Diabetes and Hypertension Program Fort Worth & Plano, TX

Diabetes & Hypertension Program

What is the link?

Studies have found that at least 1 in 3 patients with type 1 diabetes also have hypertension.

When hypertension and diabetes co-exist, the effects of one disease tend to make the other worse. This makes for a deadly combination.

Diabetes does three things that may increase blood pressure:

  • decreasing the blood vessels’ ability to stretch
  • increasing the amount of fluid in the body
  • changing the way the body manages insulin

Hypertension and diabetes generally coexist because they share similar risk factors, including being overweight, following an unhealthy diet, and living an inactive lifestyle.

Risk factors

The combination of hypertension and diabetes can be lethal, and together they can increase the risk of a heart attack or stroke. Having both conditions also increases the risk of kidney disease and problems the blood vessels of the eyes, which could lead to blindness.

Uncontrolled diabetes is not the only risk factor for hypertension. The chances of having a heart attack or stroke are further multiplied if other risk factors exist, in addition to diabetes.

These include:

  • having a family history of heart disease
  • stress
  • having a high fat or high sodium diet
  • not being active
  • advanced age
  • being overweight
  • smoking
  • overconsumption of alcohol
  • low levels of potassium or vitamin D
  • having another chronic condition, such as sleep apnea, kidney disease or inflammatory arthritis

People with diabetes should try to minimize these risks as far as possible, for example, by choosing a healthy lifestyle.

Our Diabetes and Hypertension Program

Lifestyle factors are the best way to lower the risk of high blood pressure and to maintain normal levels. There is a wide body of evidence, which demonstrates that controlling blood pressure in people with diabetes reduces the risk of complications.

But what are the best ways to do this? Managing diabetes and hypertension is not always just about losing weight. There are specific types of exercises and intensities of exercise that can promote better utilization of blood sugars by your body’s cells, and help to decrease your overall resting blood pressure. Our expert staff is ready to assist you with a tailored workout plan, nutritional guidance, accountability, and motivation. You can use this service as an adjunct to what you are doing at a gym of your choice, or utilize our wellness center during member hours.

On top of the tailored workouts, each session will include education and accountability on:

Weight loss

Losing even a small amount of weight can make a difference in bringing down blood pressure.

The National Heart Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI) points out that losing 10 pounds in weight can reduce blood pressure.

Activity

People who live with both hypertension and diabetes should try to be active at least five days a week for at least 30 minutes per day. Regular activity lowers blood pressure and offers many other health benefits.

Healthy diet choices

People with diabetes should already be closely monitoring their diet in order to maintain blood sugar. They should also limit the amount of salt in cooking and avoid adding salt to food to help maintain blood pressure.

Drinking alcohol in moderation

The intake of too much alcohol leads to increased blood pressure. Reducing heavy drinking to the recommended amounts of alcohol decreases the risk of hypertension.

Not smoking

Nicotine in cigarettes raises blood pressure and heart rate. It also adds stress to the heart and increases the risk of heart attack and stroke.

Smokers with diabetes have a higher risk of serious complications, including:

  • heart or kidney disease
  • retinopathy, an eye disease that may lead to blindness
  • poor blood flow in the legs and feet, which may lead to infection and even amputation
  • peripheral neuropathy, or nerve pain in arms and legs

Treatment with medication

Blood pressure medication is recommended if blood pressure consistently remains above 140/90 for people with diabetes, despite lifestyle changes. You should already be managing this with a physician, but if not we can recommend one for you. Each visit we will help track your blood pressure before, during, and after treatments.

If you are struggling with initiating or understanding exercise for any of these conditions, please contact ClearCut ORTHO today at Fort Worth & Plano, TX and let us help you start your journey towards better health!