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Blood Pressure and Diabetes: What You Need to Know

Two out of three people with diabetes also have high blood pressure. It’s important to get checked for high blood pressure, because it can often go unnoticed with no symptoms.

Blood pressure goals

Blood pressure is the force with which blood flows through your body. With high blood pressure, the heart has to work harder to pump the blood through, which can lead to risks such as heart attack and stroke. 

Here are the ideal blood pressure goals to shoot for. 

  • A healthy blood pressure level is below 120/80
  • A sign of early high blood pressure is between 120/80 and 140/90
  • High blood pressure is classified as 140/90 or higher

Factors that contribute to both hypertension and diabetes are obesity, high fat and salt intake, oxidative stress, chronic inflammation, insulin resistance, and being inactive.

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Metabolic syndrome

Hypertension and diabetes are both aspects of metabolic syndrome. Metabolic syndrome is a combination of the following health conditions: hypertension (high blood pressure), high blood sugar, excess weight around the midsection, and abnormal cholesterol levels. You don’t need to have all four conditions in order to have metabolic syndrome—having just two can put you at increased risk of heart disease, kidney disease, and stroke.

Hypertension treatment

Your doctor may recommend lifestyle changes, or may prescribe medications such as ACE inhibitors, ARBs, beta-blockers, calcium channel blockers, or diuretics. It’s important to follow a doctor’s orders for stopping and starting any medications.

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Tips for lowering blood pressure

Other tips for lowering blood pressure are to:

  • Eat more whole grains.
  • Cut back significantly on salt, high-fat dairy, and high-fat meat.
  • Exercise for 150 minutes every week.
  • Limit alcohol.
  • Quit smoking.
  • Work with your doctor on a plan to healthy blood pressure levels.

Since diabetes and high blood pressure often occur together, always get your blood pressure tested when you see the doctor. See a doctor now in order to prevent complications later on.