What Is High Blood Pressure
Blood pressure is the force of the blood pushing against the artery walls. Each time the heart beats, it is pumping blood into these arteries, resulting in the highest blood pressure when the heart contracts and is pumping the blood. High blood pressure, or hypertension, directly increases the risk of coronary heart disease and stroke . With high blood pressure, the arteries may have an increased resistance against the flow of blood, causing the heart to pump harder to circulate the blood.
Two numbers are used to measure blood pressure. The number on the top, the systolic pressure, refers to the pressure inside the artery when the heart contracts and is pumping the blood through the body. The number on the bottom, the diastolic pressure, refers to the pressure inside the artery when the heart is at rest and is filling with blood. Both the systolic and diastolic pressures are recorded as “mm Hg” .According to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute of the National Institutes of Health , high blood pressure for adults is defined as:
140 mm Hg or greater systolic pressure and
90 mm Hg or greater diastolic pressure
NHLBI guidelines for prehypertension are:
120 mm Hg 139 mm Hg systolic pressure and
80 mm Hg 89 mm Hg diastolic pressure
NHLBI guidelines define normal blood pressure as follows:
Less than 120 mm Hg systolic pressure and
Less than 80 mm Hg diastolic pressure
What Is High Blood Sugar
Elevated blood sugar levels are known as hyperglycemia. Blood sugar levels are measured using a small sample of blood that is tested in a lab. Blood sugar can also be tested using at home devices such as a handheld glucometer. Levels that indicate hyperglycemia are indicative of prediabetes and both type 1 and type 2 diabetes.
Normal ranges of blood sugar will vary depending on the test being done. In general, a normal fasting glucose level will be between 70-100 mg/dL. After a meal, these levels are expected to rise slightly around 1 to 2 hours after the beginning of a meal, but should be less than 180 ml/dL.
Maintaining healthy blood sugar levels is important not only for metabolic health, but heart health too. Over time, high blood sugar can damage blood vessels and the nerves that control your heart. People with diabetes are also more likely to have other conditions that raise the risk for heart disease:
- High blood pressure increases the force of blood through your arteries and can damage artery walls. Having both high blood pressure and diabetes can greatly increase your risk for heart disease.
- Too much LDL cholesterol in your bloodstream can form plaque on damaged artery walls.
Risk Factors For High Blood Pressure With Diabetes
According to the ADA, the combination of high blood pressure and type 2 diabetes is particularly lethal and can significantly raise your risk of having a heart attack or stroke. Having type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure also increases your chances of developing other diabetes-related diseases, such as kidney disease and retinopathy. Diabetic retinopathy may cause blindness.
Theres also significant evidence to show that chronic high blood pressure can speed the arrival of problems with the ability to think that are associated with aging, such as Alzheimers disease and dementia. According to the AHA, blood vessels in the brain are particularly susceptible to damage due to high blood pressure. This makes it a major risk factor for stroke and dementia.
Uncontrolled diabetes isnt the only health factor that increases risk for high blood pressure. Remember, your chances of having a heart attack or stroke increase exponentially if you have more than one of the following risk factors:
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Why Was Salt Blamed For Raising Blood Pressure
Previously it was believed that excess amount of salt is responsible for altering the homeostasis of the body. This could lead to long term health hazards like high blood pressure, cardiovascular diseases, etc. Research studies were conducted where a personâs normal diet was replaced by fruits and vegetables. It was found that blood pressure could be kept in check after executing this diet plan. However, the results are now being reconsidered. It is true that a diet rich in fruits and vegetables does not contain added salt but at the same time it does not contain any added sugar too. Moreover, the role of sugar was overlooked while interpreting the results. Contrary to popular belief salt has various health benefits. They are as follows:
- It is responsible to maintain the concentration of blood, plasma, and other body fluids.
- Salt is responsible for carrying various nutrients into the cells and out of it.
- Blood pressure is maintained and regulated.
- Salt can increase the glial cells of the brain.
- Useful in the generation of action potential to help in neural communication within the body.
- Salt loss can lead to fainting.
- Low levels of sodium can lead to a condition called hyponatremia. The symptoms of hyponatremia are as follows-
At What Point Does High Blood Pressure Cause A Problem For People With Diabetes
If your resting blood pressure level is above the targets, this puts you at an increased risk of heart and vascular problems as well as other diabetes complications, such as kidney disease and sight damage .
High blood pressure is also associated with poor circulation which increases the risk of foot ulcers and can lead to foot amputation if regular foot care is not taken.
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Manage Your Diabetes Abcs
Know your diabetes ABCs to help you manage your blood glucose, blood pressure, and cholesterol. Stop smoking if you have diabetes to lower your chances of developing heart disease.
A is for the A1C test. The A1C test shows your average blood glucose level over the past 3 months. This is different from the blood glucose checks you do every day. The higher your A1C number, the higher your blood glucose levels have been during the past 3 months. High levels of blood glucose can harm your heart, blood vessels, kidneys, feet, and eyes.
The A1C goal for many people with diabetes is below 7%. Some people may do better with a slightly higher A1C goal. Your A1C goals may also change as you get older and your lifestyle changes. Ask your health care team what your goal should be.
B is for blood pressure. Blood pressure is the force of your blood against the wall of your blood vessels. If your blood pressure gets too high, it makes your heart work too hard. High blood pressure can cause a heart attack or stroke and damage your kidneys and eyes.
The blood pressure goal for most people with diabetes is below 140/90 mm Hg. Ask what your goal should be.
S is for stop smoking. Quitting smoking is especially important for people with diabetes because both smoking and diabetes narrow blood vessels, so your heart has to work harder. E-cigarettes arent a safe option either.
If you quit smoking
Sexual Function And Diabetes
Reduced blood supply and nerve damage can affect sexual function. Erectile dysfunction in men is the persistent inability to achieve or maintain an erection sufficient for satisfactory sexual performance. This is a common problem for men of all ages and is more common in men with diabetes. Erectile dysfunction is not a disease, but a symptom of some other problem physical, psychological or a mixture of both. Most cases of erectile dysfunction are physical, such as nerve or blood vessel damage. In women, sexual dysfunction is also reported, although there is a lack of research in this area. It is difficult to know whether this is directly related to hormonal changes such as menopause, or to diabetes.It is important to seek help from your doctor, diabetes educator or organisations such as Healthy Male Andrology Australia.
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Can High Blood Sugar Cause High Blood Pressure
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Oral Health And Diabetes
People with poorly managed diabetes are at increased risk of tooth decay and gum infections. This is because the small blood vessels that help nourish your teeth and gums can become damaged. Poor oral care can cause the gums to become inflamed and loosen around your teeth. It’s also strongly linked with an increased risk of heart disease.To reduce your risk of teeth and gum problems:
- See your dentist regularly for a check-up.
- Brush your teeth at least twice a day and floss once a day.
- If you have dentures, make sure you brush your dentures and gums with a soft toothbrush.
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All Carbs Are Created Equal
Phipps explains that, despite containing similar amounts of carbohydrates, one serving of pasta could have a hugely different effect on your blood glucose levels than one serving of rice. Likewise, that serving of pasta may have an entirely different effect on your blood glucose levels than your friendsâ or even family membersâ. âWeâre all unique,â Phipps says.
Diabetes And High Blood Pressure
High blood pressure is twice as likely to strike a person with diabetes than a person without diabetes. Left untreated, high blood pressure can lead to heart disease and stroke. In fact, a person with diabetes and high blood pressure is four times as likely to develop heart disease than someone who does not have either of the conditions. About two-thirds of adults with diabetes have blood pressure greater than 130/80 mm Hg or use prescription medications for hypertension.
The Brain Connection
Hypertension in midlife could affect late-life thinking skills. Discover what Johns Hopkins researchers know about the connection, plus ways to keep your blood pressure under control and your brain at its best.
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What Should Your Blood Pressure Be
Readings vary, but most people with diabetes should have a blood pressure of no more than 130/80.
The first, or top, number is the “systolic pressure,” or the pressure in your arteries when your heart squeezes and fills the vessels with blood. The second, or bottom, number is the “diastolic pressure,” or the pressure in your arteries when your heart rests between beats, filling itself with blood for the next contraction.
When it comes to preventing diabetes complications, normal blood pressure is as important as good control of your blood sugar levels.
How Do Health Problems From Diabetes Begin
If your diabetes is not well controlled, the sugar level in your blood goes up. This is called hyperglycemia . High blood sugar can cause damage to very small blood vessels in your body. Imagine what happens to sugar when it is left unwrapped overnight. It gets sticky. Now imagine how sugar sticks to your small blood vessels and makes it hard for blood to get to your organs. Damage to blood vessels occurs most often in the eyes, heart, nerves, feet, and kidneys. Lets look at how this damage happens.
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Dash Diet Meal Ideas For Hypertension
Here are a few examples of the DASH diet-friendly meals that help promote low blood sugar and low blood pressure:
- Breakfast: For a DASH diet breakfast, try making quinoa porridge! Its basically a heartier version of oatmeal, with more high-quality protein and essential amino acids. Add cinnamon, sliced banana, raisins, and plant-based milk to hot, cooked quinoa. Top with a generous dollop of low-fat, low-sugar Greek yogurt. Serve with a side of brewed coffee and unsweetened almond milk for a liver-friendly, low-sugar beverage.
- Lunch: Make a salad bowl with a serving of whole-grain buckwheat pasta, soybeans, and sliced red pepper, carrots, cucumber, basil, and any other fresh vegetables and herbs of your choice for a powerful punch of antioxidants. Drizzle with a low-sodium, low-sugar peanut sauce or dressing of your choice.
- Dinner: For an anti-inflammatory dinner that promotes low blood pressure, try oven-baked salmon for healthy fats and optimal ratios of essential amino acids. Be sure to use a marinade thats low in salt and sugar. Serve with loads of veggies on the side by topping a bed of lettuce with chopped beets, roasted asparagus, and steamed broccoli, and drizzle with balsamic vinaigrette.
Treating High Blood Pressure With Diabetes
While some people can improve their type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure with lifestyle changes, most require medication. Depending on their overall health, some people may need more than one medication to help manage their blood pressure. Most high blood pressure medications fall into one of these categories:
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Can Too Much Sugar Cause High Blood Pressure
Its clear that excessive consumption of salt can cause high blood pressure . Even dietary salt factor is one of the most concerns in DASH diet . How about too much sugar? Does it cause hypertension?
As well we know, generally diet high in sugar is linked with the high risk of type-2 diabetes since it can cause some risk factors of type-2 diabetes such as obesity. It also can be bad for blood sugar control in people with diabetes .
So, will too much sugar cause high blood pressure?
Excessive consumption of sugar in your diet may not directly cause high blood pressure. But overtime, it can increase your chance of getting elevated blood pressure higher than normal.
High accumulation of sugar in the bloodstream can increase your risk of getting high cholesterol and developing chronic kidneys failure. And both chronic conditions can have contribution to cause hypertension.
So, if you seriously want to keep the level of your blood pressure normal in long term, its important to avoid eating too much sugar, particularly true if you also have diabetes. Uncontrolled blood sugar and raised BP in diabetic people can lead to other serious complications.
In general, occasionally getting too much sugar in the diet for healthy people is no problem.
How does too much sugar cause high cholesterol?
In fact, both high cholesterol and hypertension is pretty common to be found together. Generally, both health problems can affect each other.
Risks Of Hypoglycemia In Critical Illness
In a large multicenter randomized controlled trial in Australia , the relationship of glycemic control to outcome from critical illness was examined in patients being treated in intensive care units. Strict control of blood glucose was compared with standard control . Mortality was higher in patients who maintained strict glycemic control, in whom severe hypoglycemia was much more common . A subgroup analysis suggested that no difference in 90-day mortality existed between individuals with diabetes and individuals without diabetes . Potential weaknesses of this study limit interpretation. Unfortunately, the protocol permitted a reduction in the frequency of blood glucose measurements to four hourly tests when blood glucose was considered to be stable, which was then inadequate to assess glycemic control. In addition, neuroglycopenia may be more difficult to detect in an unconscious patient under sedation and may not therefore be identified. Two meta-analyses have shown that strict glycemic control in seriously ill patients does not improve overall survival but reduces the risk of septicemia in surgical intensive care units at the expense of a fivefold higher incidence of hypoglycemia .
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Sugar Contributes To Risk Factors For High Blood Pressure
High blood pressure, or hypertension, means that the blood in our blood vessels is exerting excessive force on arterial walls. Blood pressure is measured by two numbers, the first being systolic pressure, which describes the pressure as the heart contracts to circulate blood throughout the body. The second measurement, diastolic pressure, describes the pressure in blood vessels between heartbeats. In general, the systolic pressure measurement tends to be higher than the diastolic pressure measurement.
High blood pressure is associated with metabolic syndrome and heart disease. Added sugar is a well-known culprit in causing a host of metabolic conditions including obesity, insulin resistance, and fatty liver disease.
How Common Is High Blood Pressure In People With Diabetes
In the UK, about 1 in 4 of people have high blood pressure . It is less common in younger adults. High blood pressure is more common in people with diabetes. Around 3 in 10 people with type 1 diabetes and around 8 in 10 people with type 2 diabetes develop high blood pressure at some stage.
People with diabetes are more at risk of developing high blood pressure if they:
- Are of African-Caribbean origin.
- Eat a lot of salt.
- Do not eat much fruit and vegetables.
- Do not take much exercise.
- Drink a lot of alcohol.
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Can High Cholesterol Cause High Blood Pressure
Having high levels of cholesterol can lead to multiple health problems, but can high cholesterol cause high blood pressure? Lets find out.
High cholesterol is a result of having too much LDL cholesterol, and this can lead to a variety of problems. For example, it can result in narrow blood vessels, coronary heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and even high blood pressure.
The following are some of the different diseases that can result from having too much bad cholesterol.
What Causes Hyperglycemia In People With Diabetes
- The dose of insulin or oral diabetes medication that you are taking is not the most helpful dose for your needs.
- Your body isnt using your natural insulin effectively .
- The amount of carbohydrates you are eating or drinking is not balanced with the amount of insulin your body is able to make or the amount of insulin you inject.
- You are less active than usual.
- Physical stress is affecting you.
- Emotional stress is affecting you.
- You are taking steroids for another condition.
- The dawn phenomenon is affecting you.
Other possible causes
- Pancreatic diseases such as pancreatitis, pancreatic cancer and cystic fibrosis.
- Certain medications .
- Gestational diabetes, which happens in 4% of pregnancies, and is due to decreased insulin sensitivity.
- Surgery or trauma.
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