Discover the 5 Healthy factors to better manage diabetes and high blood pressure

Diabetes and High Blood Pressure, the two evil combination and what can be done to better manage them for optimal health.

Diabetes affects more than 500 million people around the world. One in ten people now live with diabetes. One in Nine people will be living with daiabetes come 2030.

Diabetes  is a chronic diaeases which occur when the pancreas does not produce enough insulin or when the body cannot effectively use insulin it produces.  This leads to increased concentration of glucose in the blood.

Diabetes affects the following organs

Diabetes causes:

  • Heart attack
  • Kidney failure
  • Liver damage
  • Lower limb amputation
  • Sexual dysfunction
  • Stroke and
  • Vision loss.

Common warning signs

  • Blurred vision
  • Excessive thirst
  • Unintentional weight loss
  • Frequent urination
  • Lack of energy
  • Slow healing wounds
  • Frequent infections
  • Tingling or numbness in hands and feet

 

Risk Factors for Type 2 diabetes

  • A family history of diabetes
  • Unhealthy eating habits
  • Lack of physical activity
  • Being overweight
  • Age
  • High blood pressure
  • Ethnicity
  • Poor nutrition during pregnancy
  • A history of diabetes in pregnancy

 

High Blood Pressure

Blood pressure is the pressure of blood pushing against the walls of the arteries. Arteries carry blood from your heart to other parts of the body.

Blood pressure normally rises and falls during the day.

High blood pressure is also called hypertension. It is a condition in which the force of the blood against the artery walls is too high.

Hypertension is when the blood pressure above 140/90 and is considered severe when the blood pressure is above 180/120

More than 1.5 million cases exist in Nigeria.

Symptoms

High blood pressure often has no symptom. At other times, the following symptoms are observed

  1. Blurry vision
  2. Light-headedness/fainting
  3. Fatigue
  4. Headache
  5. Heart palpitations
  6. Nosebleeds
  7. Shortness of breath
  8. Nausea or vomiting

High blood pressure has been termed a silent killer.

Hypertension increase the workload on your heart and blood vessels. Over time, this workload damages the arterial walls.

Causes of high blood pressure can be non-modifiable or modifiable risk factor

 

Non modifiable risk factor

  1. Family history
  2. Ethnic origin

Non-Modifiable risk factors

These are factors that can be controlled using medications and lifestyle changes

  1. Excessive alcohol consumption
  2. Little or no physical activity
  3. Excessive amount of salt in diet
  4. Long history of smoking
  5. Extreme emotional stress
  6. Certain health conditions such as diabetes and obesity.

 

Diagnosis of high blood pressure

The best way to measure high blood pressure is by measuring it. A blood pressure reading has two numbers- a systolic blood pressure and a diastolic blood pressure.

The systolic blood pressure is the top number while the diastolic blood pressure is the bottom number.

Systolic blood pressure measures the pressure in your arteries when your heart beats.

Diastolic blood pressure indicates how much pressure your blood is exerting against your artery walls while the heart is resting between beats.

 

“According to the American Heart Association guidelines, blood pressure measurement fall into four general categories

Normal Blood pressure is a reading of less than 120 systolic and below 80 diastolic

Elevated blood pressure—a reading ranging from120 to 129  systolic and below 80 diastolic

Hypertension

Stage 1 hypertension: a reading ranging from 130-139 systolic and or 80 to 89 diastolic

Stage 2 hypertension:  a reading ranging from 140 or higher systolic or 90 diastolic.

Hypertensive crisis is when there is a reading higher than 180 systolic and or 120 diastolic.”

 

“The seventh Report of the joint National Committee on Prevention, Detection, Evaluation and Treatment of High Blood pressure 2003 guidelines:

Normal Blood pressure: Systolic less than 120mg and diastolic less than 80 .

At risk(Prehypertension): systolic 120-139 while diastolic is between 80-80

High Blood Pressure: systolic 140 while diastolic is 90.”

 

The higher the blood pressure levels, the more risk you have for other health problems such as heart diseases, heart attack and stroke.

High blood pressure can damage your arteries by making them less elastic which decreases the flow of blood and oxygen to your heart leading to heart problems

Hypertension can lead to the arteries supplying blood to the brain to burst or be blocked leading to stroke.

Hypertensions predispose the person to chronic kidney disease.

These two diseases can be managed by making healthy lifestyle changes.

Diabetes can be managed and its consequences minimised by  practiving healthy diets, physical activity, medications, regular screening and treatment.

While high blood pressure can be managed by also making healthy lifestyle changes such as getting at least 150 minutes of exercises per week, eating healthy, keeping healthy weight,

Managing stress and quiting smoking

5 LIFESTYLE FACTORS FOR LONGER AND HEALTHIER LIFESPAN

In 2018, Harvard researchers looked at factor that may increase our chances of a longer life through the data collected from man and women who were followed up to 34 years

Researchers found that these five factors contributed to low-risk lifestyle:

  • Healthy diet-cutting off sugar completely, not eating 2 to 3 hours before you sleep and staying hydrated
  • Regular exercise– doing at a least 30 minutes daily moderate to vigorous exercise
  • Healthy weight– maintaining a body mass index of 18.5 to 24.9
  • No smoking
  • Moderate alcohol intake.

 

When compared to those who did not incorporate any of the lifestyle factors to those who incorporated all the five factors, those who did not practiced any of these factors only lived up to 14 years longer and healthier

Researchers also discovered that women at age 50 who practiced four to five of the healthy factors lived additional 34 years more in good health free from diabetes, high blood blood pressure, cardiovascular diseases and cancer.

 

Men practising 4 or 5 of the healthy living factors at age 50 lived about 31 years more, free from any chronic diseases.

It has also been discovered that heavy smokers and people with obesity had fewer disease free years to live.

Regular exercise of at least 30 minutes daily of moderate to vigorous activity.

Diastolic blood pressure indicates how much pressure your blood is exerting against your artery walls while the heart is resting between attacks

Maintaining healthy weight

No smoking

Non consumption of alcohol or limiting alcohol consumption to 1 glass a day

 

Healthy Eating Plate

  1. The more veggies the better
  2. Eat plenty of fruits of all colours
  3. Use healthy oils such as olive oil and canola oil.
  4. Avoid trans-fat oil
  5. Limit the use of Butter
  6. Eat variety of whole grains such as wheat bread, whole grain pasta, brown rice.
  7. Limit refined grains like white rice and white bread.
  8. Choose fish, Poultry, beans and nuts.
  9. Limit red meat and cheese
  10. Avoid bacon, cold cuts and other processed meats.

 

If you practice these and more, your dream of being a healthy living becomes a reality.

 

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