Hypertension or high blood pressure often occurs alongside obesity and diabetes. These conditions all fall under the metabolic syndrome umbrella, and people with these conditions often have a higher risk of developing cardiovascular disease.
Diabetes and hypertension have similar risk factors and causes. If a person has already developed the conditions, they are likely to develop the others. A person with the two conditions will also find that one condition worsens the others. This post will help you understand the connection between diabetes and hypertension and how to prevent and identify each condition.
How Do you Identify Diabetes and Hypertension?
Various tests help a person identify if they have hypertension or diabetes.
How to Identify Hypertension
According to the American Heart Association, people with hypertension do not have any symptoms. Most often find out they have the condition after their routine blood pressure check. The blood pressure reading usually displays numbers in twos. Diastolic and systolic. The systolic is the number at the top, the number at the top, and the highest pressure the heart can exert while beating.
Diastolic, on the other hand, is the number at the bottom and represents the least pressure in the arteries between heartbeats. Additionally, blood pressure readings are categorized according to the following:
- Normal blood pressure: Systolic reading is below 120, and the diastolic read is below 80
- Elevated blood pressure: Systolic reading is 120- 129, and diastolic reading is below 80.
- Hypertension stage 1: Systolic reading is 130–139, or diastolic reading is 80–89.
- Hypertension stage 2: Systolic reading is 140 or higher, or diastolic reading is 90 or higher.
- Hypertensive crisis: Systolic reading is higher than 180, or diastolic reading is above 120.
How to Identify Diabetes
Not everyone with diabetes will exhibit the symptoms of the disease. However, if there are symptoms, here are some you should expect with elevated blood sugar levels:
- Extreme fatigue
- Excessive thirst
- Frequent need to urinate
- Blurred vision
- Delayed wound healing
A person with diabetes is also prone to certain infections such as thrush, UTIs (Urinary Tract Infections) and upper respiratory tract infections.
People often take a fasting glucose test to help see if they have diabetes. The American Diabetes Association provides the following parameters a fasting period of 8 hours or more.
- Normal: < 100 milligrams per deciliter
- Prediabetes: Between 100-125 milligrams per deciliter
- Diabetes: 126 milligrams per deciliter and above
What Is The Connection Between Hypertension And Diabetes?
Hypertension and diabetes often occur together and often share the exact causes. These are:
- Sedentary lifestyle with an excessive calorie intake
- Insulin resistance
- Oxidative stress
A person with diabetes often does not have enough insulin to process the glucose in the body, or the insulin produced does not work as it is supposed to. When this happens, glucose accumulates in the bloodstream and cannot enter the cell to provide energy.
Increased blood sugar levels often cause widespread damage to the organs and tissues, including those that play an essential role in maintaining the body’s blood pressure. It often results in damaged kidneys and blood vessels that cause your blood pressure to rise.
Do People with Diabetes Have a Higher Chance of Developing Hypertension?
According to the CDC, around 47% of adults in the US are under medication for the condition. The ADA states that 2 in 3 people with diabetes have reported having hypertension or are under medication to lower their blood pressure.
These reports show that patients with diabetes have a higher rate of hypertension than the general population.
Could Hypertension Increase the Chances of Developing Diabetes?
Studies have shown that patients with hypertension have increased insulin resistance and a higher risk of developing diabetes than people with normal blood pressure. This is often due to the body processes linked to hypertension. They include:
- Oxidative stress
- Activation of the immune system
- Thickening of the blood vessels
Diabetes and hypertension often occur concurrently. To maintain the required blood pressure and blood sugar levels, you must maintain a healthy weight and be physically active. Regular physical activity lowers blood pressure and helps you manage your blood sugar levels, among other health benefits.