How High Blood Pressure Affects Type 2 Diabetes

There is a significant relationship between Type 2 Diabetes and hypertension (often known as high blood pressure). While this link is not thoroughly understood, most people with Type 2 Diabetes will develop high blood pressure. The risk is also present in reverse. Those with hypertension are at risk of developing Type 2 Diabetes. Being overweight is a risk factor for both diseases, and this aspect may be where part of the relationship connects. Weight control is also an area where both disorders can be managed along with stress relief.

What is Hypertension?

Hypertension is basically when the heart is pumping the blood throughout the body with too much force. This pressure leads to heart disease and the hardening of the arteries, which leads to strokes and heart attacks. For most people, high blood pressure is asymptomatic, and is not diagnosed until it is noticed by a medical professional during an exam.

Hypertension, if left untreated, leads to:

  • Coronary Artery Disease (Heart Disease)

  • Strokes

  • Peripheral Vascular Disease

  • Heart Failure

Risk factors for high blood pressure include:

  • Family History of Heart Disease

  • Stress

  • High-Fat, High Sodium Diet

  • Sedentary Lifestyle

  • Obesity

  • Smoking

  • Alcohol

  • Chronic Diseases (Kidney Disease, Diabetes or Sleep Apnea)

Because Type 2 Diabetes already damages the arteries, this doubles the effect of both diseases can accelerate complications.

Effects of Hypertension on Diabetes

High blood pressure will lead to severe complications for those with Type 2 Diabetes if not managed and controlled. It will increase the risk of developing the following diabetic complications:

  • Blood Vessel Damage

  • Heart Attack

  • Kidney Disease

  • Kidney Failure

  • Diabetic Eye Disease, which Can Lead to Blindness

For people already suffering from diabetic eye disease or kidney disease, high blood pressure will make them worse.

Goals for Diabetic Patients

If you have diabetes, you need to have a blood pressure of 140/90 or less to decrease the risk of developing major complications. It is essential to think about blood pressure in the same manner that you feel about your bl