Breaking News
Translate

Type2 diabetes, hypertension, the lethal duo on the prowl

By Folasade Alli

Having diabetes and hypertension is incredibly common in Nigeria. Although the correlation between both diseases is scientifically unknown, a lot of diabetic patients develop hypertension.

Amongst the contributors to both conditions, Obesity, a diet high in fat and sodium, and physical inactivity particularly contribute to their development. Furthermore, it is often the case that many diabetic patients do not realise that they have hypertension. This is because hypertension is a ‘symptomless disease’ or ‘silent killer’.

Both medical conditions put patients at an increased risk for further complications including cardiovascular and kidney diseases.

Type 2 diabetes can have a slow inception, and early signs and symptoms can be confused with signs of stress, a poor diet or being overweight. This type of diabetes occurs when problems arise in making or using insulin, a hormone that makes it possible for cells to use glucose (also known as blood sugar) for energy. In a nutshell, type 2 diabetes occurs when the body cannot use glucose properly, which raises the level of glucose in the blood.

On the other hand, your heart is the hardest-working muscle in your body, and one of the first to begin working in the womb. Anything that interferes with its ability to function properly can lead to hypertension, and other conditions. Controlling your blood pressure is an important task. High blood pressure (hypertension) develops slowly over time and is incurable. It can be related to many factors and causes like family history, age, obesity, stress, unhealthy diet, and so on. Usually, a combination of factors are at play.

There is a reason it is called the “silent killer.” A lot of times, high blood pressure has no obvious symptoms until it causes a stroke, heart attack, kidney damage, loss of vision, or other problems. It also damages the blood vessels from the brain to the toes overtime.

Controlling your blood pressure is an important task. High blood pressure (hypertension) develops slowly over time and is incurable. It can be related to many factors and causes like family history, age, obesity, stress, unhealthy diet, and so on. Usually, a combination of factors are at play.

There is a reason it is called the “silent killer.” A lot of times, high blood pressure has no obvious symptoms until it causes a stroke, heart attack, kidney damage, loss of vision, or other problems. It also damages the blood vessels from the brain to the toes overtime.

The most important advice is to monitor and control your blood pressure and glucose levels more than ever – more than doctors recommend. For example, every diabetic patient should aim to achieve a blood pressure level no more than 130/80. The top number (130) is the systolic pressure which indicates the highest pressure when blood pushes through your heart, while the bottom number (80) is the diastolic pressure which indicates pressure in the arteries when the vessels are relaxed between heartbeats.

The combination of both high blood pressure and diabetes is lethal because it significantly raises patient’s risk of having a heart attack, stroke, kidney disease, eye damage, nerve damage, dementia, Alzheimer’s disease and even mortality.

PREVENTION

There are several steps one can take in order to live a healthier, longer life despite having both hypertension and diabetes. They include 30 minutes brisk walks 5 days a week or moderate aerobic exercise for the same amount of time.

It is important to increase physical activity in order to strengthen the heart. Remember the heart is a muscle, and as with other muscles, one of the best ways to make them stronger is to exercise. Furthermore, this is particularly important for people with diabetes as the condition weakens the heart muscle over the long term.

Secondly, be mindful of what you feed your body. The heart responds to whatever you take in. adopting a heart-healthy diet including cutting down fatty foods, salt, processed foods, high-fat diary products, and so on.

Thirdly, quit smoking.

Though lifestyle changes aren’t sufficient for people with both diabetes and hypertension, they are worth pursuing.

In addition, (more than one) medication may most likely be required for people in this category. It is imperative that such people discuss this part of treatment with a qualified medical professional. It is also important that patients keep track of how they feel when they take drugs as well as the side effects.

*   Alli is Consultant Cardiologist at Lagos Executive Cardiovascular Clinic


Disclaimer

Comments expressed here do not reflect the opinions of vanguard newspapers or any employee thereof.