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Diabetes & Hypertension: Watch Your Kidneys Closely — an article on the Smart Living Network
May 23, 2008 at 2:20 PMComments: 0 Faves: 0

Diabetes & Hypertension: Watch Your Kidneys Closely


Hypertension (high blood pressure) and diabetes often occur together. If left untreated, serious consequences can take place. High blood pressure is two times likely to affect people with diabetes than people that do not have diabetes. Physicians don't know the many reasons why high blood pressure is frequent in those who have diabetes, but are very much aware that uncontrolled blood pressure can have serious ramifications.

Of the two types of diabetes, type 1 (juvenile) and type 2, being over weight is apparent in many of type 2 diabetics. High blood pressure is more relevant in those who suffer with type 2. However, kidney malfunction (nephropathy) is present in about 40% of those who have type 1. Research has shown that diabetics have a higher risk of stroke, heart attack, heart failure, and peripheral vascular disease. These conditions are only heightened more when the person has high blood pressure. It is believed that the boost in blood insulin in both types of diabetes supports hypertension. The blood vessels in diabetics are wider due to increased blood insulin. That has an effect on the nervous system which makes blood pressure higher by making the kidneys retain salt. It can also promote atherosclerosis which hardens the blood vessels and leads to increased blood pressure.

Hypertension causes your heart to work harder and if not regulated can harm blood vessels in the body. If the blood vessels in the kidneys are injured, they may quit eliminating waste and extra fluid from your body. The added fluid may then raise blood pressure even more. It makes having hypertension with kidney disease very risky. High blood pressure is a major aspect in the development of kidney trouble in people who have diabetes. Hypertension-related kidney disease affects every group and race.

There are, however, some groups that seem to be at a high risk. Some of these groups are; African-Americans, Hispanic-Americans, American Indians, people who have diabetes and people with a family history of either or both hypertension and kidney disease. Hypertension is not only a cause but is also a result of the damage created by kidney disease. It is a dangerous spiral that must be treated and managed. The symptoms of kidney disease are: hypertension, decrease in amount of urine or difficulty urinating, fluid retention especially in the lower legs and a need to urinate frequently, especially during the night. There are some things that you can do to prevent hypertension-related kidney damage. You need to try very hard to keep your blood pressure below 130/80. You should check it or have it checked frequently to make sure it is where it should be.

Of course your diet is very important. Eating more fruits, vegetables, whole grain products, fish, poultry and nuts is a good place to start. Limit the amount of red meat and sweets. Foods that contain magnesium, potassium and calcium are also very important. And, if you have been prescribed medication from your doctor you should make sure that you take it. Many alternative treatments have turned out to be a great choice for people with Hypertension. For people that have hypertension and kidney disease, the most important treatment is to control your blood pressure.

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