High Blood Pressure and Diabetes: What You Should Know
By Jesus Chirino
Fact: Two out of three diabetics suffer from high blood pressure. This is a condition that under no circumstances should be taken lightly, as the complications that it can bring are very serious. Along with your diabetes, you must keep your blood pressure levels under control. It is vital for your health. Let's find out how you can do just that by understanding what high blood pressure is and how it affects you health.
What Is High Blood Pressure?
High blood pressure, also known as hypertension, is when the force that the blood exerts against the arteries is too high. Blood pressure is measured in two numbers:
Systolic Pressure: This is the pressure of the blood as the heart is beating. Your systolic pressure will always be a higher number than your diastolic pressure.
Diastolic Pressure: This is the pressure of the blood as the heart rests, in between beats. This will always be a lower number compared to your systolic pressure, as your heart is not beating.
What Are The Complications Related To High Blood Pressure?
Uncontrolled high blood pressure is a serious matter, and the complications that result from it are also very serious and could potentially threaten your life. They include:
Diabetic Retinopathy (Eye Disease)
What Are The Symptoms?
One scary fact is that high blood pressure usually has no symptoms. Some people find out as they experience heart, eye or kidney problems. Because diabetes can cause high blood pressure, it is especially important for you to have your blood pressure checked every time you visit your health care professional, or at least four times a year. There are also home blood pressure monitors available on the market, which you could purchase and keep track of your blood pressure levels at home, very similar to the way you keep track of your blood sugar levels. Always stay in contact with your doctor and let him/her know if you notice any dramatic changes in your blood pressure.
What Is The Treatment?
Once again and very much like blood sugar control, lifestyle changes play a huge role in maintaining your blood pressure levels at a healthy range. It is important to follow a healthy diet, exercise regularly (at least thirty minutes a day) and loose weight if you need to. If you smoke, it is important to quit. If you drink alcohol, make sure you limit yourself to no more than one or two servings a day. Always discuss with your doctor the lifestyle changes that fit you best, and come up with a daily plan or routine that will help you achieve your needed goals.
If lifestyle changes are not enough to bring your blood pressure down to a healthy level, your doctor may also prescribe medication. Medications used to treat hypertension include diuretics, beta blockers, alpha blockers, vasodilators, calcium channel blockers, angiotensin antagonists and ACE inhibitors.
The relationship between high blood pressure and diabetes is a dangerous one that could bring along serious, life threatening complications, as we have learned. Always remember that your healthy decisions and lifestyle changes could literally mean the difference between a long healthy life or a short one. With that in mind, prepare yourself to control high blood pressure and diabetes, and prepare yourself to live happy and healthy for a very long time.
For more information on diabetes, diabetes causes, complications and treatment, visit http://www.yourlifewithdiabetes.com
About the Author
Jesus Chirino is webmaster of Your Life with Diabetes, a website dedicated to providing free diabetes information and resources.
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