Having persistently high blood glucose levels raises your risk of Hypertension (high blood pressure) and therefore also increases your risk of developing heart disease or having a stroke. About 80% of people with Type 2 diabetes have high blood pressure (about 25% for type 1). If you have diabetes and high blood pressure together, you are at a greater risk of serious health problems.
When high blood pressure is left untreated it can cause life threatening problems as well as a reduced quality of life:
- Damage to the heart and coronary arteries, including heart attack, heart disease, congestive heart failure, aortic dissection and atherosclerosis (fatty buildups in the arteries that cause them to harden)
- Kidney damage
- Vision loss
- Erectile dysfunction
- Memory loss
- Fluid in the lungs
- Peripheral artery disease
If you are diabetic, pre-diabetic or have Metabolic Syndrome, you and your doctor should also be watching your blood pressure. Ideally, blood pressure should be below 120 over 80. There is a high but still considered normal range, 120-139 over 80-89, which can eventually lead to the same health problems. People in this normal but high range of blood pressure have 2 to 3 times higher risk for heart disease and stroke than those whose blood pressure remains below 120/80.
Natural Remedies for High Blood Pressure
There are many things you can do to reduce your blood pressure or prevent it from going beyond the normal range. Many of these methods are the same things that a person with type 2 diabetes should do, such as reducing carbs and sugar and exercising more. But there are also some specific foods, herbs and nutrients that work really well to reduce blood pressure when incorporated into your healthy lifestyle choices.
- Reduce salt and increase potassium
- Pineapple core – Potassium
- Bananas – Potassium
- Watermelon daily 3
- Cardamom – diuretic, fiber rich, anti-inflammatory
- 3 cups Hibiscus Tea daily – phytochemicals
- CoQ10 – antioxidant, dilates blood vessels
- Relax more often, reduce stress
- Reduce alcohol – too much alcohol is not good for blood pressure, however 4 oz. of red wine daily may be good for your heart
High Blood Pressure Needs to be Treated Seriously
Ignoring high blood pressure is not an option, it won’t go away without doing something about it. Many people have lowered their blood pressure without medication, but it takes some effort to make the lifestyle changes. Your doctor may recommend a prescription drug and there are several different types. Even if you take medicine to reduce your blood pressure it would be beneficial to incorporate good nutrition and exercise into your treatment plan.
- DASH Diet – Some studies have been done using a higher fat version of the DASH diet proving to be just as beneficial as the low fat version.1
The DASH diet (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) is promoted by the National Institutes of Health (“NIH”), and is recommended by the United States Department of Agriculture (“USDA”) as an ideal eating plans for everyone.
Anyone can get high blood pressure and it is estimated that 1 out of 3 American adults are affected by it.2 There may be no symptoms and extremely high blood pressure can quickly lead to stroke or heart failure. Since people with high blood sugar are at a higher risk for developing Hypertension, it would be wise for them to reduce salt intake and increase foods with Potassium as well as eating a nutrient rich, lower carb diet and getting more exercise.