What is Blood Pressure?
Blood pressure is the pressure your heart uses to push blood through your blood vessels and around your body. In the general population, a blood pressure reading of more than 90/60 mmHg and less than 120/80 mmHg is considered ideal. The first number (120) is called the systolic pressure. It indicates the most amount of pressure your heart uses to push the blood around, when your heart is beating. The second number (80) is called the diastolic pressure. It is the least amount of pressure, when your heart is relaxed between heartbeats.
Diabetes and High Blood Pressure
When you have high blood pressure also known as Hypertension, your blood is pumping through your heart and blood vessels with too much force. It puts a strain on your blood vessels and can damage them. This can make it harder for blood to flow around the body and reach all the vital areas it needs to, like your heart. People with diabetes and high blood pressure are more at risk of having a heart attack or stroke. It also puts you more at risk of developing other diabetes complications, like serious diabetic foot problem, diabetic retinopathy and kidney diseases.
Symptoms of High Blood Pressure
Usually, hypertension has no symptoms but if your blood pressure is extremely high, you may experience headache, fatigue, vision problems, irregular heartbeats, chest pain or difficulty in breathing. If you have diabetes, you need your blood pressure checked buy a healthcare professional regularly.
Risk Factors of High Blood Pressure
There is no single cause of high blood pressure but there are some factors which makes you more at risk for experiencing hypertension.
- High blood sugar levels
- A family history of high blood pressure
- Being overweight
- Being inactive
- Taking too much salt in your diet
- Consumption of alcohol
How to Control Your Blood Pressure
People with diabetes may be advised to take medication by their healthcare provider. High blood pressure can be controlled by making certain changes in your lifestyle:-
- Controlling blood sugar levels
- Keeping your weight in a healthy range
- Following healthy diet
- Being active
- Limiting salt intake
- Giving up smoking
- Less consumption of alcohol
- Visit your doctor regularly