In the search for comprehensive well-being and long-term quality of life, there are several recommendations that must be followed and even more when we talk about the prevention or treatment of chronic diseases such as hypertension and diabetes.
Hypertension (high or elevated blood pressure) is understood as a disorder in which the blood vessels present frequently high blood pressure, which puts their good condition at risk. For its part, diabetes - which occurs in three forms: type 1, type 2 and gestational - is a metabolic condition characterized by high levels of glucose in the blood and which, if not treated properly, can lead to serious future health complications, such as kidney disease (damage to the kidneys) and retinopathy (damage to the blood vessels in the retina), among others.
According to the American Heart Association (AHA), diabetes also increases the risk of developing heart failure. Thus, those with this chronic disease tend to develop hypertension and atherosclerosis, due to their elevated levels of lipids in the blood.
Although diabetes is treatable, even when glucose levels are under control, it remains a risk factor for heart disease and stroke. According to the AHA, this is because people with diabetes, particularly type 2, may have the following conditions that contribute to the risk of developing cardiovascular disease: hypertension, abnormal cholesterol and high triglycerides, obesity, sedentary lifestyle, and diabetes, among others.
To preserve overall cardiovascular health, the AHA recommends at least 150 minutes of moderate intensity aerobic activity per week. Keep in mind that uncontrolled blood pressure is one of the main risk factors for developing heart failure. The reason: When the pressure in the blood vessels is too high, the heart must pump harder than normal to maintain blood circulation, which affects the heart and, over time, makes the chambers bigger and weaker.
The higher the blood pressure, the greater the effort the heart must make to pump the blood and, therefore, increases the risk not only of damage to the heart, but also to the blood vessels of other vital organs such as the kidneys and the brain. According to the AHA, various studies have found a positive association between hypertension and insulin resistance; indicating that the risk of cardiovascular disease doubles when patients have hypertension and diabetes, which is itself a common combination.
The most important thing is to know that this common combination can be treated satisfactorily, as long as the patient considers the recommendations of his doctor; among which is self-monitoring, in addition to other indications regarding the appropriate use of medications and to lead a healthy lifestyle that includes a balanced diet and regular physical activity.
For effective management of hypertension, it is vital that the patient takes frequent measurements at home. Knowing your condition will allow you to make the respective changes in your diet and physical activity plan, as well as adjust the dose of medications, as recommended by your doctor. The main objective is that the blood pressure oscillates within the normal range in adults: 120 mm Hg - when the heart beats, systolic pressure - and 80 mm Hg - when the heart relaxes, diastolic pressure.
Similarly, diabetes can be treated by maintaining a balanced diet, exercising moderately, complying with the indicated doses of the respective medications - as the case may be - and frequently monitoring the levels of glycemia (blood glucose), which should be between 70 mg / dl and 100 mg / dl fasting.
World Health Organization [Website]. Questions and answers about hypertension [published in September 2015; accessed January 9, 2020]. Available at: https://www.who.int/features/qa/82/es/
American Heart Association [Website]. Cardiovascular Disease and Diabetes [published August 30, 2015; accessed January 10, 2020]. Available at: https://www.heart.org/en/health-topics/diabetes/why-diabetes-matters/cardiovascular-disease--diabetes
American Heart Association [Website]. Taking blood pressure is not enough: you must take it correctly [Posted on Nov 13, 2017; accessed January 10, 2020]. Available at: https://newsarchive.heart.org/no-basta-con-tomarse-la-presion-arterial-debe-tomarsela-correctado/