Risk Factors Associated With Diabetes And High Blood Pressure
Why should those with diabetes be aware of the risks of high blood pressure? Type 2 diabetes is caused by resistance to insulin, the hormone your body needs to use blood sugar for energy. Since the bodies of those with type 2 diabetes resist insulin, sugar builds up in their blood.
That means your body makes even more insulin, and insulin causes your body to retain salt and fluids, which is one way diabetes increases your risk for high blood pressure, said Dr. Hatipoglu. Over time, diabetes damages the small blood vessels in your body, causing the walls of the blood vessels to stiffen. This increases pressure, which leads to high blood pressure.
The combination of high blood pressure and type 2 diabetes can greatly increase 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.
Chronic high blood pressure can also contribute to early onset of conditions such as Alzheimers disease, dementia, and stroke because the blood vessels in the brain are particularly susceptible to damage due to high blood pressure.
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.
Reduces Your Risk Of Diabetes :
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Sugar And High Blood Pressure
You might have seen the headlines in the papers a week or so ago: quickest way to lower blood pressure, shouts the Daily Express and so on.
So whats the secret? Well, its simple. Its sugar.
Or rather its avoiding sugar thats key to lowering your blood pressure at least if youre getting too much sugar which most of us are.
Sugar and high blood pressure: the evidence
Since when has there been a link between sugar and high blood pressure? you might ask. Surely salts the one to cut down on. Well, many studies are now showing that sugar is far worse for your blood pressure and pretty much every other aspect of your health than salt. Which is not to say dont be careful with salt but be very very careful with sugar.
Easier said than done though, but well come to that shortly. First of all, whats the evidence relating to sugar and high blood pressure?
The study that recent newspaper headlines have been reporting was conducted in San Francisco on obese children. 43 obese kids with high blood pressure were put on a different diet which contained much less sugar but the same amount overall of calories, fat, protein, and carbohydrates .
The researchers found that the kids blood pressure dropped, their weight dropped, their cholesterol levels dropped, their blood sugar levels dropped in fact all kinds of unhealthy levels fell in just nine days !
Why is there a link between sugar and high blood pressure?
How to reduce sugar and high blood pressure
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.
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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-
Can Low Blood Sugar Cause High Blood Pressure
Low blood sugar, also known as hypoglycemia, is defined as blood sugar levels of 70 milligrams per deciliter or lower. Symptoms of low blood sugar can include tiredness, sweating, and tingling lips. High blood pressure, also called hypertension, can also be a sign of low blood sugar.
Low blood sugar is especially common in people with type 1 diabetes, in which the pancreas creates little or no insulin. However, it can also occur in people with type 2 diabetes who take insulin or certain medications.
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A Critical Dietary Caveat
Importantly, it is likely only added fructose and other sugars that may be a problem. Naturally occurring sugars, including fructose, seem to be benign in their usual biological context . In fact, in one trial, switching from a Western diet, to a diet containing approximately 20 servings of whole fruit significantly decreased systolic blood pressure, despite a fructose intake of approximately 200g. Moreover, a study randomising 131 patients to two low added-fructose diets showed comparable improvements from baseline in blood pressure, lipids, serum glucose, insulin resistance, uric acid, soluble intercellular adhesion molecule-1 and quality of life score.
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Even Moderate Doses Of Added Sugar For Short Durations May Cause Harm
Current US per capita intake of added sugars is approximately two to eight times higher than current recommendations by the American Heart Association and the World Health Organization . Considering adolescents specifically, current consumption might be as much as six to 16 times higher.
An increase in sympathetic tone from the overconsumption of fructose is one likely mechanism for the sugars ability to increase heart rate, cardiac output, renal sodium retention and vascular resistance, all of which may interact to elevate blood pressure and increase myocardial oxygen demand.
However, ingestion of sugars including fructose in their naturally occurring biological contexts is not harmful and is likely beneficial.
Just as most dietary sodium does not come from the salt shaker, most dietary sugar does not come from the sugar bowl. Dr James DiNicolantonio, from the Department of Preventive Cardiology at Saint Lukes Mid America Heart Institute on Kansas City, MO, concludes:
Reducing consumption of added sugars by limiting processed foods containing them, made by corporations would be a good place to start.
The evidence shows that even moderate doses of added sugar for short durations may cause substantial harm.
Medical News Today recently reported that regularly drinking high levels of sugar-sweetened soda could lead to the premature aging of immune cells, leaving the body vulnerable to chronic diseases in a similar manner to the effects of smoking.
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Make Good Choices At Restaurants
Limiting sugar in your diet doesnt mean you always need to avoid restaurants you just have to be prepared with strategies for avoiding the main sugar sources in restaurants. When ordering anything, ask if its possible to serve with the sauce or dressing on the side and use sparingly.
Many sauces even if theyre homemade are filled with added sugar. For example, just a couple of tablespoons of barbeque sauce may contain 10 or even 15 grams of sugar! Additionally, go easy on condiments like ketchup, which usually contains several grams of sugar per tablespoon.
How Does Sugar Contribute To A Spike In Blood Pressure
Your heart is an amazing organ that never takes a break. When blood pressure increases, however, it forces your heart into overdrive, which can have lasting and devastating consequences. Read on to learn about the role sugar plays in hypertension and what you can do to improve your heart health.
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Consuming Too Much Sugar
However, problems occur when you consume too much added sugar that is, sugar that food manufacturers add to products to increase flavor or extend shelf life.
In the American diet, the top sources are soft drinks, fruit drinks, flavored yogurts, cereals, cookies, cakes, candy, and most processed foods. But added sugar is also present in items that you may not think of as sweetened, like soups, bread, cured meats, and ketchup.
The result: we consume way too much added sugar. Adult men take in an average of 24 teaspoons of added sugar per day, according to the National Cancer Institute. That’s equal to 384 calories.
“Excess sugar’s impact on obesity and diabetes is well documented, but one area that may surprise many men is how their taste for sugar can have a serious impact on their heart health,” says Dr. Frank Hu, professor of nutrition at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.
How To Cut Down On Sugar
Cutting down on sugar can seem like a challenge, but there are a number of little changes you can make that can make a big difference.
- If you often drink sugar-sweetened drinks, swap to water or sugar-free options. Try flavouring your water with pieces of fruit and herbs, such as cucumber and mint, or lemon and pineapple.
- Avoid breakfast cereals with added sugars, or adding extra sugar on top. Instead, add some fresh or frozen berries to naturally sweeten your breakfast and count towards your 5-a-day.
- Top your toast with mashed banana instead of jam or honey.
- When cooking, use less sugar and add flavour with spices such as ginger, allspice, cinnamon or nutmeg.
- Avoid ready-made sauces such as pasta sauce, as they tend to have sugar added to them.
- Seemingly healthy snacks such as cereal bars can often have lots of added sugar in them, so check the labels anything ending in ose or labelled as syrup or molasses is added sugar.
Current Levels Of Sugar Consumption And Dietary Guidelines
Approximately 300years ago humans were only consuming a few pounds of sugar per year. More recent estimates suggest intakes in the US population anywhere from 77 to 152lbs of sugar per year,, with 13% consuming at least 25% of their total caloric intake as added sugars. This level of consumption equates to an approximate average intake of added sugars of 2447 teaspoons per day, with an average daily fructose consumption of 83.1g. suggests how such large intake may be possible, showing some representative foods and the sugar loads associated with their consumption. In a study of over 1000 American adolescents the average daily intake of added sugars was 389g for boys and 276g for girls, or up to 52% of total caloric intake. The level of added fructose intake implied by these numbers is shocking, especially considering there is no physiological requirement for added sugar, particularly fructose, in the diet so potential harms of ingestion clearly outweigh any potential benefits.
Amount of sugar in common food items
by Jim Oldfield, University of Toronto
Combined data from over two dozen nutrition studies show that while sugar-sweetened drinks are linked to elevated blood pressure, healthier foods that contain some sugars do not share the same relationshipand in fact may have a protective association when it comes to high blood pressure, according to University of Toronto researchers.
The findings were published this week in the Journal of the American Heart Association.
Can Sugar Cause High Blood Pressure
To the common man sugar is blood sugar and blood pressure is high blood pressure. Sugar causing high blood pressure is a concept one cannot even dream of. For ages now salt has been blamed for raising blood pressure. Doctors have advised people suffering from high blood pressure to reduce salt consumption. Since the sodium present in the salt was held responsible in raising blood pressure low sodium varieties of salt were being sold in the market. Recent research has however pointed out that blaming salt for raising blood pressure is not evidence based. It is sugar which in fact is more responsible for raising blood pressure. So before understanding how the mechanism works let us understand the basics of high blood pressure.
Which Is Worse: Sugar Or Salt
Sodium has long been associated with hypertension, and any diet designed to help lower blood pressure encourages the limitation of salt consumption. Considering the recent research on the impact of sugar on blood sugar, however, which is worse sugar or salt?
One importantstudy suggests that the health problems caused by sugar may be even more impactful than those caused by high sodium consumption. At the end of the day, limiting both sugar and salt consumption is an effective way to lower blood pressure and improve overall health.
Low Blood Sugar Can Increase Blood Pressure
Our body gets its energy to function properly from glucose, which is found in the carbohydrates we take in from the foods we eat. Insulin is responsible for pulling glucose from the bloodstream into cells, where it’s used for energy.
When our blood sugar levels are low, our body tries to keep essential organs working by causing various changes, including an increase in heart rate and peripheral systolic blood pressure . It also lowers central blood pressure .
Population Studies: Fructose And Other Sugars And Cardiometabolic Health
Insulin resistance is seen in approximately 25% of the general population and up to 80% of individuals with essential hypertension. Compared to non-diabetics, diabetics have a higher prevalence of hypertension., This disproportion is independent of weight, suggesting that insulin resistance, not obesity per se, increases the risk of hypertension. Indeed, approximately 50% of hypertensive patients have hyperinsulinaemia compared to only 10% of normotensive patients. Additionally, hypertensive patients have decreased insulin sensitivity, increased basal insulin and a decreased rate of glucose disposal after an intravenous glucose tolerance test when compared to normotensives, even after adjustment for other risk factors. A diet high in sugar has been found to cause deterioration of glucose tolerance, and positive correlations exist between sugar consumed 20years earlier and diabetes.
A recent econometric analysis showed that an increase in sugar availability is directly and independently associated with an increase in diabetes prevalence. In fact, a 150-kilocalorie/person/day increase in sugar availability was found to be significantly associated with a rise in diabetes prevalence . This risk was 11-fold higher compared to 150-kilocalorie/person/day increase in total calorie availability, supporting the notion that sugar may be distinct among calories in its potential detriment to metabolic health.
What Is High Blood Pressure
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There is too much sodium in our food supply, we are not getting enough physical activity, we are gaining too much weight, and we are drinking too much alcohol, and every single one of those things contributes to increasing blood pressure levels, Lloyd-Jones says.
To stay on top of your blood pressure, take your measurements often and understand where you are on the spectrum, Lloyd-Jones says. You can do this at home with a cuff-style biceps monitor. If you notice your blood pressure is starting to increase or if its already elevated , its important to be careful around the foods and habits that can make it worse, Lloyd-Jones adds. Its also important to work with a doctor to find the best way to control it, be it with medications, lifestyle changes or both.
Home blood pressure monitoring is a really important and empowering way for patients to take control of this, Lloyd-Jones says.
Rachel Nania writes about health care and health policy for AARP. Previously, she was a reporter and editor for WTOP Radio in Washington, D.C. A recipient of a Gracie Award and a regional Edward R. Murrow Award, she also participated in a dementia fellowship with the National Press Foundation.
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