Diabetes, hypertension, and heart disease we have been told are somehow connected. How? They are connected, that’s true, but what is one to do when faced with this truth? First of all, learn as much as you can about this. Go and see the doctor and find out what to do to lower the chance of getting any of those three.
When you find out that your blood pressure is 132/88, the LDL level is 180 mg/dL and the blood sugar level is 120 mg/dL, what do you think the doctor will tell you? That’s right, he will tell you that you have prehypertension and prediabetes.
Now some people are relieved when they hear the verdict and think, wrongly may I say, that they are home free because they do not have the real hypertension and the real diabetes. They have this false sense of security that everything is fine due to their limited understanding of these three conditions.
So don’t celebrate just yet because studies have shown that those diagnosed with the evil twins of prediabetes and prehypertension have a higher chance of developing diabetes, hypertension and heart disease. So you have work to do to prevent this from happening. And it is not really work for it is something you should do anyway to be healthy.
The goal is for the blood pressure to go below 140/90 even lower if you already have diabetes. It should be 130/80 then. In the beginning, the treatment for diabetes, hypertension and heart problem is practically the same although I’ve seen more aggressive form of treatment with medication right off the bat along with the lifestyle changes. Here are things you can do to stop these three from making an appearance:
- Maintain ideal weight as this is the keystone for treatment of all three conditions.
- Get enough exercise and do this regularly.
- Eat healthy meals and follow the DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) Diet with plenty of fruits, vegetables and whole grains and lower fat intake.
- Limit consumption of salt.
- Quit smoking as this is the main risk factor for cardiovascular disease.
- Limit alcohol to a daily intake of one ounce of ethanol for men and half of that for women.
- Medication may be added by the health care provider if the lifestyle changes cannot control the blood pressure and lipid levels.
Risk for diabetes of hypertension patients have been found to be reduced by preventing enlarged heart. The physicians at Weill Cornell Medical Center in New York-Presbyterian Hospital found that patients with high blood pressure may prevent diabetes when treated for enlarged heart.
Around 20% of patients with high blood pressure or 12 million Americans have enlarged heart. The reduced risk of developing diabetes is down by 38% in patients who have shown regression of LVH while treated for high blood pressure. The lowering of risk is not dependent on the type of treatment and level of blood pressure change.
The body needs a healthy heart in order to be healthy as a whole. Past research demonstrated that treatment of enlarged heart among patients with high blood pressure lessens the risk for a number of cardiovascular conditions. Now there is an added benefit in the reduction of risk for diabetes.
It is too bad though that those who have already diabetes showed that high blood pressure treatment is less effective in reducing the enlarged heart when compared with those who have no diabetes yet. In addition, patients with diabetes did not show any link to the decrease of cardiovascular events.
There is all the more reason to prevent diabetes. So we will keep adopting a healthy lifestyle by eating the right way and moving more. Prevention of diabetes among patients with high blood pressure is therefore a vital goal. And that’s the story on the connection among diabetes, hypertension and heart disease.