The Blood pressure – Blood sugar Connection
High blood pressure often goes hand in hand with obesity, high blood sugar, the metabolic syndrome, prediabetes and diabetes because in many cases they share the same metabolic root cause. If you have any one of those conditions, there’s a good chance you’re hypertensive, too. People with hypertension are almost 2.5 times more likely to develop diabetes than those with normal blood pressure. In a study of almost 70,000 individuals, 30 per cent of men over 40 years of age with a systolic blood pressure of between 140 and 159 mm/Hg had impaired fasting glucose, or prediabetes.
Although very common, the combination of high blood pressure and high blood sugar is quite dangerous. If you have both, you are at greater risk for blood vessel injury, leading to stroke, heart attack, kidney failure, blindness and amputations. But don’t get discouraged. Research has shown that even small improvements in blood pressure and blood sugar – along with weight loss – can improve your chances of avoiding those dire outcomes. It’s worth noting that none of these studies restricted carbohydrates.
The increased risks in people with diabetes begin at blood pressure readings of 120/70 mmHg and above – in other words, as soon as you reach the prehypertension level. That’s why most experts agree that people with blood sugar abnormalities should aim for a target blood pressure of less than 130/80 mmHg – and preferably lower. Let me remind you that the Keto –SA Blood Sugar Control Program is designed to address the underlying metabolic abnormalities that are largely responsible for high blood pressure. Once patients have been following the program for a few months, it is not unusual to find blood pressure readings that reflect optimal health – that is, 120/70 mm/Hg or lower – often without medication.
Diet and Blood Pressure
As soon as you start the Blood Sugar Control Program and eliminate worthless carbs from you diet, you start to normalize you metabolism. This helps to lower your blood pressure in two ways. First, because your primary source of carbohydrates is now leafy green vegetables and other low – glycaemic vegetables (those that have a limited effect on blood sugar), you’re naturally getting a lot more potassium, magnesium, and calcium. These minerals have been found to be effective for lowering your blood pressure.
Second, controlling your carbs will stop the abnormal salt and water retention caused by your former high – carb way of eating – fluid retention that can raise blood pressure. You may assume this has something to do with the salt content in food. Although in salt – sensitive people, salt in the diet does lead to fluid retention, by no means is everyone with high blood pressure salt sensitive. According to research, a high carbohydrate diet and high insulin levels are more likely to cause fluid retention than salt does. On the Blood Sugar Control Program salt restriction is rarely needed. Some people may actually need some supplemental salt (a cap of bouillon will do the trick) to prevent nausea or weakness when they burn fat rapidly. When you control your carbs, your body soon self – regulates to a more normal salt and water balance.
Drawbacks of drugs
Current guidelines recommend starting drug treatment for people with diabetes as soon as their blood pressure reaches the prehypertention level of 130/90 mmHg. If a patient’s systolic blood pressure is in the 130 – 139mmHg range, or diastolic blood pressure is in the 80 – 89mmHg range, and if after a maximum of three months lifestyle changes have not improve the blood pressure, then medication(s) should be prescribed. This usually means taking two and sometimes three different drugs in combination.
While drugs for hypertention are effective, they often have unpleasant side-effects, such as dry cough, fatigue and erectile dysfunction. They can also cause orthostatic hypotention – blood pressure that’s too low when you standing up –in people with diabetes. That’s bad enough, but if you have blood sugar abnormalities, some blood pressure drugs, particularly beta-blockers ( Inderal, Lopresor, Corgard), as well as thiazide diuretics (drugs that make you urinate more), could raise your blood sugar even more and tip you over into diabetes. The combination of a beta-blocker and a thiazide diuretic can make you six times more likely to become diabetic. There’s also some evidence suggesting that for people with blood sugar problems, treating hypertension with a thiazide diuretic alone or with a combination of a beta-blocker and a thiazide diuretic may actually increase the risk of having a heart attack.
Too many patients who have ended up in worse health as a result of taking drugs for high blood pressure. There is a place for blood pressure medication. Lowering your blood pressure the natural way though weight loss, exercise and other lifestyle changes takes time. The risks of uncontrolled high blood pressure are serious. While you should avoid some antihypertensive drugs if you have high blood sugar , others such as ACE inhibitors, calcium channel blockers, and angiotensin receptor blockers (ARBs) don’t negatively impact blood sugar and may be safe for you.
Drugs for Hypertension
Doctors now have a truly impressive array of pharmaceuticals from which to choose when it comes to treating high blood pressure. Here’s a rundown of the current arsenal. (Every time you combine two drugs, as is often the case when treating hypertension, you increase the risk of side-effects and adverse reactions; when you combine even more drugs, the odds of a negative interaction go up considerably).
The first drug most hypertension patients over the age of 55 are prescribed is a diuretic-a drug that makes you excrete more water and salt. Why do these drugs help? If you are eating a high-carb diet, high insulin levels can make you retain both salt and water, which raises your blood pressure. Diuretics reverse this, but of course they don’t solve the underlying condition that is causing your hypertension. Diuretics fall into three categories:
Thiazides. One of the most commonly used drugs, especially when first beginning drug treatment of hypertension, thiazides cause a moderate amount of water, salt, and mineral loss. These drugs can worsen glucose metabolism to the point of causing Type 2 diabetes and/or gout.
Loop diuretics. Loop diuretics cause greater salt and water loss than thiazides-so much so that these drugs are usually given with a potassium supplement and may cause severe dehydration.
Spironolactone. This commonly used diuretics is potassium-sparing- you retain more potassium in your body instead of excreting it, which helps prevent dangerous electrolyte imbalance. It must be used cautiously in combination with other drugs to avoid potassium retention.
Another group of medications commonly used to treat high blood pressure are the beta-blockers such as propranolol, atenolol and oxprenolol. These drugs work by blocking a receptor that regulates your heart rate and blood vessel tightness. This keeps your heart from speeding up and relaxes the blood vessels, but there’s a major downside: The very same receptor that’s found in the cells of the heart and blood vessels is also present in fat cells. Beta blockers block your body’s ability to move stored fat out of fat cells. For many patients, this results in weight gain, which only worsens high blood pressure. If you take insulin, you could be at risk for life-threatening problems from beta –blockers, because they prevent your body’s normal response to low blood sugar. The combination of insulin and a beta-blocker can cause dangerously low blood sugar that is very difficult to raise.
Calcium Channel Blockers
Calcium channel blockers such as amlodipine,diltiazem, nifedipine and others are also used to treat hypertension. These drugs relax the blood vessels, but when used alone they may not bring your blood pressure down enough. Constipation is a major side-effect.
Angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors (ACE inhibitors) such as lisinopril and captopril are popular among patients with diabetes because they don’t have any effect on insulin, blood sugar or weight, and because they have been shown to slow the progression of kidney damage. However ,these drugs often cause a persistent dry cough, which means some patients with asthma and other respiratory problems can’t take them.
Angiotensin Receptor Blockers
Closely related to ACE inhibitors is a newer group of drugs called angiotensin receptor blockers, or ARBs such as candesartan, losartan, and valsarton. People who can’t take ACE inhibitors can usually take ARBs. Like the ACE inhibitors, ARBs help protect the kidneys in patients with diabetes. If you take either of these types of drugs, you need to have your kidney function monitored regularly, because they can impair kidney function in people with decreased blood flow to the kidney.
Diet changes alone are often enough to bring blood pressure down significantly. But multivitamin and mineral supplements and exercise are major parts of the program as well, and these, too, play a crucial role in lowering blood pressure. People with high blood pressure usually respond well to a combination of several different supplements, including magnesium, the amino acid taurine, essential fatty acids, and coenzyme Q10. For high blood pressure diet, and the use of blood pressure supplements go’s to Nature’s Answer To Medication.