DIABETES AND HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE: WHAT IS THE RISK?
HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE
WHAT IS THE RISK?
“Chicken and the Egg”
Diabetes and high blood pressure, it’s a bit like the “Chicken and the Egg”, which comes first, the chicken or the egg? It’s very similar with diabetes.
High blood pressure can cause Diabetes.
Diabetes can cause high blood pressure.
DIABETES & BLOOD PRESSURE: A Dangerous Combination
DIABETES & BLOOD PRESSURE is a dangerous combination, leading to complications and conditions that can increase your blood pressure. If you suffer with Type 2 diabetes, an increase in blood pressure can be caused by a build-up of sugar in your body.
Research indicates that around 30% of the people living with type 1 diabetes, and more than 70% of the people living with type 2 diabetes tend to have hypertension (High Blood Pressure).
The build-up of sugar triggers the body to make more insulin. The additional insulin causes the body to retain more salt and other bodily fluids, which in turn, can be a cause in an increase in blood pressure.
When levels of blood pressure are consistently above 140mmHg over 90mmHg, (definition of high blood pressure) changes in lifestyle and diet are required. If these changes don’t lower blood pressure then treatment may be required.
Under normal circumstances blood pressure varies, generally being higher in the morning but will change throughout the day. People suffering with blood pressure that remains sustainably elevated run the risk of further medical complications.
Diabetes patients have an increased risk of high blood pressure caused by excess fluid in the body.
Blood pressure can increase because of the way the body manages insulin.
In general blood pressure can increase when arteries become hardened or partially blocked. The arteries in people with diabetes lose their ability to dilate (Stretch) this increases the possibility that blood pressure may rise. However, this scenario is common with some diabetics, and managed by doctors and health professionals.
Reducing your blood pressure to 130mmHg/80mmHg or even lower down to 90mmhg/60mmHg can possibly help to avoid these complications.
There are many other risks associated with diabetes that is not properly managed, with a possibility of a heart attack, a stroke, kidney disease, and should the blood vessels in the eye become damaged, there is the possibility of becoming blind. These complications are significantly increased by several fold if blood pressure is not well controlled.
Additional insulin may cause the body to retain more salt and other bodily fluids, which in turn, can be a cause in an increase in blood pressure.
It’s worth remembering it’s the pancreas that continually monitors how much glucose is in the bloodstream, if the blood sugar level is high, the pancreas releases insulin to bring blood sugar levels down.
If people eat excess food it may increase the amount of sugar stored in the body. Any excess is stored and used at a later time to keep blood sugar at the correct levels, if the levels increase above the storage capability of the liver, this is stored around the body as fat.
DIABETES CAUSES SKIN PROBLEMS
Type 2 diabetes causes internal problems with major organs, it also causes problems with the skin. For those diagnosed with long term Type 2 diabetes and hyperglycaemia (High Blood Glucose), this can affect the skin due to a reduced blood supply, causing poor circulation.
I must mention you don’t have to have Type 2 diabetes to have some skin conditions, however, being diabetic can increase your chances of developing these. Listed below are some conditions associated with Type 2 diabetes.
Some conditions associated with Type 2 diabetes
FUNGAL INFECTIONS. Although there are more than 160 different types of candida, one of the most common is Candida Albicans, a strain of fungus causing infection to the nails on hands and feet, oral thrush, athletes foot.
CANDIDA CELLS interfere with the action of white blood cells, when white blood cells are affected, their ability to fight infection is reduced. This allows Candida to multiply, and if unchecked, allowing yeast infections to manifest.
BACTERIAL INFECTIONS. The immune system with people having type 2 diabetes is reduced, due to high blood glucose levels in the body’s tissues. This reduces the body’s ability to fight serious infections such as pneumonia, urinary tract infections and many more.
DIABETIC NEUROPATHY. Is the medical term for nerve damage attributed to diabetes, this condition can cause a decreased sensation due to damaged nerves in your entire body, however, it’s more prone to affect the legs and feet. The side effects of decreased sensation to parts of the body, especially the feet and legs, can cause injuries to go unnoticed, this can lead to more serious conditions.
A SYNOPSIS ABOUT GUT HEALTH
ENDOCRINOLOGISTS have reported the “Gut Health” has a big impact on people with diabetes. It has been reported that Serotonin, a Neurotransmitter in the brain, which is responsible for regulating sleep and other body functions including diabetes. However, 90% of Serotonin is produced in the Gut.
YOUR GUT IS YOUR SECOND BRAIN. You’ve probably heard the saying “I’ve had a gut feeling etc. etc.” There is a direct connection between your gut and your brain. A healthy gut is so important to good health and a good quality of life. Living within your gut are trillions of micro-organisms, around 2 thirds of these are unique to your body. Good gut health is so important as it can influence blood sugar, insulin resistance, diabetes, the immune system, overall heath and quality of life.
DISEASES CAUSED by bacteria that may be related to poor gut health. Below are listed some of these diseases.
- Diverticulitis, digestion affecting the colon (The large intestine)
- Gastrointestinal Disorders, this can affect the gallbladder, liver, pancreas.
- Cancer, an unhealthy gut can be the cause of cancer, however, a healthy gut can help to improve the immune system and help patients recovering from cancer.
- Inflammatory Bowel Disease, (IBD) (IBS) a condition causing inflammation in digestive tract. Crohn disease and other conditions are linked to the digestive tract.
Cancer Research UK. Have a page on their website titled "Could the bacteria in our gut help treat cancer” Click on this link to read more - Click Here
You can read more about gut health and probiotics in other sections of this website.
Section 19 - “How can stress be managed” explains more about gut health, including “The second brain”, “Neurotransmitters” and “Serotonin”. This section also explains how stress contributes to many medical conditions.
Section 14 - “Probiotics & Prebiotics Look After Your Gut”, this section explains more about the gut and how prebiotics and probiotics can influence the health of your gut.
THE REASON for writing this synopsis on Candida and gut health is to highlight the side effects when the health of the gut starts to cause health problems. Some of these problems have an influence on blood pressure. The medical profession mentions again and again the importance of a healthy gut, without it, many serious diseases such as cancer may be directly caused by poor gut health.
MONITORING DIABETES is a continuous requirement. It is crucial to maintains blood sugar to the correct level. Health Professionals and Doctors need to review how your sugar levels are being maintained.
To achieve this there are two different blood tests. One of these blood tests used by Doctors and Consultants is called an HbA1C blood test. This test gives your doctor an indication how well your blood sugar has been regulated over the past three months.
The second is a home blood sugar monitor used to ensure you’re managing your blood sugar within a specified range.
Bulletproof Coffee (BPC)
Bulletproof Coffee (BPC) is something many people are talking about on the internet, it’s a drink you can make with coffee, unsalted “Grass Fed Butter” “Coconut Oil” or MCT Oil.
What is MCT Oil? MCT stands for Medium Chain Triglycerides, which are a unique fatty acid found in coconut and palm oils. They have the ability to stabilise blood sugar and enhance Ketone Body Production.
It’s suggested Bulletproof coffee is beneficial to most people, it’s said to be beneficial to diabetics, saying BPC increases energy and helps to stabilise blood sugar due to the healthy fats in this coffee.
Butter from Grass Fed cows is said to contain higher levels of Omega 3 Fatty Acid, plus the vitamin K2, compared to butter from grain fed cows. Grass fed butter also contains Conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA), researchers have indicated CLA may inhibit cancer, in particular, breast cancer.
Bulletproof Coffee is an interesting consideration to add to our diets, have a look on the internet, there is a wealth of information, including some websites that suggest caution before drinking bulletproof coffee every day. One thing this does highlight is that grass fed butter is good for you and doesn’t make you fat! This subject will be added to the members section this year.
As I am not a diabetic, but wishing to understand how diabetics manage blood sugar, I purchased a home monitor that works with an iPhone. I took readings over a two-week period which varied from 1.9mmol/L to 3.8mmol/L, a Doctor friend saw these figures, saying they are low and I should get my blood sugar checked by a Doctor specialising in diabetes, there being symptoms of hypoglycaemia.
I had a consultation with Dr Felicity Kaplan FCP(SA)DCH,FRCP(Lon), a Consultant Endocrinologist, during the consultation a blood sugar test showed my blood sugar level to be 4.9mmol/L. Dr Kaplan organised a further blood test for cortisol, glucose and HbA1C, the test results were:
- Glucose (Random Plasma): 4.9 mmol/L (range 3.5-8)
- Haemoglobin A1c (DCCT aligned): 5.4% (36mmol/mol: range up to 6% or 42mmol/mol)
- All within the accepted range.
- Confirming the blood sugar device I purchased was misleading.