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Does Diabetes Cause High Blood Pressure?

Friday, 06 June 2014 02:45 PM

Question: I am a diabetic and my blood pressure is usually high. Is that because of my diabetes, and what should I do about it? 

Dr. Hibberd's answer:
Blood pressure elevations are not caused by diabetes. But both hypertension and diabetes are independent risks for heart disease and stroke. As a diabetic, you may also see the onset of premature kidney disease and kidney failure, as well as a decline or loss of vision from retinopathy (due to abnormal effects on the blood vessels in your eyes).

These side effects will occur sooner in patients with poorly controlled diabetes. Your risks for kidney failure and visual loss increase dramatically when hypertension and diabetes coexist, so it is imperative you be on aggressive management of your BP.
I recommend most diabetics go on preventive ace inhibitor medication (such as lisinipril)  to delay onset of kidney damage as well as whatever additional may be needed to control elevated BP. Be sure you have an annual eye exam to detect and control any vision changes.
Start with weight management and dietary control for your diabetes, by following a high-fiber diet with limits on salt and calorie intake. You should aim to consume no more than 1,800 to 2,400 calories a day and consult a dietician, your doctor, or the American Diabetes Association Website for information on what you should — and shouldn't — eat.
Aim to eat 40 grams of fiber a day. Go easy on salt (eliminate the salt shaker from the table). Lowering salt intake will help those of us who are salt sensitive to lower our blood pressure without extra pills. Start with a no-added-salt diet, then increase the sodium restriction to two grams a day if necessary.
Calcium intake is also important for BP control, so be sure to have some low-fat milk or other source. Calcium pills alone do not appear to have the same protective effect on BP as increasing dietary calcium intake. Finally, see your doctor for aggressive BP management and for ongoing optimal management of your diabetes.

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Blood pressure elevations are not caused by diabetes, but they sometimes occur together.
diabetes, cause, high, blood, pressure
Friday, 06 June 2014 02:45 PM
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