What Is The Relationship Between Hypertension And Diabetes?

High blood pressure (hypertension) is known to worsen the complications of diabetes. People with diabetes often develop poor circulation in the kidneys, legs, heart, brain and even the eye. When diabetics have hypertension, these complications often occur earlier and generally tend to be more severe. The majority of diabetic patients do develop high blood pressure at some point in their lives. When these two disorders combine there is greater damage to the blood vessels.

If the high blood pressure is not treated in diabetics, it can lead to heart disease, heart attack and even a stroke. Thus, all diabetics must ensure that they are not developing high blood pressure.

In diabetics, the blood pressure should not be more than 140/80 mmHg. When it comes to preventing the complications of diabetes, control of blood pressure is as important as controlling blood sugar levels.

In the majority of patients with diabetes, there are no obvious symptoms of high blood pressure in the early phase of the disease. However, as the high blood pressure worsens some individuals may develop fatigue, lightheadedness, and generalized malaise. All diabetics should ensure that their blood pressure is regularly measured when they visit the healthcare provider.

Diabetics can also monitor their blood pressure at home and should record the numbers. The doctor can make a diagnosis of high blood pressure by measuring the blood pressure on three different occasions. If a diagnosis of hypertension is made in a diabetic, it is vital that treatment be undertaken. Without treatment, not only do the complications of diabetes occur earlier, but the intensity of the complications can also be severe. For example, a stroke could lead to complete paralysis or a heart attack could prove fatal.


Common Medications For Hypertension And Diabetes

Hypertension And DiabetesOnce high blood pressure is diagnosed in diabetics, treatment is required. Today, the most effective method of blood pressure control is with the use of medications. There are several classes of antihypertensive medications, but the one class of drugs that is most effective in diabetics are the Angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors. These medications not only lower the blood pressure, but there is considerable evidence that they slow the progression of kidney damage in diabetics.

There are many types of angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitors and the type used depends on your healthcare provider, your personal preference and overall health. In general, there is little difference between the individual ACE inhibitors except that some can be taken once a day.

In some diabetics, just the use of ACE inhibitors may not be adequate to lower blood pressure and the healthcare provider may need to add another class of medications. One very annoying side effect of ACE inhibitors is a dry hacking cough, which does not respond to anti-cough medications. In such situations, the healthcare provider will discontinue the ACE inhibitor and start you on another related class of medications known as the angiotensin receptor blockers. These medications are just as effective as the ACE inhibitors but tend to be slightly more expensive.

Beta-blockers are also used to treat diabetics with hypertension, but these drugs can sometimes worsen the lipid levels and make it difficult to control blood sugars. These medications also cause difficulties with erection in men.

The third most common class of medications used to treat hypertension in diabetics are the water pills or better known as diuretics. These medications get rid of the body fluids and decrease blood pressure. They are effective medications but the downside is that one needs to be near a bathroom as the urge to urinate can be quite strong.


7 Natural Remedies For Hypertension And Diabetes

Hypertension And DiabetesBefore one turns to natural remedies for treatment of high blood pressure and diabetes, it is important to understand that there is no other substitute for treatment of these disorders besides the prescription medications. One can use natural remedies but only as supplementary treatments. You should always tell your healthcare provider if you intend to use natural remedies so that any potential interactions with pharmaceutical medications are avoided.

There are many natural remedies that are touted to cure diabetes and hypertension but unfortunately none of these remedies have been proven to work reliably in clinical studies. Some of the natural remedies that may help lower your blood pressure and blood sugar levels include the following:

  1. Add fiber to your diet such as wheat bran and psyllium. There is evidence that regular consumption of these fibers can help lower blood sugar levels and even high blood pressure.
  1. There are anecdotal reports that both calcium and magnesium supplements may help open up blood vessels and lower the blood pressure.
  1. Natural substances and supplements like coenzyme Q10, garlic and cocoa may lower blood pressure. However, the effect is mild and not consistently seen in all patients.
  1. Omega 3 fatty acids can be found in many types of fish, cereal, fish oil supplements, some nuts and flaxseed. Clinical reports exist indicating that the consumption of these acids can lower blood pressure and make the management of blood sugar levels easier.
  1. Many herbs sold in food stores that may lower blood pressure. These include use of Rauwolfia serpentina, yohimbine, Panax notoginseng, and hawthorn. However, there is always a risk that these herbs may interact with pharmaceutical medications and induce adverse effects.
  1. There are hundreds of reports on acupuncture and blood pressure but the data are hard to interpret. Acupuncture has been shown to slightly lower blood pressure but its effects are not consistent or reliable. At this time, use of acupuncture is not recommended as a solo treatment for diabetes or hypertension.
  1. Stress management is the one remedy that has been shown to lower blood pressure. Some of the ways to reduce stress include gentle physical activity such as Tai Chi, Yoga and Qiyong. People with high blood pressure who regularly practice these healing techniques often notice a gradual lowering of blood pressure after 2-3 months.


Lifestyle Changes For Hypertension And Diabetes

Today, there is considerable evidence that individuals who change their lifestyle have better control of their blood sugar and lowering of the blood pressure. Some of the lifestyle changes that can help include the following:

Eat a healthy diet. This should not be a one-time change in life but permanent. Avoid eating too much fat, processed and synthetic foods. Eat a well balanced diet and limit the calorie intake to no more than 1800-2000 a day.

One of the best diets that has been developed to manage high blood pressure is the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension or the DASH diet. This diet consists of vegetables, fruits, poultry, whole grains, fish and low fat dairy. The DASH diet provides ample potassium, which is necessary for lowering of blood pressure.

Decrease Salt Intake. It is now recommended that limiting the salt level to no more than 1,200 mg per day, can help slightly lower blood pressure.

High levels of salt can retain water and increase blood pressure.

Restriction of salt in the diet is especially important in individuals who are black, over the age of 51 and those who have diabetes, hypertension or chronic kidney disease.

Maintain A Healthy Weight. Individuals who are obese and lose weight will note that their blood pressure gradually comes down. Losing weight has many more benefits than just lowering high blood pressure; it can help better control of blood sugar, reduce joint pain and boost self esteem.

Become Active. Doctors now recommend some type of physical activity for all individuals with high blood pressure and diabetes. Regular physical activity can help manage stress, lower blood pressure and keep weight under control.

It is recommended that you undertake at least 45-90 mins of moderate exercise every day.

Cut Down On Alcohol. Even though alcohol does have some health benefits, it is important to drink this beverage in moderation; this means no more than one drink a day. Alcohol can quickly get out of control and lead to liver damage.

Stop Smoking. There are no benefits from smoking. The nicotine not only damages the blood vessels but can also cause lung cancer. The best way to stop smoking is to go cold turkey. However, if you cannot manage this, aids such as nicotine patches and electronic cigarettes are available to help you quit the habit.

Manage stress. Everyone with diabetes and high blood pressure should try and lower their stress level.

There are a number of coping methods to help ease stress that can be learnt. These include deep breathing exercise, meditation, or yoga.

Finally all individuals with high blood pressure should learn how to monitor the pressure at home. There are many types of home monitoring devices that are easy to use.

Home monitoring will help you know if the medication is working and can alert you to any potential complications. If your blood pressure is under good control, than this will mean fewer visits to the healthcare provider which results in less healthcare costs.

Natural and 100% Safe Way to Lower Your Blood Pressure