Warning Signs That You Might Have High Blood Pressure
High blood pressure, also called hypertension, is a condition in which the pressure of the blood that flows through your arteries is higher than usual. Over time, high blood pressure can damage organs like your heart. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention , nearly half of the adults in the United States have hypertension.
Many people are not aware they have high blood pressure because it often has no symptoms. Thatâs why itâs essential to know how to detect high blood pressure so you can get treatment if needed. There are several ways to measure blood pressure, including at-home tests and blood pressure monitors.
The symptoms of high blood pressure to watch out for include an elevated heart rate, trouble sleeping, sweating, and dizziness. Consult a healthcare professional without delay if you have difficulty breathing, fatigue, vision problems, nosebleeds, and blood in your urine. Here is more information on the hypertensive crisis and why it is so critical to get medical care immediately if you have some of these symptoms.
Diabetes And Hypertension: A Position Statement By The American Diabetes Association
Ian H. de Boer, Sripal Bangalore, Athanase Benetos, Andrew M. Davis, Erin D. Michos, Paul Muntner, Peter Rossing, Sophia Zoungas, George Bakris Diabetes and Hypertension: A Position Statement by the American Diabetes Association. Diabetes Care 1 September 2017 40 : 12731284.
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How To Avoid Low Blood Sugar
Here are some tips for avoiding low blood sugar:
- Eat regular meals and a balanced diet.
- Carry healthy snacks.
- Learn how to use an at-home glucose-testing device, or ask your healthcare provider for advice.
- Keep a food diary, which can help you identify your triggers and modify your diet accordingly.
Sometimes, low blood sugar occurs even when you try to prevent it. Therefore, it’s a good idea to carry glucose tablets or other fast-acting carbohydrates, such as half a banana or a couple tablespoons of raisins.
The 1515 rule can help you raise your blood sugar slowly. It involves eating 15 grams of fast-acting carbohydrates and checking your blood sugar levels after 15 minutes. If your blood sugar is not responding to the carbohydrates within 15 minutes, repeat the steps until your blood sugar is in your target range. It may be necessary to call your doctor or seek emergency medical help right away if you can’t get your blood sugar under control.
Preventing low blood sugar is an important part of preventing hypertension, but it is not the only way. Talk to your healthcare provider about unique risk factors that may impact how you approach both blood sugar and blood pressure.
The Relationship Between Low Blood Sugar And High Blood Pressure
Did you know that there is a relationship between low blood sugar and high blood pressure? Many people think that high blood pressure and low blood sugar are two different things. But, in reality, the two are pretty connected! Low blood sugar can lead to high blood pressure, which then, in turn, leads to low blood sugar. Itâs a dangerous cycle that can have severe consequences if left untreated.
Your body needs energy to function, and it gets that energy from blood glucose. Your body derives this glucose from carbohydrates broken down from our meals. When you need more energy, your body sends insulin to take the glucose from your bloodstream to your cells, where itâs used as fuel.
Sometimes, the body releases too much insulin, which can lead to too much sugar in the cells, causing low blood sugar. Another cause is not eating enough or skipping meals, which can cause too little sugar in the blood.
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What Is The Recommended Blood Pressure Range For People With Diabetes
Its important to keep your blood pressure within a healthy range. This reduces your chances of your body developing further health complications.
Blood pressure should be below 140/80mmHg for people with diabetes or below 130/80mmHg if you have kidney or eye disease or any condition that affects blood vessels and blood supply to the brain. But it is important to speak to your healthcare team about your individual target.
Whilst you may not have any symptoms of high blood pressure, it can be harmful to your health if left untreated. This is due to the increased pressure placed on your heart, eyes, kidneys and other organs.
As weve said previously, heart attack or stroke are some of the conditions your body becomes more vulnerable to with high blood pressure. Other conditions you become more at risk of include:
- Cardiovascular dementia
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Diabetes And Your Heart
You can lower your risk for heart disease with lifestyle changes.
Diabetes and heart disease often go hand in hand. Learn how to protect your heart with simple lifestyle changes that can also help you manage diabetes.
Heart disease is very common and serious. Its the leading cause of death for both men and women in the United States. If you have diabetes, youre twice as likely to have heart disease or a stroke than someone who doesnt have diabetesand at a younger age. The longer you have diabetes, the more likely you are to have heart disease.
But the good news is that you can lower your risk for heart disease and improve your heart health by changing certain lifestyle habits. Those changes will help you manage diabetes better too.
Randomized Clinical Trials Of Intensive Blood Pressure Control
The ACCORD blood pressure trial examined the effects of intensive blood pressure control versus standard blood pressure control among people with type 2 diabetes. Additional studies, such as Hypertension Optimal Treatment trial and SPRINT, also examined the potential benefits of intensive versus standard blood pressure control, though the relevance of their results to people with diabetes is less clear. The Action in Diabetes and Vascular Disease: Preterax and Diamicron MR Controlled EvaluationBlood Pressure trial, which tested the effects of a fixed-dose combination of antihypertensive interventions versus placebo among people with type 2 diabetes, also informs blood pressure targets . Study details are given in .
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Why Is High Blood Pressure A Problem
High blood pressure is a risk factor for developing a cardiovascular disease and kidney damage, sometime in the future.
If you have high blood pressure, over the years it may have a damaging effect on blood vessels and put a strain on your heart.
In general, the higher your blood pressure, the greater your health risk. However, high blood pressure is just one of several possible risk factors for developing a cardiovascular disease.
Other risk factors that also increase the risk of developing a cardiovascular disease are:
- Lifestyle risk factors that can be prevented or changed:
- High fat blood level.
- Kidney diseases that affect kidney function.
- A strong family history. This means if you have a father or brother who developed heart disease or a stroke before they were aged 55, or in a mother or sister before they were aged 65.
- Being male.
- An early menopause in women.
- Age. The older you become, the more likely you are to develop furring or ‘hardening’ of the arteries .
- Ethnic group. For example, people who live in the UK, with ancestry from India, Pakistan, Bangladesh or Sri Lanka, have an increased risk.
Diabetes plus high blood pressure is a particularly strong combination of risk factors.In addition, some other complications of diabetes are more common if you have high blood pressure. For example, damage to the back of the eye and kidney damage related to diabetes .
Healthy Tips For Lowering Blood Pressure
Making certain lifestyle changes can not only reduce complications from diabetes but can also greatly reduce your risk of high blood pressure. In fact, lowering your systolic blood pressure by 10 points has been shown to lower all diabetes complication risks by 12 percent overall.
Here are some helpful tips:
- Regularly visit your primary care physician and take advantage of free blood pressure screenings.
- The American Heart Association recommends either 150 minutes per week of moderate-intensity exercise, 75 minutes per week of vigorous exercise, or a combination of moderate and vigorous activity each week.
- Maintain a healthy weight.
- Limit your salt intake to two grams per day, which is about one teaspoon.
- Eat a diet with low sugar but plenty of fruits, vegetables, fish, healthy fats, and whole grains.
- Dont smoke and drink only in moderation.
- Avoid nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs , which can raise blood pressure. Take acetaminophen instead whenever possible.
If you have type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure, these lifestyle changes can help you get your diabetes and blood pressure under control. The goal is to live well with diabetes and work to prevent complications, and lowering your blood pressure is a critical step.
American Heart Association Recommendations for Physical Activity in Adults. . American Heart Association. Retrieved from
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Diabetes May Contribute To Hypertension
Elevated blood sugar stresses the blood vessels. Damage to the vessels causes them to narrow and accumulate plaque. Plaque is composed of different substances like cholesterol, fats, and waste products. Plaque buildup narrows the vessels even more and forces the heart to work harder to pump blood.
When the heart has to work harder, the force at which the blood pumps through the body increases. This leads to high blood pressure.
Plaque formation and buildup cause atherosclerosis. This condition can increase the risk of heart attack, stroke, and peripheral arterial disease . PAD can include any number of diseases that impact the arteries that carry blood to distant parts of the body.
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How To Control Blood Pressure
There are many things you can do to manage your blood pressure. Healthy eating, physical activity, managing weight and stress, and taking your medications as prescribed can all help.
With time, your taste buds will adjust to the natural flavours of food without added salt.
Talk to a registered dietitian to learn more about healthy eating.
|Vegetables and fruits more often||Limit processed, smoked and cured foods|
|Low-fat dairy products||Adding salt at the table and use a minimum amount in cooking|
|Legumes more often||Seasonings that contain the words salt or sodium, such as garlic salt, celery salt, Kosher salt, sea salt or monosodium glutamate|
|Whole grains, such as whole-wheat breads, cereal, pasta and brown rice||Limit frozen convenience foods and fast-food restaurant meals|
|Lean meats and poultry without added salt|
|To flavour your foods with herbs, spices, fresh garlic, garlic powder, onion powder, lemon or vinegar instead of salt|
|To eat fish at least twice a week|
|Unsalted or no added salt items|
Build physical activity into your day. Regular physical activity can improve blood pressure and heart health. Aim for 150 minutes of physical activity per week.
Check with your health-care team about the exercise routine that is suitable for you. Both aerobic and resistance exercises are recommended for people with diabetes.
Be a non-smoker
Limit alcohol intake
When Is It High Blood Pressure
If you have high blood pressure, it means that your blood is pumping through your heart and blood vessels with too much force. Over time, consistently high blood pressure tires the heart muscle and can enlarge it. In 2008, 67 percent of American adults aged 20 and over with self-reported diabetes had blood pressure rates that were greater than 140/90 millimeters of mercury .
In the general population and in people with diabetes, a blood pressure reading of less than 120/80 mm Hg is considered normal.
What does this mean? The first number is called the systolic pressure. It indicates the highest pressure exerted as blood pushes through your heart. The second number is called the diastolic pressure. This is the pressure maintained by the arteries when the vessels are relaxed between heartbeats.
According to the American Heart Association , healthy people over 20 with a blood pressure lower than 120/80 should get their blood pressure checked once every two years. People with diabetes need to be more vigilant.
If you have diabetes, your doctor may check your blood pressure at least four times each year. If you have diabetes and high blood pressure, the ADA recommends that you self-monitor at home, record the readings, and share them with your doctor.
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Differences In Patients With Type 1 Vs Type 2
In the American Diabetes Associations 2010 report, Blood Pressure Management in Patients with Diabetes, it is emphasized that hypertension is different in type 1 vs. type 2 patients.
Individuals with type 1 diabetes usually develop hypertension because of diabetic nephropathy , explains the report, with 30 percent eventually being affected.
In contrast, patients with type 2 diabetes often present with hypertension either upon diagnosis of their diabetes or well before their blood sugar levels were even high in the first place. And hypertension is found in 50 to 80 percent of patients with type 2.
Where type 1 and type 2 diabetes overlap in relation to high blood pressure, however, is how it drastically increases a patients risk for heart disease or cardiovascular disease.
With uncontrolled hypertension, there is a consistent relationship between elevated systolic BP and increased risk for micro- and macrovascular diseases, explains the report.
More than 65 percent of the deaths in patients with diabetes are directly related to cardiovascular disease.
And for those not yet diagnosed with diabetes, its estimated that non-diabetic patients with high blood pressure were 2.5 times as likely to eventually develop type 2 diabetes compared to patients with normal blood pressure.
How To Lower Your Blood Pressure
A lot of lowering your blood pressure is down to making positive lifestyle changes. But we know its not always that straightforward, and some people will need medication to help too.
- Try different ways to cope with stress
- Have less caffeine
Your healthcare team can support you with making these changes. Find out what healthcare checks and services you are entitled to.
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