It is a known fact that diabetes is a disease which is today affecting a large population of people around the globe. Tackling diabetes often becomes really challenging because of the several other complications that it brings along. One of the varied complications includes hypertension or high blood pressure.
Several studies and research fhave established the correlation between the two diseases. While an ideal blood pressure reading for a normal average adult should be 140/90, a person suffering from diabetes is often kept under examination to maintain a blood pressure which is lower than 135/80. This is particularly true of type 2 diabetes. In most of the cases with diabetes patients, this is the first and foremost thing which the doctor would want to ensure.
In the following article, we discuss ‘Diabetes and High Blood Pressure: their relation, causes, symptoms, and whether the same can be treated?’
Table of Contents
What is the Meaning of Hypertension or High Blood Pressure?
Let us first begin by understanding the meaning of hypertension or high blood pressure.
Hypertension or high blood pressure refers to a condition in which the flow of blood from the blood vessels and the heart occur with an abnormally high force. Over the period of time, the patient develops a host of complications and cardiovascular diseases.
What is the Relation Between Diabetes and Blood Pressure?
Let us now understand the relation between diabetes and hypertension or high blood pressure.
There is a close relation between the two diseases: diabetes and high blood pressure and if a patient suffers from one of the above diseases, the chances of contracting the other disease are often very high. Studies show that at least 70% of the diabetes patients often suffer from the problem of high blood pressure and people with both the diseases are twice as much as those who suffer from only high blood pressure or only diabetes.
In the following paragraphs, we delve deeper and try to understand why does this correlation exist and what are the symptoms, treatment and how can a proper diet plan help in preventing the same.
What Causes High Blood Pressure in a Person Suffering from Diabetes?
As mentioned above, people suffering from diabetes have a higher risk of suffering from hypertension or high blood pressure. Let us find out the reasons for the above statement:
- Diabetes and hypertension often occur together because the effects of one condition give rise to complications in the human body which lead to the other condition.
- It is a known fact amongst the medical practitioners that when a person suffers from diabetes, there is often a considerable increase in the number of fluids in the patient. The increased fluids thus give rise to the problem of high blood pressure.
- Diabetes is also known to adversely affect the functioning of the arteries. This, in turn, causes the problem of high blood pressure.
- When a person is obese and has very little physical activity going on, the risk of contracting both diabetes and hypertension increases.
- Diabetes can also cause high blood pressure problem as when a person suffers from the disease, there is a greater possibility of retaining the content of sodium in the body which is known to increase the blood pressure.
- The main reason of diabetes is that the body is not able to either use the insulin produced by the pancreas properly or the pancreas is not able to produce the required amount of insulin. This, in turn, gives rise to the problem of high blood pressure.
- If you are habituated with a diet plan which is very high in both salt and sodium, you will not only suffer from a lot of organ problems but will also be at a greater risk of contracting both the diseases.
- Finally, in some advanced cases of diabetes, it is very much possible that the blood vessels of the body will stretch to a considerable extent. When this happens, there is a chance that the patient will suffer from a high blood pressure problem too.
How does High Blood Pressure Affect Diabetes?
When a person has high blood pressure along with diabetes, there are a huge number of complications that occur. If you are a diabetic patient and you suffer from high blood pressure, you are exposed to a greater possibility of getting heart diseases. Not only this, kidney problems also become rampant. A lot of eye problems such as cataract, glaucoma, and even blindness make the treatment of diabetes extremely difficult.
Hence, doctors always try to keep the blood pressure at a reasonable range especially if you suffer from diabetes. In a person without diabetes, a blood pressure reading of 140/90 is what is normal vis-à-vis a diabetic patient whose average blood pressure reading should be around 135/80.
What are the symptoms of High Blood Pressure?
Although there are no defined symptoms of high blood pressure, a few people may suffer from the following problems:
- Headaches at regular intervals.
- People with a high blood pressure also complain about blurred vision.
- Severe feeling of anxiety.
- A few people may suffer from the frequent problem of a bleeding nose too.
- Some may experience acute breathing problems due to high blood pressure.
Since the symptoms of the deadly condition are not very well-defined, it is often recommended that it is imperative to visit the doctor at regular intervals for getting it checked and you can also use a BP monitor machine at home.
Is There a Treatment Available?
As high blood pressure can lead to a number of problems in a diabetic patient and can make the treatment of diabetes extremely complicated and even impossible, it is imperative to take important measures that can lead to the prevention of the same.
A proper diet, exercise, and expert advice will help all those who suffer from the problem of high blood pressure as a result of suffering from diabetes.
The Available Treatments
There are a lot of measures which when followed, will help you to regulate the problem of high blood pressure even if you are suffering from diabetes. Do keep the following preventive measures in mind:
- If you are a person suffering from weight issues, do make it a point to adopt steps which will help you to lose weight. Obesity is one of the main reasons why people tend to contract diabetes and in turn, high blood pressure.
- Exercising or any other kind of physical activity is the one-stop solution to most of the problems. There is no doubt that when you maintain and keep yourself physically active, the problem of blood pressure is kept at bay.
- Bringing changes to lifestyle will go a long way in helping you in the treatment of high blood pressure. A few lifestyle changes include improving your overall diet, quitting the habit of smoking and drinking, etc.
- There are a lot of medical drugs which are today available for the treatment of the problem which causes a lot of complications in the human body.
What are the Available Medical Treatments?
Doctors recommend a lot of treatment apart from dietary changes and physical activity for treating high blood pressure. A few drugs that help treat the problem include:
- Diuretics, such as Thiazide Diuretics helps in controlling the excessive blood pressure of the body as they lead to the reduction of sodium content which is known to hugely affect and give rise to the problem of high blood pressure.
- ACE inhibitors are also recommended by doctors as they lead to the narrowing of the blood vessel.
- There are calcium channel blockers which ultimately help control the problem of high blood pressure as they work on improving the blood vessels of the body.
- Then, there are renin inhibitors like Tekturna which lead to slower production of renin mainly responsible for causing high blood pressure in the body.
- Vasodilators are sometimes recommended as they act on the blood arteries and enhance proper circulation of blood to enable the healthy flow of blood thereby maintaining the desired blood pressure.
- Beta blockers and alpha blockers are also used to prevent the blood vessels from getting narrowed down. Narrowing of the blood vessels contributes to high blood pressure to a great extent.
Apart from the above- mentioned drugs, there is a host of other medications which are prescribed by the experts which help treat the problem.
Some Dietary Plans Which Can Help Control the High Blood Pressure
Following a proper and a healthy diet is what is recommended by the doctors to treat the high blood pressure. Following are some of the measures which should be taken as far as the diet is concerned:
- Make sure to reduce the intake of salt as well as sodium in the food you eat. Replace the salt with other spices and even herbs.
- Include a lot of fruits in your diet. Fruits which really work wonders are apples, oranges, and bananas. Besides, broccoli and carrots are also considered healthy if you want to control high blood pressure in the body.
- Also, do make it a point that you start eating legumes if you are not doing so already.
- Besides, eat a lot of whole grain foods and cereals.
- Drinking alcohol is strictly prohibited when you are suffering from the problem of high blood pressure.
- Make sure you are avoiding any kind of red meat.
- Intake of coconut oil is also not considered healthy for blood pressure regulation.
- Finally, as it is with other complications in the body, make sure you avoid drinks and juices which have only empty calories in them in the form of sugar.
Any person can suffer from the problem of high blood pressure. The chances of getting the complication will only increase with diabetes due to the two diseases sharing a few similar complications and medical problems.
Hence, it becomes extremely important that you try to keep the problem under control as it leads to several other complications and even the treatment of diabetes becomes extremely difficult.
Finally, before you reach any conclusion and settle on a particular diet and lifestyle, it is always advisable to seek help from your medical expert. You need to keep in mind that what is suitable for others may not be suitable for you and hence an expert advice is always preferable!