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Diabetes and Hypertension — an article on the Smart Living Network
July 14, 2009 at 8:35 AMComments: 0 Faves: 0

Diabetes and Hypertension


Hypertension is twice as likely to be diagnosed with a diabetic individual in comparison to individuals without diabetes. Over 60% of all diabetic individuals are also diagnosed with hypertension, dependent upon age, ethnicity, and other conditions.

Complications of Diabetes

The condition of diabetes is cause for a variety of other health complications, including but not limited to the development of hypertension.

  • Heart Disease: This is one of the most common complications of diabetes. This includes the development of hypertension.
  • Diabetic Nephropathy: Also known as kidney disease, this is the most common complication due to the combination of diabetes and hypertension.
  • Diabetic Neuropathy: Also known as nerve damage; is commonly diagnosed with individuals that have diabetes. This is the reason that skin care is so important in diabetic individuals.
  • Stroke: Individuals with diabetes are more likely to have a stroke.It is important to watch for stroke signs and symptoms including numbness of a limb or in the face, dizziness, difficulty with speech, or sudden weakness that is limited to one side of the body.

Diabetes and Hypertension: The Links

There are two main links between diabetes and hypertension. The first link is based primarily on statistics and numbers. Populations of individuals with diabetes are much more likely to have hypertension when in comparison to populations of individuals without diabetes. Secondly, there is the presence of a metabolic link between diabetes and hypertension. This is thought to be mostly due to the presence of insulin. Insulin in the bloodstream is not only necessary for the maintenance of regular sugar uptake into the cells, but also increases salt and water retention due to the effect of insulin on the kidney.

Cardiovascular Disease and Diabetes

It is not commonly known that the actual cause of death for diabetics is not the condition of diabetes itself, but cardiovascular disease developed as a secondary condition to diabetes. The consistent presence of high blood sugar levels (hyperglycemia) is cause for narrowing of the blood vessels in addition to loss of elasticity. This enhances the overall risk for development of artery hardening, scientifically known as atherosclerosis. When this is combined with increased amounts of fat deposits due to high cholesterol, the effective combination can be fatal. This is due to the increased risk for kidney disease, stroke, and heart attack, all strongly associated with the presence of high blood pressure and diabetes.

Diabetic Nephropathy

One serious complication that is commonly associated with the condition of diabetes is diabetic nephropathy. Diabetic nephropathy, commonly known as kidney disease, is mostly diagnosed with individuals that are diabetic. In addition to diabetes, the individuals most strongly correlated with the development of kidney disease are also hypertensive.

Diabetes and Hypertension: The Good News

The good news about diabetes and hypertension is the fact that regulation of dietary intake and regular exercise can extensively contribute to the prevention of cardiovascular disease complications. By effectively managing blood glucose (sugar) levels in conjunction with a healthy diet and lifestyle, the overall risk for development of other conditions is minimized while maximizing health benefits.


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