Hypertension and Diabetes
Hypertension or high blood pressure is one of the primary complications of uncontrolled diabetes. It can lead to diabetes-related disorders like cardiovascular problems, kidney disease and diabetic eye disease.
How does diabetes cause high blood pressure? When blood sugar levels are not controlled or managed correctly, it damages the arteries. These body parts harden, which signifies the development of atherosclerosis. The condition then leads to hypertension or high blood pressure. Without treatment, the blood vessels can become severely damaged, which can lead to kidney failure and heart attack.
What are the symptoms of high blood pressure?
Most people do not experience symptoms of hypertension. That’s why they are recommended to check their blood pressure regularly. In fact, an individual can have hypertension for years without knowing because of the absence of symptoms. However, a few people may experience the following reactions:
- Shortness of breath
Note: The mentioned symptoms are not specific. Why? Simply because they occur only when blood pressure is already high. This explains the importance of regular blood pressure tests.
How to lower blood pressure?
There are a lot of ways you can do to lower blood pressure. Although the first form of treatment is the use of medications, this can only be applicable to people who have been diagnosed with the condition. For your convenience, we listed 10 ways on how to control hypertension without medication.
- If you are overweight, lose weight.
- Exercise regularly. You can do so by increasing your daily physical activities.
- Eat a healthy diet. Fill your meal plan with whole grains, vegetables, fruits, and low-fat foods.
- Reduce your intake of salt (sodium). You can follow this step by reading food labels, and eating fewer processed products.
- Eat more potassium. If you haven’t known yet, potassium is necessary for heart health. It eases the tension occurring in the blood vessels and lessens complications in people with kidney disease.
- Quit smoking. While quitting can be difficult, especially if you are already addicted, such action prevents a lot of medical complications. It reduces risks for heart disease and improves overall health and well-being.
- Restrict sugar consumption. As mentioned, diabetes can lead to hypertension. If you manage to cut k on sugar and refined carbs, you can prevent diabetes by losing weight.
- Improve your sleep. Poor sleep quality can lead to a lot of medical problems, including hypertension. You can have an improved sleep by sticking to your sleep schedule and avoiding actions that may affect your sleep.
- Reduce stress. One poor thing about stress is that it triggers high blood pressure. You can prevent this by relaxing or taking naps. You can also participate in yoga classes to ensure your stress is managed well.
- Monitor your blood pressure at home. How can you do this? You can keep tabs on your blood pressure by making necessary lifestyle changes, checking for your blood pressure, and following the steps mentioned above.
Aside from lifestyle changes, there are also foods that can help control hypertension. Here is the list of foods that lower blood pressure:
- Citrus fruits (orange, lemon, and grapefruit) – these fruits are rich in vitamins, minerals, and plant compounds.
- Fatty fish (salmon, tuna, herring, mussels, mackerel, sardines, and trout) – these fishes are rich sources of omega-3, a compound good for heart health.
- Berries (strawberries, raspberries, and blueberries) – these berries are rich in antioxidants, nutrients that help fight diseases, such as heart disease.
- Nuts and seeds (pistachios, almonds, cashews, and pumpkin seeds) – they are highly nutritious and have health benefits to blood pressure levels.
Other food sources that help control high blood pressure are as follows:
- Chia seeds
- Greek yogurt
- Swiss chard
- Herbs and spices
There are certain things you can do to prevent hypertension. If it is due to diabetes, managing your blood sugar levels well can prevent complications. Sticking to your treatment can prevent other health complications from occurring. Furthermore, making significant lifestyle changes can make a big difference in keeping yourself healthy.