If you have been diagnosed with both diabetes and high blood pressure (hypertension), the health risks can get slightly more complicated. Let’s look at the connection between these two very common illnesses.
Common Causes of High Blood Pressure Among Diabetics
- Inflammation and oxidative stress
- Insulin resistance
- Mental stress and sympathetic nervous system
- Lack of physical activity
Tips for Managing High Blood Pressure Among Diabetics
Weight loss is the best advice for diabetics who want to reduce their blood pressure. Studies have shown that a loss of 1 kg in body weight has resulted in a reduction of mean arterial blood pressure by ∼1 mmHg. A note of caution: Taking appetite suppressants for weight loss can be counterproductive as they sometimes can lead to an increase in blood pressure.
Additionally, it is also advisable to reduce the intake of sodium in your daily diet. Results from controlled trials have shown that a moderate reduction in sodium intake resulted in a reduction of blood pressure. The trials showed that when daily intake of sodium was reduced from 200 mmol [4,600 mg] to 100 mmol [2,300 mg], it resulted in a reduction in systolic blood pressure of ∼5 mmHg and diastolic blood pressure of 2-3 mmHg.
Low sodium intake, coupled with weight loss, can help manage hypertension among diabetics to a certain degree. In addition, the following tips should help:
- Check for signs of anxiety and chronic fatigue as both of these can cause blood pressure to rise
- Monitor your blood glucose levels regularly and if they are higher than normal, seek the advice of a qualified medical professional.
- Eat right and exercise regularly.
- Cut back on alcohol.