The Danger Of Hidden Blood Pressure With Diabetes


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Most people are aware of the risks posed by diabetes and high blood pressure, but few may realize the relationship between the two. It is evident that a person with diabetes is twice likely to develop high blood pressure than a person without diabetes. If the high blood pressure is left untreated, the person is at risk of heart disease and stroke. Furthermore, one with diabetes and high blood pressure is four times likely to develop heart disease than someone who does not have either of the conditions.

The probability that a diabetic patient will develop hypertension is 50 percent; and diabetic patients find it hard to reach target goals for hypertension as compared to non-diabetic patients. It is important to develop a two-way relationship between a doctor and a diabetic patient who has high blood pressure. Doctor should specify to the patient what the current blood pressure is, and what the target goal is. In this way, the patient can see what the goals are and can also help motivate the patient.

Some adjustment in lifestyle is essential for patients with high blood pressure. Two most effective lifestyle modifications for reducing blood pressure are weight loss, if the patient is over-weight, and increasing physical activity, which will also help to trim the weight. Diabetics should start healthy diabetic diet which emphasizes less sugar, fat, and carbohydrates. Also, it is important to keep calories low, as most diabetics tend to gain weight.

The most recent important intervention in diabetes treatment is to control blood pressure to an aggressive goal of less than 130/80 mmHg. If kidney is involved, treatment should be based in an angiotensin II receptor blocker (ARB) or angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitor. This is because ARBs and ACE inhibitors lower blood pressure and have an added protective effect on the kidney in people with diabetes. They also slow the progression of kidney damage in people who do not have diabetes.

According to a face-to-face survey on over 350 doctors in Singapore, Thailand, Taiwan, the Philippines, and India in late 2005, 40 percent of the doctors revealed that over 40 percent of their patients had both hypertension and diabetes. However, only 5 percent of the doctors were able to say that a majority of their patients had good blood pressure control. These results are in line with that found in other countries.

As more and more patients have multiple cardiovascular heart disease risk factors, it is essential to raise the awareness among the general public about taking action to prevent high blood pressure and diabetes. When is your next medical check-up? Even if you feel you are healthy, you should not forget to ask your doctor to check your blood sugar as well as blood pressure. Prevention is always better than cure!

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