High Blood Pressure and Diabetes: What You Need to Know

Jan 18, 2023


It is possible for high blood pressure and diabetes to coexist. This indicates that they happen simultaneously or one following the other. There is a complicated link between the two conditions. Hypertension can be brought on by diabetes. Diabetes can also result from elevated blood pressure. Furthermore, these illnesses might be caused by shared risk factors such as obesity.

A person's risk of developing heart disease is four times higher if they have high blood pressure plus diabetes than if they do not. Approximately two-thirds of adult diabetics use prescription drugs for hypertension or have blood pressure readings higher than 130/80 mm Hg. Diabetes is defined as a measurement of 126 mg/dl and above. (Cervoni, 2022)

Mechanisms by Which Diabetes and Blood Pressure Coexist

Increased blood sugar puts the blood vessels under strain. The vessels constrict and start to build up plaque as a result of damage. Various materials, including waste products, fats, and cholesterol, make up plaque. The heart must work more to pump blood when there is a buildup of plaque because it narrows the veins even further. The force with which blood flows through the body rises as the heart has to pump blood harder causing a rise in blood pressure.

Damage from diabetes results in kidney scarring, which exacerbates hypertension by causing retention of salt and water. Diabetes causes damage to the tiny blood arteries over time, stiffening and impairing their ability to function. One reason for high blood pressure is these alterations. (John Hopkins, 2020)

Signs of Diabetes With Hypertension

√ Excessive appetite,

√ Excessive thirst

√ Frequent urination

√ Acute exhaustion

√ Impaired eyesight

√ Delayed healing of wounds. (Petrie et al., 2018)

Risk Factors Of Hypertension And Diabetes?

According to a 2001 article from a reliable source, diabetes and hypertension frequently coexist and may have some similar causes. Among them are:

● High calorie consumption coupled with a sedentary lifestyle

● Obesity, oxidative stress, inflammation, and insulin resistance.

● Having bad sleeping patterns

● Consuming tobacco

● Being in the presence of air pollution.

● Family history of either hypertension or Diabetes. (WebMD, 2001)

Is Hypertension a Result of Diabetes?

When processing glucose, a diabetic either lacks sufficient amounts of insulin or their insulin pump does not function well. The hormone known as insulin is what allows the body to break down and use glucose from food as fuel.

When a person lacks insulin, glucose builds up in the circulation rather than entering cells in order to provide them energy. Elevations in blood glucose levels have the potential to inflict extensive harm on several organs and tissues, including those that are crucial for preserving appropriate blood pressure. For instance, hypertension may result from injury to the kidneys and blood arteries. (Cervoni, 2022)

Vascular Dysfunction:

Diabetes and hypertension are linked to atherosclerosis, arterial inflammation, dysfunction of endothelial cells, and structural remodeling that results in macrovascular and microvascular illness. Common risk factors for both conditions also contribute to the development of these conditions. When both hypertension and diabetes coexist, the damage to the blood vessels and endothelial cell dysfunction is increased.

Insulin Resistance:

The body's capacity to employ nitric oxide, a chemical that causes the blood vessels' inner muscles to relax and promote blood flow, is reduced by insulin resistance. The body uses nitric oxide to naturally lower blood pressure; when this process is disrupted, blood vessels lose their elasticity and start to impede the passage of oxygen and blood. This increases the chance of hypertension over time. (John Hopkins, 2020)

Kidney Injury:

One of the most frequent complications among individuals with diabetes is diabetes-related nephropathy, or kidney damage. Kidney damage is more common in those with type 1 diabetes and uncontrolled high blood sugar.

Hundreds of millions of microscopic nephrons found in kidneys filter blood, eliminate waste, and preserve appropriate fluid balance. Renal damage results from high blood sugar over time because it destroys renal blood vessels and nephrons.

Your body can store salt and water if your kidneys aren't working correctly. One reason for high blood pressure is these alterations. (Petrie et al., 2018)


Heart-related Conditions:

Heart failure, heart attack, stroke, and atherosclerosis are among the complications of coexisting high levels of blood pressure and diabetes.

Diabetic Nephropathy:

Blood flow to and from the kidneys can be decreased by high blood pressure, which can also cause blood vessels to constrict. Kidney damage impairs the kidneys' ability to effectively filter and eliminate waste and fluid.

The Ischemic Peripheral Arteries:

Narrowing of the peripheral arteries, which carry blood from the heart to different areas of the body, is the cause of peripheral arterial disease (PAD). Lower-extremity peripheral artery disease (PAD) is characterized by decreased circulation to the feet and legs, however it may impact all limbs. (WebMD, 2001)


√ Lifestyle modifications that reduce high blood pressure are also effective in managing the symptoms of diabetes:

√ Consume a diet low in cholesterol and saturated fats and high in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.

√ Reduce your consumption of salt, checking product labels, and consuming fewer processed foods.

√ Aim for at least two hours of moderate exercise each week while engaging in regular exercise.

√ Limit alcohol intake.

√ Use deep breathing, yoga, meditation, to help you manage your stress.

√ Quit smoking.

√ Keeping your weight within a healthy range. (John Hopkins, 2020)


1.Cervoni, B. (2022, April 11). Do Diabetes and High Blood Pressure Go Hand-in-Hand? Verywell Health. https://www.verywellhealth.com/diabetes-cause-hypertension-5184896

2.Johns Hopkins Medicine. (2020). Diabetes and High Blood Pressure. Johns Hopkins Medicine. https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/conditions-and-diseases/diabetes/diabetes-and-high-blood-pressure

3.Petrie, J. R., Guzik, T. J., & Touyz, R. M. (2018). Diabetes, Hypertension, and Cardiovascular Disease: Clinical Insights and Vascular Mechanisms. The Canadian Journal of Cardiology, 34(5), 575–584. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cjca.2017.12.005

4.WebMD. (2001, October 25). Diabetes and High Blood Pressure. WebMD; WebMD. https://www.webmd.com/diabetes/high-blood-pressure


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