Work With Your Health Care Team
Most people with diabetes get health care from a primary care professional. Primary care professionals include internists, family physicians, and pediatricians. Sometimes physician assistants and nurses with extra training, called nurse practitioners, provide primary care. You also will need to see other care professionals from time to time. A team of health care professionals can help you improve your diabetes self-care. Remember, you are the most important member of your health care team.
Besides a primary care professional, your health care team may include
- an endocrinologist for more specialized diabetes care
- a registered dietitian, also called a nutritionist
- a nurse
What Are Treatments For Low Blood Pressure
According to Dr. Laffin, If you’re underweight, working to healthfully increase your weight and muscle mass will help to increase your blood pressure.
Dr. Laffin also recommends the following:
- Hydrate often to prevent dehydration. When youre dehydrated, your blood volume drops and, as a result, so does your blood pressure. Drinking adequate fluids increases the volume of your blood. Remember to drink before youre thirsty, which is often a sign that you’re already dehydrated.
- Eat multiple small meals throughout the day instead of three large ones. This prevents too much blood flowing to your gut to aid in digestion.
- Get up from a seated or lying position gradually rather than bolting upright.
- Take blood pressure lowering medications at night. Most BP medications last 24-hours, but the peak effect occurs two to three hours after we take them. If taken at night, this will be while youre sleeping and help you to avoid your blood pressure getting too low while you’re awake.
- Avoid very hot showers or visiting saunas, hot tubs, or steam rooms. They dilate blood vessels, causing blood pressure to drop.
Low Blood Sugar Can Increase Blood Pressure
Our body gets its energy to function properly from glucose, which is found in the carbohydrates we take in from the foods we eat. Insulin is responsible for pulling glucose from the bloodstream into cells, where it’s used for energy.
When our blood sugar levels are low, our body tries to keep essential organs working by causing various changes, including an increase in heart rate and peripheral systolic blood pressure . It also lowers central blood pressure .
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If You Notice A Sudden Decline In Blood Pressure
A single lower-than-normal reading is not cause for alarm, unless you are experiencing any other symptoms or problems. If you experience any dizziness, lightheadedness, nausea or other symptoms, its a good idea to consult with your healthcare provider. To help with your diagnosis, keep a record of your symptoms and activities at the time they occurred.
Is low blood pressure related to low heart rate? Find out.
Written by American Heart Association editorial staff and reviewed by science and medicine advisers. See our editorial policies and staff.
Last Reviewed: Oct 31, 2016
What Other Medications Can Accidentally Cause Low Blood Pressure
There are a variety of other medications that can unintentionally cause your blood pressure to drop, including cardiovascular drugs, diuretics, and beta blockers that are used to treat high blood pressure. Drugs used to treat erectile dysfunction can also result in low blood pressure, as can certain antidepressants, as well as medications prescribed for Parkinsons disease.
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How Is High Blood Pressure Related To Diabetes
First, diabetes and hypertension share many similar consequences. Diabetes types 1 and 2 are conditions in which blood sugar is too high. That excess sugar can be converted to body fat, resulting in a higher risk for obesity, and subsequently, a higher risk for high blood pressure. That excess sugar can also damage your blood vessels, causing multiple problems such as vision loss, kidney problems, erectile dysfunction, heart attacks, and stroke.
Similarly, hypertension can cause many problems by causing stress on your blood vessels, which can lead to problems like kidney failure, heart attacks, stroke, and more. If you have both diabetes and hypertension, its clear how your risk for heart disease, heart attack, and stroke will be higher than if you had either alone.
How Long Is Medication Needed For
In most cases, medication is needed for life. However, in some people whose blood pressure has been well controlled for a period of time, medication may be able to be stopped. In particular, in people who have made significant changes to their lifestyle . Your doctor will be able to advise you if you can reduce any of your medication.
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Severe Low Blood Sugar
As your low blood sugar gets worse, you may experience more serious symptoms, including:
- Feeling weak.
- Having difficulty walking or seeing clearly.
- Acting strange or feeling confused.
- Having seizures.
Severe low blood sugar is below 54 mg/dL. Blood sugar this low may make you faint . Often, youll need someone to help you treat severe low blood sugar.
People with diabetes may experience low blood sugar as often as once or twice a week, even when managing their blood sugar closely. Knowing how to identify and treat it is important for your health. Learn how to treat low blood sugar.
The Effects Of Low Blood Sugar On Your Body
Every cell in your body needs energy to function. The main source of energy might come as a surprise: Its sugar, also known as glucose. Blood sugar is essential to proper brain, heart, and digestive function. It even helps keep your skin and vision healthy.
When your blood sugar levels fall below the normal range, its called hypoglycemia. There are many identifiable symptoms of low blood sugar, but the only way to know if you have low blood sugar is by taking a blood glucose test.
Learn more about the symptoms of low blood sugar, as well as the long-term effects on the body.
most common reasons for low blood sugar are some medications used to treat diabetes, such as insulin.
In type 1 diabetes, the pancreas can no longer produce insulin. In type 2 diabetes, the pancreas doesnt make enough insulin, or your body cant use it properly. Too much insulin or oral diabetic medication can lower the blood sugar level, leading to hypoglycemia.
However, contrary to popular belief, low blood sugar isnt exclusive to diabetes, though it is rare. It can also happen if your body makes more insulin than it should.
Another possible cause of low blood sugar is drinking too much alcohol, especially over long periods of time. This can interfere with the livers ability to create a buildup of glucose and then release it into your bloodstream when you need it.
Other causes include:
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Heat Exhaustion Or Stroke
Heat exhaustion occurs when a person is out in the sun or in high temperatures for too long. It usually goes hand-in-hand with dehydration and has many of the same symptoms. If left untreated, heat exhaustion can progress to heat stroke, which can cause damage to the vital organs. Like dehydration, you may feel dizzy, disoriented, or faint this is because the body cannot efficiently send blood to your organs.
What Else Can You Do To Control Blood Sugar Levels
Yes. People with diabetes should wear identification stating they have diabetes and whether they have recurrent low blood sugar. Those at risk for the health condition should be counseled on checking blood sugars before they drive a car, operate heavy machinery, or do anything physically taxing. In addition, it is important to carry a quick-acting glucose source at all times, and keep a source in their car, office, and by their bedside. Efforts should be made to minimize the hypoglycemic effects of drug regimens and to avoid variable surges in exercise, activity, and drinking alcohol.
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Symptoms Of Clogged Arteries
Clogged arteries are caused by atherosclerosis, which develops over time as plaques formed from fats, minerals, cholesterol, and more build up inside the walls of your arteries. These buildups cause the inner tunnels, called lumens, of the arteries to become smaller and narrower.
As a result, the heart has to use more pressure to pump blood through smaller vessels. This increases blood pressure and puts strain on the pumping ability of the heart.
You may also notice that different parts of your body begin to suffer from a reduced supply of oxygenated blood, especially if the artery becomes completely clogged. Your symptoms depend on where the blockage occurs and what part of your body receives a reduced blood supply.
Symptoms of blocked or clogged arteries can include:
- Weakness, especially on one side of the body
- Loss of consciousness
- Vision changes
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.
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Diagnosing High Blood Pressure
The only way to find out whether you have high blood pressure is to have your blood pressure checked regularly. Ask your GP when you are next due for yours to be checked.
Before having your blood pressure taken, you should rest for at least five minutes and empty your bladder. To get an accurate blood pressure reading, you should be sitting down and not talking when the reading is taken.
Having one high blood pressure reading does not necessarily mean that you have high blood pressure. Your blood pressure can change throughout the day. Feeling anxious or stressed when you visit your GP can raise your blood pressure .
Therefore, your GP will need to take several readings over a set period of time, usually every month, to see whether your blood pressure level is consistently high.
Blood and urine tests may also be carried out in order to check for conditions that are known to cause an increase in blood pressure, such as kidney infections.
You may also be given a blood pressure device to take home so that you can record your blood pressure level throughout the day. This also helps to identify white coat syndrome and therefore helps to identify the best treatment options for you.
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What Not To Do If You Have A Nosebleed
Stopping a nosebleed isnt fun, but it also isnt that difficult. There are, however, certain things you should avoid if you have a nosebleed. Some actions can make the bleeding worse or lead to complications.
You should avoid the following mistakes:
- Dont stop applying pressure for at least 10 minutes. Its tempting to check to see if the bleeding has ended, but each time you release pressure, you could be allowing the blood to start flowing again.
- Dont lay down on your back. Staying upright will reduce the pressure in your nose and will help it to stop bleeding so freely.
- Dont pack your nose with tissues or other items. You can use a tissue to catch the blood. But, picking your nose can cause further damage to your blood vessels and make the bleeding worse.
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Treating High Blood Pressure With Diabetes
While some people can improve their type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure with lifestyle changes, most require medication. Depending on their overall health, some people may need more than one medication to help manage their blood pressure. Most high blood pressure medications fall into one of these categories:
Why Am I Having Lows
If you are experiencing low blood sugar and youre not sure why, bring a record of blood sugar, insulin, exercise and food data to a health care provider. Together, you can review all your data to figure out the cause of the lows.
The more information you can give your health care provider, the better they can work with you to understand what’s causing the lows. Your provider may be able to help prevent low blood sugar by adjusting the timing of insulin dosing, exercise and meals or snacks. Changing insulin doses or the types of food you eat may also do the trick.
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How Common Is High Blood Pressure Amongst Diabetics
The level of high blood pressure risk goes up for people of African-Caribbean or Indian origin.
Furthermore, risk increases for those who are overweight, eat low fruit and vegetable levels, dont take much exercise or drink regularly.
How To Control Blood Pressure
There are many things you can do to manage your blood pressure. Healthy eating, physical activity, managing weight and stress, and taking your medications as prescribed can all help.
With time, your taste buds will adjust to the natural flavours of food without added salt.
Talk to a registered dietitian to learn more about healthy eating.
|Vegetables and fruits more often||Limit processed, smoked and cured foods|
|Low-fat dairy products||Adding salt at the table and use a minimum amount in cooking|
|Legumes more often||Seasonings that contain the words salt or sodium, such as garlic salt, celery salt, Kosher salt, sea salt or monosodium glutamate|
|Whole grains, such as whole-wheat breads, cereal, pasta and brown rice||Limit frozen convenience foods and fast-food restaurant meals|
|Lean meats and poultry without added salt|
|To flavour your foods with herbs, spices, fresh garlic, garlic powder, onion powder, lemon or vinegar instead of salt|
|To eat fish at least twice a week|
|Unsalted or no added salt items|
Build physical activity into your day. Regular physical activity can improve blood pressure and heart health. Aim for 150 minutes of physical activity per week.
Check with your health-care team about the exercise routine that is suitable for you. Both aerobic and resistance exercises are recommended for people with diabetes.
Be a non-smoker
Limit alcohol intake
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Healthy Tips For Lowering Blood Pressure
Making certain lifestyle changes can not only reduce complications from diabetes but can also greatly reduce your risk of high blood pressure. In fact, lowering your systolic blood pressure by 10 points has been shown to lower all diabetes complication risks by 12 percent overall.
Here are some helpful tips:
- Regularly visit your primary care physician and take advantage of free blood pressure screenings.
- The American Heart Association recommends either 150 minutes per week of moderate-intensity exercise, 75 minutes per week of vigorous exercise, or a combination of moderate and vigorous activity each week.
- Maintain a healthy weight.
- Limit your salt intake to two grams per day, which is about one teaspoon.
- Eat a diet with low sugar but plenty of fruits, vegetables, fish, healthy fats, and whole grains.
- Dont smoke and drink only in moderation.
- Avoid nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs , which can raise blood pressure. Take acetaminophen instead whenever possible.
If you have type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure, these lifestyle changes can help you get your diabetes and blood pressure under control. The goal is to live well with diabetes and work to prevent complications, and lowering your blood pressure is a critical step.
What Causes Nosebleeds In Pregnancy And Tips To Manage Them
Pregnancy is full of quirky side effects including nosebleeds. One in five patients get nosebleeds during pregnancy , compared with 6% of women who get them when not pregnant.
Over the course of pregnancy, your total blood volume doubles to support the growing baby. To accommodate this extra blood, the blood vessels in your body dilate. The pressure of the extra blood can sometimes cause the more fragile vessels to rupture and bleed more easily.
Your nose is rich in tiny blood vessels that can get dried out from normal breathing, which can lead to breakage and bleeding. For most pregnant patients, the occasional minor nosebleed is no cause for alarm. Its mostly just annoying.
Iâve invited my colleague, Ashleigh Halderman, M.D., an ear, nose, and throat specialist from UT Southwesternâs Otolaryngology Department, to talk about what causes nosebleeds during pregnancy, how women can prevent them, and how to stop them when they do occur.
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