Diabetes and Blood Pressure: What To Know

You probably know that lowering your A1c can
reduce your risk of complications over time, but actually lowering blood pressure has an
even bigger effect. Believe it or not, blood pressure is probably
the most important single number for people with diabetes. Blood pressure that’s too high puts extra
stress on your blood vessels. Over time, this can put you at increased risk
for a stroke or heart attack as well as increasing your risk for eye kidney and nerve disease. We know that almost 80 percent of people who
have type 2 diabetes have high blood pressure. So today we are going to talk about what to
do if your blood pressure is high. For every person with diabetes, it’s critical
that you know what your blood pressure number is and where you and your doctor would like
it to be. We think that a good blood pressure target
for most people with diabetes is 130/80. See what your doctor thinks is the right target
for you. Now both of your numbers, both the top and
the bottom, need to be at or below the target number for your blood pressure to be in a
safe place. For example, if your blood pressure is 125/93,
it’s not at target because your bottom number is above 80. Your doctor will take your blood pressure
at every office visit, but if you’d like to keep track of it at home, you can use a home
blood pressure monitor to do so. If your blood pressure is higher than your
target, here are some suggestions for how to lower it. There are several different types of inexpensive
and very effective medications and taking two different medications for blood pressure
is both reasonable and fairly common. There is also some evidence that taking one
or more of your blood pressure medicines at night can be helpful. Talk to your physician about what’s right for
you. Getting more exercise has been shown to lower
blood pressure numbers. 30 minutes of moderate activity a day is ideal,
but whatever you can do will help. The DASH diet is an eating approach designed
for people with high blood pressure and shows some benefit in lowering blood pressure. This diet focuses on lots of fruits and vegetables,
beans, low-fat dairy, whole grains, and lean meat and fish. A look at how much salt you’re eating can
also be useful. Trying to keep your sodium intake to 2300
mg/day or less is a good place to start. And remember the danger isn’t from the salt you
add to foods with a salt shaker, but the high levels of salt already contained in canned,
frozen, and processed foods. Always check the sodium content n any food
that has a food label. Last, meditation and breathing exercises have
been shown to have an effect on lowering blood pressure. We have more information on our website if
you’d like to learn more. And that’s what you need to know about blood
pressure, thanks for watching!

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