Diabetes is a condition that causes significant increases to a person’s blood sugar level (which can be categorised as dysglycemia).
There are 3 types of diabetes:
Diabetes is lifelong but, in the case of gestational diabetes, it can go away after childbirth when blood sugar levels should return to normal.
Symptoms of diabetes include:
Development of symptoms differ between Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes. Type 1 symptoms develop within days or weeks but Type 2 can take years to diagnose as the symptoms are quite mild.
High blood pressure (hypertension) affects both forms of diabetes by putting a strain on your heart and kidneys, leading to kidney and heart disease.
According to a 2012 study, there are common overlaps between diabetes and hypertension so people are often diagnosed with both conditions.
Below is a table of commonly shared risk factors for hypertension and diabetes:
|Risk factor||Hypertension||Diabetes||Is this changeable?|
|Race or ethnicity||Yes||Yes||No|
|Lack of physical exercise||Yes||Yes||Yes|
According to Medical News Today, diabetes can be associated with high blood pressure and vice versa. An inability for the body to absorb insulin can cause significant strain and damage to blood vessel, increasing the risk of hypertension.
Knowing these overlaps also means prevention and treatment are easier to combat both conditions. For the risk factors that can be changed, you can make small changes in your lifestyle to drastically reduce the risk of diabetes including:
Before you make any major changes to your diet or physical activity, please speak to a doctor first.
The main treatment for type 1 diabetes is insulin injections. For type 2 diabetes, treatments include lifestyle changes such as regular exercise and dietary changes, medications and/or insulin. Regular blood sugar monitoring is also strongly recommended for both.
As high blood pressure and diabetes share so many common symptoms and causes, it’s important to maintain normal BP and blood sugar levels. We recommend regular blood pressure monitoring as a simple but effective way to help alongside blood sugar monitoring.