If you’re a diabetic, you are twice more prone to hypertension than those without diabetes.
And, you will be 4 times more prone to heart disease and stroke than others, if you have both diabetes and hypertension.
But what is high blood pressure and how does your diabetes make it complicated or risky?
What is High Blood Pressure?
Hypertension or high blood pressure is a condition in which the force of the blood against the walls of the arteries increases. This extra force squeezes the heart muscle and reduces the amount of blood that flows through the coronary arteries. This results in lower supply of oxygen to your heart muscles and other parts of your body.
Under normal conditions, your blood pressure level will be less than 120/80 mmHg. (120 systolic, 80 diastolic)
But if your systolic blood pressure is greater than 140 mmHg or diastolic blood pressure greater than 90 mmHg, then you have hypertension.
It is also referred to as elevated blood pressure.
What Causes Hypertension?
Hypertension, or high blood pressure, can be caused by multiple factors, including genetics, lifestyle habits (such as diet, exercise and stress), age and underlying medical conditions (such as kidney disease or hormonal disorders). An imbalance between blood volume and blood flow can also contribute to hypertension, but it is not the only cause.
Primary or essential hypertension is developed over time, and there may not be any visible signs or symptoms of it at all. It is a condition in which your arteries get hardened due to plaque buildup (atherosclerosis). This eventually increases the chances of your high blood pressure.
Secondary hypertension can occur due to your existing medical conditions or medications (kidney disease, thyroid problems, oral contraceptives, pain killers etc). Symptoms of secondary hypertension may show up suddenly and spike your blood pressure level.
What Damages Can High Blood Pressure Cause?
Hypertension can cause damage to your kidneys, eyes, brain, nerves and other organs. It also increases chances of stroke and heart attack.
If left untreated, high blood pressure can lead to serious complications such as kidney failure, blindness and even death.
Treatment for Hypertension
There are several treatment options available for your hypertension, including lifestyle changes and medication.
Lifestyle changes include eating healthy foods, exercising regularly and managing stress.
Medication includes drugs called antihypertensives, which lower blood pressure by relaxing the muscles of the arteries.
Reducing alcohol and quitting smoking will greatly help you lower your blood pressure.
Can Diabetes Elevate Your Blood Pressure?
Yes, it can.
Diabetes can scar your kidneys that can lead to salt and water retention. This, in turn, leads to an increase in your blood pressure.
Diabetes can also progressively damage your small blood vessels by stiffening their walls. This is often developed into hypertension.
What Should You Do?
If you have hypertension, there are ways to prevent it from getting worse.
You should talk to your Doctor about what steps you can take to reduce your risk of developing high blood pressure.
Medications can help you lower your blood pressure levels, but they’re not everything.
You must make healthy lifestyle changes, like sticking to an exercise routine or eating good healthy foods.
In a nutshell, both your diabetes and high blood pressure can be controlled and managed for you to lead a healthy life.
If you have a question related to this blog post, write to us here and we will update this post with a response.
Sources: Johns Hopkins, WebMD, Diabetes UK, Medical News Today, American Diabetes Association, Patient, National Library of Medicine and NewYork-Presbyterian.
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