Following The Dash Diet
DASH stands for Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension and consists of dietary recommendations to help treat and prevent hypertension. The diet suggests eating more fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and low-fat dairy products, and eating less fats . For some people, adopting this diet helped reduce their blood pressure by 11 mmHg. For more food recommendations, see our blog post here.
What Is Heart Disease
Heart disease includes several kinds of problems that affect your heart. The term cardiovascular disease is similar but includes all types of heart disease, stroke, and blood vessel disease. The most common type is coronary artery disease, which affects blood flow to the heart.
Coronary artery disease is caused by the buildup of plaque in the walls of the coronary arteries, the blood vessels that supply oxygen and blood to the heart. Plaque is made of cholesterol deposits, which make the inside of arteries narrow and decrease blood flow. This process is called atherosclerosis, or hardening of the arteries. Decreased blood flow to the heart can cause a heart attack. Decreased blood flow to the brain can cause a stroke.
Hardening of the arteries can happen in other parts of the body too. In the legs and feet, its called peripheral arterial disease, or PAD. PAD is often the first sign that a person with diabetes has cardiovascular disease.
Risk Factors For High Blood Pressure With Diabetes
According to the ADA, the combination of high blood pressure and type 2 diabetes is particularly lethal and can significantly raise your risk of having a heart attack or stroke. Having type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure also increases your chances of developing other diabetes-related diseases, such as kidney disease and retinopathy. Diabetic retinopathy may cause blindness.
Theres also significant evidence to show that chronic high blood pressure can speed the arrival of problems with the ability to think that are associated with aging, such as Alzheimers disease and dementia. According to the AHA, blood vessels in the brain are particularly susceptible to damage due to high blood pressure. This makes it a major risk factor for stroke and dementia.
Uncontrolled diabetes isnt the only health factor that increases risk for high blood pressure. Remember, your chances of having a heart attack or stroke increase exponentially if you have more than one of the following risk factors:
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People With Diabetes And High Blood Pressure Are More At Risk Of Having A Heart Attack Or Stroke So It’s Important To Know How To Look After Your Blood Pressure
If you have diabetes, you need your blood pressure checked by a healthcare professional at least once a year. This check is part of your annual review.
If your blood pressure is high , youll need treatment to bring it down. This is because it puts a strain on your blood vessels and can damage them. This can make it harder for blood to flow around the body and reach all the vital areas it needs to, like your heart. And youre more at risk of having a heart attack or stroke. It also puts you more at risk of developing all types of diabetes complications, like serious problems with your feet, your eyes and your kidneys.
Theres lots to help manage your blood pressure because your lifestyle has a direct impact. But lots of people also need to take medication to treat high blood pressure and reduce the risk complications.
Its really important to know that you might have high blood pressure and feel fine, because there arent usually any symptoms. But even if you feel healthy, high blood pressure is damaging your blood vessels and you need to get treatment. Thats why you should never miss a blood pressure check its a free test and takes two minutes.
Can High Blood Sugar Cause Brain Damage
Researchers are finding more evidence linking elevated blood sugar levels with cognitive problems.
Visit your doctor, and no matter what your age, youll step on the scale, get your blood pressure checked, and receive a lab slip to test your cholesterol levels. But a test for blood sugar? Thats a toss-up.
Doctors are short on time, patients dont like being stuck with needles, and the prevailing opinion is that blood sugar isnt an issue until people reach their golden years. Trouble is, a growing body of research suggests that maintaining appropriate blood sugar levels throughout your life could play a key role in preserving your brain.
Research has shown a link between diabetes and for decades. In fact, a November 2012 review in Experimental Gerontology reported that people with diabetes have double the risk of developing dementia. Now, scientists are discovering that even modestly elevated blood sugar levels may speed up cognitive decline.
We know that people with diabetes are at increased risk, says James A. Mortimer, PhD, professor in the department of epidemiology at the University of South Florida and Fellow of the American Academy of Neurology . Even pre-diabetes has shown up in some studies. But this is pre-pre-diabetes, in the 90 to 100 mg/dL range.
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High Blood Pressure: Symptoms And Tests
Your heart pumps about 2,000 gallons of blood throughout your body each day. The force at which the blood is pumped through your arteries is called blood pressure.
High blood pressure rarely has symptoms. The only way to know if you have it is to have your blood pressure checked by your doctor.
Elevated blood pressure is largely symptomless, which is why its nicknamed the silent killer.
According to the American Heart Association, nearly half of Americans over the age of 20 have high blood pressureand half of those people do not know they have it.
What Should You Do If You Have Heart Palpitations
The clots can then move into the brain and block vital blood flow. You can live a full and active life with A-fib, but its essential that you be on some sort of blood thinner to protect against clotting. When you have your heart palpitations evaluated, make sure your doctor checks for A-fib as the cause.
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Low Blood Sugar Increases Blood Pressure
Our bodies get energy to function properly from glucose, which is found in the carbohydrates we get from food. Insulin is responsible for pulling glucose from the blood into cells, where it is used for energy.
When our blood sugar levels are low, our bodies try to keep vital organs working by causing various changes, including an increase in heart rate and peripheral systolic blood pressure . It also lowers central blood pressure .
Are blood pressure fluctuations normal?
What Is A Healthy Blood Pressure Level
Your blood pressure reading is reported with two different numbers: your systolic and diastolic readings.
According to the American Heart Association, this is the difference between the two numbers:
- Systolic blood pressure indicates how much pressure your blood is exerting against your artery walls when the heart beats.
- Diastolic blood pressure indicates how much pressure your blood is exerting against your artery walls while the heart is resting between beats.
- Low blood pressure: either number lower than 90/60 mm Hg
- Normal blood pressure: at or below 120/80 mm Hg
- Hypertension stage 1: at least two readings between 130/80 and 139/89 mm Hg
- Hypertension stage 2: at least two readings above 140/90 mm Hg
- Hypertensive crisis: readings above 180/120 mm Hg
- White coat hypertension: For some, going to the doctors office is so stressful it can cause high blood pressure just during the actual appointment. If you suspect this is the case for you, you can ask to be sent home with an at-home blood pressure cuff to determine what your normal day-to-day blood pressure is like.
If you suspect your blood pressure is near or above 180/120 mm Hg, visit your nearest emergency room immediately.
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Causes Of High Blood Sugar
The leading causes of high blood sugar or hyperglycemia include:
Diet: Glucose comes from food, so what you are eating causes high blood sugar. Carbohydrates are the most common culprit as they are broken down into glucose very quickly in the body. High-sugar foods, high-fat foods, and processed foods also cause blood glucose spikes and should be replaced with healthier options.
Stress: When you are stressed, more stress hormones and chemicals are released, which drives blood sugar levels up too. If the stress is only temporary, this is not a serious issue, but if you experience chronic stress or an anxiety disorder, you may experience high blood sugar levels more often.
Metabolic Syndrome: These are a collection of conditions that occur at the same time and increase your risk for type 2 diabetes. High blood pressures, excess fat around the waist, and high cholesterol or triglycerides are examples of these conditions. When these occur in the body together, your risk for diabetes increases as does your blood sugar and the risk for potential complications.
Physical Inactivity: A lack of physical activity contributes to elevated blood sugar. When you are physically active each day, insulin works more efficiently, and your blood sugar can be maintained.
What Causes High Blood Pressure
The cause is not known in most cases. This is called essential hypertension. The pressure in the blood vessels depends on how hard the heart pumps, and how much resistance there is in the blood vessels . It is thought that slight narrowing of the arteries increases the resistance to blood flow, which increases the blood pressure. The cause of the slight narrowing of the arteries is not clear.
Various factors probably contribute.
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Diabetes And High Blood Pressure Risks
The condition occurs in as many as two-thirds of people with diabetes and places these individuals at twice the risk of heart disease than a person only dealing with high blood pressure.
Theres no doubt that diabetes and high blood pressure are a dangerous duo, said Betul Hatipoglu, MD, an endocrinologist at the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio. Theyre both very common and are linked by obesity, which is also very common. Nearly half of all people diagnosed with type 2 diabetes have high blood pressure at the time of their diagnosis.
How Does High Blood Sugar Affect The Body
Monitoring your blood sugar is essential if you have diabetes. Symptoms will get worse if treatment is not provided, and serious health complications can arise as a result. The signs of high blood sugar to look for include fatigue, blurred vision, and headaches along with:
- Frequent urination and thirst: Excess sugar in the blood is passed through the kidneys and into urine. This draws more water into the urine which means more frequent urination. High glucose levels cause thirst even when you are drinking enough fluids.
- Weight loss: Elevated blood sugar levels over time can lead to unexplained weight loss as a result of cells not getting the glucose they need. As a result, they start burning fat instead.
- Numbness: High blood sugar can cause tingling and numbness in the extremities. It is important to note that this is a complication of long-term diabetes and uncontrolled blood sugar levels.
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Symptoms Of High Blood Pressure
High blood pressure is a fairly common problem these days. Many people who suffer from high blood pressure have no overt symptoms. Only during a routine check-up, their high pressure is detected. For this reason it is very important that a person gets his blood pressure checked regularly. Some people experience certain symptoms if their blood pressure increases above the normal level. They are as follows:
Waiting for these symptoms to appear is quite risky. Moreover, they might not be good markers of high blood pressure as well. These symptoms generally appear in case of a hypertensive crisis which can be life threatening. A hypertensive crisis is when the systolic blood pressure is above 180 and the diastolic blood pressure is above 110. If this is the case then the person needs emergency medical care.
Avoid Stress If Possible
A stressful day here and there isnt likely to contribute to high blood pressure. Chronic stress, however, can absolutely lead to persistently high blood pressure.
Whether its an overly demanding job, an unhealthy relationship, an anxiety disorder, overwhelming parenting responsibilities, and the many other ways life can take on more than we can mentally handle are all reasonable culprits of high blood pressure.
While many sources of stress may not be fully within your control, it may be time to truly consider what you can change in your life for the sake of your immediate and long-term wellbeing.
Tips On Cutting Down On Sugar
First of all, if youre finding it hard to eat less sugar-containing foods, dont give up. Studies show that whatever reductions you make will make a difference to your blood pressure and your health in general.
And dont give yourself a hard time either. Sugar has been found to be more addictive than cocaine in rats and probably in humans too so its okay if you need to come off it gradually.
To avoid sugar in processed food, you have to read the labels, and even then its not always easy to spot added sugar as it goes by many different names. One clue is that many of them end in ose , and anything calling itself syrup is sugar.
However, the simplest way is to eat less processed food altogether and make more of your meals from scratch with fresh ingredients as far as possible.
Think about what you drink too. One thing you should absolutely avoid is soft drinks and sodas they contain huge amounts of the worst added sugar of all and are exceptionally bad for your blood pressure and general health.
Dont bother with low-sugar / no-sugar substitutes either as many of these are really bad for you . Instead, if you really need some sweetness, go for naturally sweet foods honey, maple syrup, blackstrap molasses, fruit and dried fruit. They contain other nutrients which balance the effects of the sugar so are less harmful.
One other thing exercise
Exercise is hugely beneficial for lowering blood pressure anyway so do yourself a favour and get moving more.
How Can I Lower My Blood Pressure
If you have high blood pressure, there are several lifestyle changes you can make to help lower it.
- Reducing your sodium and potassium intake
- Avoiding or reducing the amount of salt in your food
- Reducing your alcohol intake
- Avoiding or reducing your caffeine intake
- Reducing stress
If you smoke, quitting may help reduce your blood pressure and heart rate, too.
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Complications Of High Blood Pressure
The ultimate outcome of chronic high blood pressure, regardless of the cause, is the same. If left unchecked, high blood pressure damages blood vessels. Blood vessels develop scar tissue and harden in response to continuous hypertension-induced injury. Hypertension combined with concurrent metabolic conditions like high cholesterol increases the risk of atherosclerosis, which is the formation of plaques in the artery. Damaged and blocked blood vessels may restrict blood flow to certain parts of the body, leading to tissue damage. In particular, high blood pressure significantly contributes to the development of heart disease and the likelihood of experiencing a heart attack, stroke, or heart failure.
Luckily, many things can be done to reverse high blood pressure and prevent life-threatening complications. Your physician may decide to prescribe blood pressure medication to help control hypertension. In addition to medication, healthy diet guidelines and lifestyle changes can help you remove added sugars from your diet and lower blood pressure.
Does B12 Deficiency Affect Blood Pressure
Vitamin B12 is an essential vitamin for the body, but vitamin B12 has no direct relationship with blood pressure and has little effect on blood pressure. Vitamin B12 deficiency may cause anemia, causing symptoms such as dizziness, fatigue, pale complexion, depression, and memory loss.
Eating foods rich in vitamin B12 is a simple and effective way to supplement vitamin B12. Vitamin B12 is mainly found in animal foods, such as pig liver, chicken liver, goat liver, pig kidney, chicken kidney, goat kidney, milk, goat milk, eggs, duck eggs, quail eggs, beef, mutton, and pork.
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Can Sugar Cause High Blood Pressure
To the common man sugar is blood sugar and blood pressure is high blood pressure. Sugar causing high blood pressure is a concept one cannot even dream of. For ages now salt has been blamed for raising blood pressure. Doctors have advised people suffering from high blood pressure to reduce salt consumption. Since the sodium present in the salt was held responsible in raising blood pressure low sodium varieties of salt were being sold in the market. Recent research has however pointed out that blaming salt for raising blood pressure is not evidence based. It is sugar which in fact is more responsible for raising blood pressure. So before understanding how the mechanism works let us understand the basics of high blood pressure.
Other Side Effects Of Low Blood Sugar
When you eat, your body breaks down your food, some of which becomes glucose or blood sugar. Your body will take most of this glucose and use it to fuel your cells, but it also sends some of the excess glucose to your liver, which stores it for later use. Meanwhile, your pancreas produces insulin to control the sugar levels in your blood so that they donât rise too high. Insulin helps your body process sugars.
If you havenât eaten in a long time, your body will release hormones from your pancreas to tell your liver to release the glucose that it has stored back into your bloodstream. Your body will then use that glucose to regulate the energy your cells need until the next time you eat.
When your blood glucose levels dip too low, your cells donât have enough energy to useâthis is hypoglycemia. Your body produces insulin to prevent your blood sugars from rising too quickly. Still, sometimes it makes too much, which can cause it all to dip dangerously instead. Knowing what to watch for and how to treat low blood sugar can help keep you healthy and safe.
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