Blog Post

Are diabetics at risk of hypertension?

Posted by admin | on December 12th, 2016 | category:

Diabetes in itself is quite a serious disease. High blood sugar levels in the blood can cause severe complications in the body. Further, it also increases the risk for other conditions, one of which is hypertension (high blood pressure). In fact, according to the International journal of Hypertension about 50% of diabetic individuals have hypertension in India. While each of these put an individual at risk for other illnesses together they significantly increase one’s health risk, especially for heart disease and Alzheimer’s.

Relation between Diabetes and Hypertension

High blood sugar levels in the blood can overtime damage cells, narrow arteries and damage them. This leads to poor blood circulation and causes blood to be pumped at a higher force resulting in hypertension. Also, if the damage to these arteries and blood vessels is not corrected in time, it can lead to heart problems, stroke, kidney damage and even brain/nerve problems.

Another reason for the link between diabetes and hypertension can be a poor diet and unhealthy lifestyle. A diet rich in junk and processed food, lack of physical activity and obesity can cause either of the diseases and increase the risk for the other. Thus while for healthy people, a blood pressure reading of 140/90 is considered acceptable, diabetics are advised to maintain a level of below 135/80.

Keep in mind that there are generally no symptoms for high blood pressure. Most people with diabetes don’t even realise that their blood pressure is at the higher end and so it can go undiagnosed for a long time. Thus, it is essential to monitor your blood pressure regularly and at every doctor’s visit.

Are there additional risk factors for Hypertension?

People with diabetes can be at an increased risk for hypertension if they also include the following:

  • A high-sodium diet
  • Consumption of packaged and junk food.
  • High stress levels
  • Sedentary lifestyle
  • Smoking
  • Obesity or excess weight especially around the abdomen

As a diabetic, can I prevent hypertension?

Yes absolutely! People with diabetes are at a risk for hypertension if they do not maintain their sugar levels and lead an unhealthy lifestyle. However, if you are careful with your diet, maintain normal glucose levels and exercise regularly, you can keep hypertension and other complications at bay.

Here are some simple and effective Lifestyle tips that help prevent Hypertension in diabetics:

  • Load up on fresh fruits and vegetables
  • Eat less packaged foods like chips which are high in sodium
  • Avoid sprinkling additional salt on your food at the table
  • Maintain healthy blood sugar levels
  • Opt for baked goods over fried foods
  • Choose whole grain foods over processed foods
  • Do some form of physical activity for 30 mins every day
  • Keep your weight within a healthy range
  • Eliminate smoking and alcohol

In many instances, people with diabetes can improve their blood sugar levels and eliminate hypertension with a healthy lifestyle. However, in some cases additional medication may be required.

Note: Only take medicines as advised by your health care professional. Certain blood pressure medicines can worsen blood sugar levels and should be avoided by people with diabetes.

Adopt these simple changes as part of your lifestyle and you will see positive changes in your blood glucose levels. Also, you will feel better and be healthier overall. Be sure to check in with your doctor as and when required for confirmation that you’re hard work is being channelled in the right direction. After all, every bit of positive reinforcement is great for motivation!