What People Should Know About Diabetes and Hypertension
Among the several complications brought by diabetes, one that can greatly affect the patient is hypertension. More and more researchers have been interested in studying the connection between these two and most, if not all, have found out that there is indeed a link between diabetes and hypertension. Hypertension, or high blood pressure, is a condition wherein the systemic arterial blood pressure of an individual is elevated or higher than what is normal for his or her age group. According to doctors, this condition is twice as common among diabetes patients as in individuals without diabetes. Aside from this, the alarming fact is that in clinical studies, hypertension often influences accelerated progression of other diabetic complications such as microvascular complications, which include non inflammatory damage to the retina (retinopathy) and damage to the kidneys (nephropathy), as well as macrovascular complications, which involve the thickening of the arterial wall due to the accumulation of fatty substances in the blood stream (atherosclerosis). With these kinds of symptoms, mortality rates among patients with hypertension are increased.
For patients with insulin dependent diabetes mellitus, hypertension is usually not seen during diagnosis but develops along with nephropathy. On the other hand, among patients with non-insulin dependent diabetes mellitus, they develop hypertension brought by insulin resistance as well as other metabolic syndromes. These metabolic syndromes include obesity, decreased HDL [high density lipoprotein] cholesterol levels), hyperinsulinaemia, dyslipidaemia and atherosclerotic vascular disease. Patients susceptible to hypertension are also at risk of contracting other conditions such as nephropathy, which increases mortality rate among patients up to thirty times. Progression of diabetes is also accelerated and the patient’s risk of getting stroke is definitely higher under this condition.
Hypertension and diabetes are connected because diabetes causes the blood vessels flexibility to decrease. When blood vessels are constricted, average blood pressure increases. The increase in the amount of fluid within the body, which is also one of the effects of diabetes, also tends to affect the blood pressure. Blood pressure is also influenced by the way the body produces and uses up insulin. Improper or abnormal production of insulin may also cause the blood pressure to rise. Moreover, there are also factors that are related to both hypertension and diabetes. These include the patient’s diet and body mass as well as activity level. High fat and high carb diets both increase the chances of the patient getting overweight, which in turn results in more complications for the patient. Body mass is also important because risks of hypertension and diabetes increase as the person’s weight go up.
Doctors recommend many things to diabetic patients so that they can easily manage hypertension. One of these is the regular measurement of blood pressure. If people regularly check their blood pressure levels, they can easily see whether not there is an issue. Some people might not notice it when their blood pressure shoots up so it is important to have blood pressure checked often. They should also not stay in places where it is too warm.
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