet, eyes and heart are seriously at risk.
Nearly one-third of people who have high blood pressure don’t know it. Your blood pressure will be checked every time you visit the doctors or your diabetic health team, but I personally check mine at least once a week, at home with a home blood pressure monitor.
If your blood pressure is extremely high, there may be certain symptoms to look out for, including:
- Severe headache
- Fatigue or confusion
- Vision problems
- Chest pain
- Difficulty breathing
- Irregular heartbeat
- Blood in the urine
- Pounding in your chest, neck, or ears
What Should Your Readings Be
Readings vary, but most people with diabetes should have a blood pressure of no more than 130/80.
The first, or top, number is the “systolic pressure,” or the pressure in your arteries when your heart squeezes and fills the vessels with blood. The second, or bottom, number is the “diastolic pressure,” or the pressure in your arteries when your heart rests between beats, filling itself with blood for the next contraction.
When it comes to preventing diabetes complications, normal blood pressure is as important as good control of your blood sugar levels.
How To Lower Your Blood Pressure
A lot of it’s down to making positive lifestyle changes. But we know it’s not always that straightforward, and some people will need medication to help too.
- Keep to a healthy weight
- Be more active
- Reduce the salt in your diet
- Give up smoking
- Drink less alcohol
- Control your blood sugar levels
- Try different ways to cope with stress
Your healthcare team can support you with making these changes.
Most doctors use ACE inhibitors (angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitors) and ARBs (angiotensin II receptor blockers) first. Although other medications treat high blood pressure, these also prevent or slow kidney disease in people with diabetes.
Some blood pressure drugs may make your blood sugar and lipid levels worse. Blood pressure medicines can also cause erectile dysfunction. Find out from your doctor what your prescribed medicines might do.
When eating a healthy diet, there are key nutrients levels to monitor for heart health. Nutrients including magnesium, potassium and omega-3 are some of the best supplements to lower blood pressure.
High blood pressure is the leading cause globally of death and disability. It is the major risk factor for heart attack and stroke, and is also a significant risk factor for chronic kidney disease and chronic heart failure. Early diagnoses & early treatment of high blood pressure is very important if you are a diabetic. Please Look here for our Top 5 Home Blood Pressure Monitors, and look here to purchase any Supplements To Take
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Thanks, Garry ( Type 1 )