• Diabetes and Blood Pressure

    Posted on November 8, 2009 by in Featured


    A major part of aging in place is living in your home safely and independently.  Diabetes can impact your independence, but you can limit its impact.  Education is key.  Continuing with our month long series on diabetes, The Aging Suite will be discussing blood pressure’s impact on diabetes.

    Atherosclerosis occurs when deposits of fats, cholesterol, calcium, and other substances build up in the arteries and cause a plaque buildup in the lining of the artery.  High blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes can contribute to atherosclerosis. A diabetic is at increased risk for developing high blood pressure and other cardiovascular problems. In fact, it’s estimated that 60% of people with diabetes have high blood pressure.  So, for someone with diabetes, monitoring your blood pressure is crucial.

    Your blood pressure is recorded as two numbers- the top number is the systolic pressure and the bottom number is the diastolic pressure.  The systolic pressure represents your heart when it‘s pumping, while the diastolic represents when your heart at rest between beats.

    Low and High Blood Pressure:

    Hypotension, or low blood pressure, occurs when your blood flow is so low that it can’t deliver oxygen to organs such as the brain, heart, and kidneys.  Low blood pressure can be a symptom of end stage renal disease and can cause:

    • Dizziness
    • Fainting
    • Blurry vision
    • Weakness
    • Being light headed

    Hypertension, or high blood pressure, typically does not present with symptoms.  However, individuals suffering from either can experience:

    • Headaches
    • Blurred vision, and/or
    • Dizziness
    • Nausea

    Recommended blood pressure range for diabetics:

    The National Institutes of Health and The American Diabetes Association both recommend that the target blood pressure for someone with diabetes be less than 130/80 mmHG.

    Blood pressure can be managed through medications, diet, and exercise.  Manage your blood pressure and help manage your life.  Check out this week’s Technology in the Suite to find out more about technology for individuals with diabetes.

    Sources:  WebMD The National Institutes of Health and The American Diabetes Association