Diabetes and hypertension are interlinked

Diabetes and hypertension are interlinked

Diabetes is a chronic condition caused when the pancreas does not produce enough insulin or when the cells in the body do not respond properly to insulin. Statistics indicate that about 9% of the Indian population will be diabetic by the year 2030. Untreated and unmanaged diabetes can cause many other health complications as well. Diabetes increases the likelihood of developing high blood pressure and other cardiovascular problems. This is because high sugar levels affect the arteries, predisposing them to atherosclerosis (narrowing of the arteries).

Such narrowing of arteries can cause hypertension (high blood pressure) over time. When left untreated, it can eventually lead to blood vessel damage, stroke, heart failure, heart attack and even kidney failure. Controlling blood pressure is an important aspect of managing diabetes and preventing complications. This is because hypertension often doesn’t exhibit any symptoms and is referred to as the silent killer. People with diabetes should aim at maintaining their blood pressure at less than 130/80 mmHg.


Preventive measures for diabetes and hypertension go hand in hand and include the following: Maintain a healthy weight: Losing even a small amount of weight can help bring down sugar levels and blood pressure. Eat healthy: Consume a diet rich in fruits, vegetables and whole grains. Avoid processed food as it contains both sugar and salt in large quantities.

Get enough physical activity: Get at least 30 minutes of exercise every day. This will also help in managing weight. Quit smoking and drinking: Both these habits raise blood pressure and heart rate. Therefore, it is better to avoid them altogether.

— Dr Soumyabrata Roychaudhuri

(The author is consultant diabetologist, Anandaloke Hospital, Kolkata)


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