Diabetes and hypertension: What is the relationship?

Hypertension, also known as high blood pressure, often affects people with type 1 and type 2 diabetes.

The American Diabetes Association reports that from 2000 to 2012, 71 percent of adults with diabetes had a blood pressure of greater or equal to 140/90 or were taking medications to help normalize blood pressure.

What are hypertension and diabetes

Many people with diabetes also have hypertension, or high blood pressure. Having these conditions together can make them both worse.

What is hypertension?

Known the “silent killer,” hypertension usually has no signs or symptoms and many people are not aware they have it.

[hypertension often occurs with diabetes]
A blood pressure that is higher than 140/90 needs to be monitored, especially if it occurs with diabetes.

High blood pressure increases a person’s risk of stroke and heart attack. It often occurs with diabetes.

Blood pressure is measured in millimeters of mercury (mm Hg) and can be assessed using a blood pressure monitor.

Two numbers will be produced. The first refers to the systolic blood pressure, or the highest level of the blood pressure during a heartbeat. The second, the diastolic blood pressure, points to the lowest level.

Any blood pressure reading of less than or equal to 119/79 is considered normal.

A reading between 120 and 139 for systolic pressure and between 80 and 89 for diastolic pressure is considered prehypertension. This is a sign of possible hypertension if a person does not take preventive steps.

A doctor will diagnose a reading of 140/90 mm Hg or higher as high blood pressure.

People can control hypertension with healthy lifestyle habits. These can include exercise and a low-fat, low-sodium diet. If necessary, a person with hypertension may reduce their blood pressure using medication.

What is diabetes?

Diabetes occurs when blood sugar increases because the body cannot use the glucose properly. This happens when there a problem with insulin levels in the blood. There are two different types of diabetes. Insulin makes it possible for body cells to absorb glucose.

Type 1 diabetes accounts for about 5 percent of diabetes cases, according to the American Diabetes Association (ADA).

Type 1 diabetes occurs when the body does not produce enough insulin. With the help of insulin therapy, anyone can learn to manage and live with type 1 diabetes. Symptoms include increased thirst, frequent urination, fatigue, blurred vision, and increased hunger.

According to the ADA, type 2 diabetes accounts for at least 90 percent of all diagnosed cases of diabetes. Risk factors are family history, prior gestational diabetes during pregnancy, impaired glucose intolerance, lack of exercise, and being overweight.

Some ethnic groups are at a higher risk of type 2 diabetes, including African Americans, Hispanics and Latinos, and Native Americans.

Symptoms are similar to those of type 1 diabetes, but some patients may not have symptoms until their blood sugar levels reach dangerous levels. Treatment for type 2 diabetes involves diet changes, increasing physical activity, blood glucose monitoring, and oral medication or insulin injections.

Read the rest at Medical News Today.


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