The Link Between Diabetes And Hypertension | The Knowledge Dynasty

The Link Between Diabetes And Hypertension

According to NCHS data released in 2010, 45% of the adults living in the US had at least one of three diagnosed or undiagnosed chronic conditions – hypertension, hypercholesterolemia, or diabetes; one in eight adults (13%) had two of these conditions; and 3% of adults had all three chronic conditions. Nearly one in seven US adults (15%) had one or more of these conditions undiagnosed.

Also co-morbidity rates for diabetes and hypertension combined are very high. A special relationship exists between these two diseases, which has been detailed below

Reinforcing Behaviour:

Diabetes and hypertension, when in combination are more dangerous than each individually. This is because they have a tendency to create a self-perpetuating cycle. In simple words, diabetes leads to more hypertension and more hypertension in turn leads to even more diabetes. This process can deteriorate the health of a patient adversely, if not controlled immediately. Here is how the process actually works:

Diabetes cause excessive sugar levels in the blood. These sugar levels stick to the walls of the capillaries and the arteries and harden them.
The heart is then tricked into thinking that there is not blood in the arteries. It therefore pumps blood harder to ensure the requisite levels. Since the walls have been thickened permanently, the heart has to pump more and more blood perpetually, leading to hypertension.
But the process does not stop here. Hypertension further aggravates its own cause, leading to a cycle. As the freshly pumped blood flows through the muscles, blood vessels contract where the capillaries have not been thickened, since they do not require the additional blood.
When these blood cells contract, they do not absorb the sugar in the additional blood that has been pumped. Thus the level of blood sugar in the body rises because of hypertension.

The circular relationship whereby both diabetes and hypertension are the cause and effect of each other eluded medical professionals for quite some time. Now, that it has been found there are medicines available that can nullify the effect of this self-enforcing loop, that can have severe consequences if not controlled.

Common Risk Factors:

Since it is known that diabetes and hypertension can have severe consequences on our health, if they operate in conjunction, we need to know what are the chances of this happening. The bad news is that the chances are very high. Diabetes and hypertension not only work in tandem but also are caused by the same factors. Some of the common risk factors are as follows:

A diet, which is rich in oil, processed sugar and fats, puts a strain on both the endocrine as well as cardiovascular system of the body. The same kind of diet puts you at the risk of both diseases.
Low levels of physical activity increase the level of sugar in the blood and also lead to hardening of the capillaries, which carry blood. Maintaining a physically inactive schedule can lead you to both these diseases as well.
Also lifestyle factors such as obesity, smoking and drinking put a person at a risk of developing both these medical conditions.

Treatment:

If you are suffering from both diabetes as well as hypertension, all is not lost. There is still a way of controlling these conditions so that they do not have any adverse effects on your lifestyle. The treatment can be broken down into two parts, short term and long term:

Short Term Treatment: Short-term treatment is the set of medical procedures and medications that help to keep the level artificially low. This type of treatment is meant to provide you with immediate relief in the short run. It breaks the vicious cycle of reinforcement. However, most patients wouldn’t want to be on a pill all their life.

Long Term Treatment: In the long run diabetes and hypertension can only be controlled, if the problem is solved from the root cause. Hence, lifestyle modifications like bringing your body weight under control, maintaining an active lifestyle and eating a healthy diet are recommended.

Hypertension and diabetes can be a dangerous combination. Avapro is a medication that has been developed to help patients stop the reinforcing trend.

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