Lowering blood pressure in people with diabetes can avoid complications

A new Medscape article says that high blood pressure is not only unreasonably high in people with diabetes, but it more than doubles the risk of hypertensives becoming diabetic within 5 years. Both hypertension and diabetes are risk factors for cardiovascular disease, stroke, progression of kidney disease, and diabetic retinopathy ― damage to the retina caused by complications of diabetes, which can eventually lead to blindness.

Guidelines from the Joint National Committee on Prevention, Detection, Evaluation, and Treatment of High Blood Pressure (JNC 7) and the American Diabetes Association (ADA) recommend that blood pressure in diabetics be controlled to 130/180 mm Hg or less to prevent or lower the risk of kidney disease.

There are an estimated 11 million people in the US who are especially at risk of developing heart disease, because they have both hypertension and diabetes. It is essential for this group to have effective blood pressure control. Patients with diabetes might develop hypertension during their lives, because of the adverse effect of diabetes on the arteries, which predisposes them to atherosclerosis, which in turn can cause hypertension.

A WebMD article adds that while the reasons aren’t clear, statistics show that diabetes is the main cause of death for women with Type 2 diabetes in the US. They are as likely to have a heart attack as someone who has already had one, and are more likely than other women to have high blood pressure and high cholesterol. Compared to men, diabetic women are more likely to have a heart attack and to die from it and tend to have a poorer quality of life than men.

In the article, obstetrician gynecologist and diabetes educator Cassandra Henderson, MD, New York Montefiore Medical Center, stresses that for women with Type 2 diabetes, closely monitoring blood pressure levels is “a key part of diabetes management,” because hypertension increases their risk for stroke, kidney disease, and vision problems.

To prevent diabetes complications, having a normal blood pressure is as important as controlling blood sugar levels. The good news is that a healthy lifestyle and solid medical care, including natural treatments like RESPeRATE, can halt those risks.

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