Hypertension and Diabetes: Are They Linked?

Did you know that having diabetes makes you more susceptible to hypertension? It’s not uncommon for people to suffer from both at the same time. Why is that and can you prevent it?

What is diabetes?

Diabetes is a disease that affects your body’s ability to produce or use insulin. When your body turns the food you eat into energy, insulin is released to help move this energy to the cells. If you produce little or no insulin, or are insulin resistant, too much sugar remains in your blood. Blood glucose levels are higher than normal for individuals with diabetes.


What is hypertension?

High blood pressure is a common condition where the long-term force of the blood against your artery walls is high enough that it may eventually cause health problems, such as heart disease.

Blood pressure is determined both by the amount of blood your heart pumps and the amount of resistance to blood flow in your arteries. The more blood your heart pumps and the narrower your arteries, the higher your blood pressure goes.

You can have high blood pressure for years without any symptoms. Even without symptoms, the damage to blood vessels and your heart can be detected. Uncontrolled high blood pressure increases your risk of serious health problems, including heart attack and stroke.

Are they linked?

When hypertension and diabetes co-exist, the effects of both diseases make each other worse. Diabetes does three things that will your increase blood pressure:

  • decreasing the blood vessels’ ability to stretch
  • increasing the amount of fluid in the body
  • changing the way the body manages insulin

Hypertension and diabetes usually coexist because they share similar risk factors, including being overweight, following an unhealthy diet, and living an inactive lifestyle.