Diabetes and High Blood Pressure

I am aware of the link between Type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure and thought it was related to being over weight. I am a skinny Type 1 (LADA in the honeymoon phase) who exercises daily- at least 45 minutes- and eats a very low sodium diet. So why do I still have high blood pressure that requires medication? Is there some other connection between blood pressure and diabetes, other than the weight issue?

Libby, I googled this and it seems that 90% of people with high blood pressure don’t know the cause behind it. Neither do doctors or scientists. It’s called essential hypertension.

There are some interesting factors of high blood pressure that I found though I don’t know if they apply to you.

Birth control pills/oral contraceptives can trigger high blood pressure in women and so can family history.

Not only the degree of obesity is important, but also the manner in which the body accumulates extra fat. Some people gain weight around their belly (central obesity or “apple–shaped” people), while others store fat around their hips and thighs (“pear–shaped” people). “Apple–shaped” people tend to have greater health risks than “pear–shaped” people. - from www.emedicinehealth.com

I was on birth control pills for many years but stopped six months ago. My dad has high blood pressure. It seems that my hypothyroid, diabetes and high blood pressure all started around the same time. The blood pressure came down quite a bit so that I am now able to take just 2.5 mg of lisinopril, but if I miss the dose, my BP goes up again. It’s not terribly high- just 140 over 90, and with the medication it is normal- about 110 over 70. I had read that lisinopril is sometimes prescribed for people with diabetes to help protect the kidneys so I don’t mind taking it. With the low dose I don’t have any side effects. I was just curious.

I’m also a thin type 1 with high blood pressure. My doctor tells me that keeping the blood pressure low using medication is also to prevent artery damage. As a diabetic, the higher sugar levels in the blood will start to harden the arteries. That plus the added pressure equals heart attacks.

Maybe the fact that the more viscous blood increases the pressure of your cardiovascular system.

Being diabetic does a number of things to your blood and vascular system:

  1. The higher the BG, the greater the viscosity of the blood. So your heart has to work harder to pump that blood, which is not a good thing, and this leads to an elevated blood pressure\
  2. The abnormally high BG erodes the walls of the blood vessels over a period of time. The vascular walls are not built to transport fluids beyond a certain viscosity. Long term damage to these walls will result in stiffer vessels, thus driving up blood pressure.
  3. Apart from BG, there’s the impact of electrolytes like sodium and potassium, which play a delicate balancing act in maintaining the status quo. Sodium drives up BP, while potassium does the opposite. An imbalance creates problems. Apart from diet induced sodium and potassium fluctuations, renal performance has a hige role to play in maintaining the sodium/potassium balance. Compromised renal performance results in high blood pressure.
  4. Finally, there’s the issue of declining organ function. Organs like the kidney, heart and liver are rich in blood because of the roles they play. If these organs are in trauma, or if they begin to fail, they start exhibiting resistance to blood flow, thus inducing a rise in blood pressure.

Good BG control, in combination with prophylactic aspirin therapy(with prior screening and approval from your doctor) will go a long way in stabilizing blood pressure. If blood pressure is uncontrolled in spite of managing BG and taking anti-hypertensives, it may be due to stenosis (a blockage or constriction that is driving up the resistive index of the blood vessel).

It’s the doctors!!! My blood pressure is always ridiculously low…and then I go in for the appointment. I always feel intimidated, as if I’m being judged. The stress and the pressure of just the visit WILL ALWAYS raise my blood pressure. Do you think it’s a conspiracy to try and put people on more meds? LOL!

I thought that was the problem until I got a home blood pressure monitor. My pressure does go up a bit more at the doctor’s but it can be high at home too, unfortunately.

I don’t know what the physiological connection is.
I have had db for 33 years and take 3 meds for bp. I have a history of heart disease on my father’s side and am currently carrying extra weight. Oh, and I’m old. Somewhat.
Since I hate Dr. appoinments and get very anxious, I monitor my bp at home. I bought the best monitor I could afford and take about 5 random readings a week. Trying to adjust meds with just one reading at the clinic is hilarious. I also found that when my bg is elevated, my bp tends to go up.
High bp and high bg are a very dangerous combination. I know it’s tough to thing of yet one more thing wrong with us in addition to the db, but, fortunately, most cases can be controlled with one or a combination of meds.

I’m type 1 who’s always had relatively good control, and about six months ago I was put on medication for high blood pressure. It does run on one side of my family, but it still really bothers me because I’m only 25. My doctor says it’s most likely from diabetes and nothing specific I did or have done. I’m on 8mg of Atacand, but I notice too that if I miss a few days my blood pressure creeps up.