Sugarland Primary Care Physicians

Understanding the Connection Between Diabetes and Hypertension

Feb 08, 2023
Understanding the Connection Between Diabetes and Hypertension
Diabetes and hypertension (high blood pressure) conditions can lead to serious complications if left untreated, but did you know these illnesses are often connected? Read on to find out more about this curious link.

Preventable chronic diseases are among the most common causes of disability and death in America, affecting six out of ten people in the US (with four in ten dealing with more than one). These diseases include chronic illnesses, such as cardiovascular disease, lung disease, cancer, stroke, chronic kidney disease, and diabetes. Worse, the prevalence of chronic diseases is on the rise, becoming a common condition among children and younger adults.

Of the common chronic conditions Americans face, hypertension (high blood pressure) and type 2 diabetes are not only frequent and a potential risk for complications, but also they are often connected. To better understand the link between them, we examine both illnesses, the issues they share, and the risk factors for suffering from both diseases.

Dr. Chinwe Okafor and her dedicated medical team at Sugarland Primary Care Physicians can help if you live in the Sugarland, Texas area and are dealing with either diabetes, hypertension, or both.

Understanding both hypertension and diabetes

Both hypertension and diabetes are preventable conditions with risks connected to them, but different functions of the body cause them. Hypertension is when forced blood pushes against your blood vessel walls (blood pressure) out of control, which can happen as primary or secondary hypertension. 

Diabetes, on the other hand, is the result of your blood sugar (also known as blood glucose) getting out of control. Blood sugar is critical for your cells to get the fuel they need to perform basic tasks. A hormone called insulin, produced by your pancreas, regulates the cells in your bloodstream. When the insulin no longer controls how much blood sugar is in your bloodstream and gets out of control, it paves the way for type 2 diabetes.

The connection between them

Both conditions increase your risks of complications like cardiovascular disease, stroke, kidney damage, eye damage, and other illnesses, and also have an overlap of factors that cause them, namely obesity, inactivity, bad diets, and chronic inflammation. In addition, both conditions are also commonly asymptomatic at first, making them harder to detect.

Diabetes can also lead to hypertension with enough damage to your kidneys and blood vessels; the American Diabetes Association (ADA) estimates that two in three people with diabetes also struggle with hypertension.

Risk factors of having both

Unfortunately, with both conditions being comorbid (having both diseases simultaneously), the increase of complications is even higher. People struggling with both are also at increased risk of eye problems, kidney failure, stroke, and heart attack associated with kidney and cardiovascular disease. 

You can control both conditions with changes in dietary habits, increasing regular exercise and general physical activity, and losing bad habits like drinking and smoking.

Both diabetes and hypertension can be potentially dangerous, but the threat is far worse if you have to cope with both. If you’re dealing with the symptoms of both conditions, make an appointment with Dr. Okafor and Sugarland Primary Care Physicians today to get treatment.