Hypertension & Diabetes - What’s The Big Deal?
The worst attack you’ll ever face will be the one that catches you unguarded. It’s very evident that both diabetes and hypertension are silent killers.
What does that mean? They basically don’t show any symptoms in the initial stages and so a person suffering from this deadly dual disease is often caught off guard when he reaches a point where attention (not prevention) becomes the only criterion.
It is not surprising that the number of people suffering from hypertension is just increasing. What was once thought as an old man’s ailments – diabetes, hypertension, kidney diseases – are now being called lifestyle diseases as it is claiming its victims among the young and the able.
When someone with diabetes is diagnosed, they are often cautioned that this disease doesn’t come alone, it brings with it other diseases too. Usually, diabetes and hypertension are interlinked. Diabetes is a disease that affects the arterial and venous system of the body. It increases the chances of suffering from atherosclerosis or blockages in the heart. If a person is also suffering from hypertension or high blood pressure which increases the blood pressure in the arteries and keeps the arterial walls elevated all the time, this increases one’s chances of suffering from cardiovascular complications like ischemic heart disease, coronary artery disease, risk of heart attack and heart failure.
But why is this such a BIG DEAL?
Because in good old days, for people suffering from diabetes, having a blood pressure of less than 140/90 was also considered normal, but recently the guidelines have changed.
According to the new guidelines, the systolic pressure should be less than 130 and diastolic pressure should be less than 80. So it is important to maintain the number at 130/80.
It is thus very important to keep your blood pressure in check if you are suffering from diabetes.
Hypertension is also known to affect the other organs of the body. In hypertension, the blood vessels throughout the body remain dilated and the force of the blood against the artery walls is too high. This damages small capillaries and veins in every organ. If you have diabetes too, the intensity at which the damage can happen will only accelerate. Hypertension first affects the arteries of the heart which increases the risk of heart failure, heart attack and other cardiovascular damages. Next, it impacts the kidneys, eyes, brain and other organs too all of which could lead to life-threatening conditions like renal failure, blindness or even stroke respectively. When the sugar levels remain high it creates more pressure in the arteries.
This is why maintaining proper blood pressure, especially when you have diabetes becomes crucial. Chances of organ damage increases when one suffers from uncontrolled hypertension and diabetes together than suffering from diabetes with the blood pressure being in control.
While treating diabetes it is also important to select drugs which can have a protective effect on the heart and kidneys. ARB drugs and ace inhibitors are better suited in this aspect. The right medication along with lifestyle changes, cholesterol management and corrective eating habits go a long way in keeping diabetes in check and lowering hypertension. The bonus is the major organs are even taken care off in the process.
Hope this article is alarming enough for you to get off the couch, take a run or relook at your diet, especially if you have diabetes.