Dr. Barbara Huggins

Diabetes & Blood Pressure

September 6, 2007

Diabetes & Blood Pressure -  September 6, 2007If you're one of the 20 million Americans with diabetes, Dr. Mom shares why keeping your blood pressure under control may be more important than having normal blood sugars.

What is Diabetes?
Diabetes is a chronic condition that occurs when the body does not produce enough insulin. Insulin regulates the absorption of sugar (glucose) into the cells of the body. Glucose is the body’s main source of fuel.

What is blood pressure?
With each beat of the heart, blood is pumped out of the heart into the blood vessels, which carry blood throughout your body. Blood pressure is the measurement of the pressure or force inside your blood vessels (arteries) with each beat of the heart.

Blood pressure is written as two numbers, such as 120/80. The first number is the systolic pressure. Systolic pressure is the pressure in the arteries when the heart beats and fills the arteries with blood. The second number is the diastolic pressure. Diastolic pressure is the pressure in the arteries when the heart rests between beats.

High blood pressure or hypertension
High blood pressure is considered to be more than 120 for the systolic pressure and more than 80 for the diastolic pressure.

Diabetes and High Blood Pressure
At least 40 to 60% of people with diabetes have high blood pressure. The effects of high blood pressure on those with diabetes puts them at greater risk for other complications of the disease such coronary artery disease, strokes, hardening of the arteries in the legs and feet, kidney failure, and heart failure. In fact, a person with diabetes and high blood pressure is 4 ½ times more likely to have a stroke, and they are more than 9 times more likely to die from it than somebody with neither disease.

Having a normal blood pressure is as important to managing diabetes as having good control of blood sugar levels. It is important to work with your physician to control your blood pressure.

You can also work on controlling your blood pressure by:

Remember, get regular check ups and follow your primary care physician’s recommendations.

For more information:

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