Tag: kidney disease
Diabetes And Hypertension, Know The Signs
The other day I was asked a question if diabetics were more susceptible to developing high blood pressure? After doing a some research, it appears that diabetes and hypertension frequently occur together and there seems to be a direct correlation between the two.
Certain factors such as obesity, inflammation, oxidative stress, even insulin resistance are thought to be the common causes, but recent advances have shed new light as to what causes high blood pressure and what should be done to make it more manageable.
Physical activity plays an important protective role in the two diseases and knowing the common causes and disease mechanisms allows for a more effective and proactive approach in managing both diabetes as well as high blood pressure, so lets take a closer look!
What Causes Hypertension?
High blood pressure that has no known cause is termed primary hypertension (or essential hypertension). This is more common than secondary hypertension, which has an identified cause such as chronic kidney disease.
Primary hypertension is unlikely to have a specific cause but multiple factors, including blood plasma volume and activity of the renin-angiotensin system, the hormonal regulator of blood volume and pressure – and primary hypertension is affected by environmental factors.
Secondary hypertension has specific causes – that is, it is secondary to another problem. One example, thought to be the most common, is primary aldosteronism, a hormone disorder causing an imbalance between potassium and sodium levels.
Common reversible causes are things such as excessive intake of alcohol and use of oral contraceptives, which can cause a slight rise in blood pressure. Also, hormone therapy for menopause (while it might be slight) has also been shown to raise blood pressure, so make it appoint to chat with your doctor.
Additional examples also include:
- Kidney disease
- Pheochromocytoma (a cancer)
- Cushings syndrome (which can be caused by use of corticosteroid drugs)
- Congenital adrenal hyperplasia (disorder of the adrenal glands, which secrete the hormone cortisol)
- Hyperthyroidism (overactive thyroid gland)
Symptoms Of Hypertension:
Most people with high blood pressure have no signs or symptoms, even if blood pressure readings reach dangerously high levels, which can be kind of scary.
A few people with high blood pressure may have headaches, shortness of breath or nosebleeds, but these signs and symptoms aren’t specific and usually don’t occur until high blood pressure has reached a severe or life-threatening stage.
Ask your doctor for a blood pressure reading at least every two years starting at age 18. If you’re age 40 or older, or you’re age 18-39 with a high risk of high blood pressure, ask your doctor for a blood pressure reading every year. Blood pressure generally should be checked in both arms to determine if there is a difference.
Hypertension, What Should Your BP Be?
Blood pressure readings vary, but most people with diabetes should have a reading of no more than 140/80. The first, or top, number is the systolic pressure, or the pressure in the arteries when your heartbeats and fills the arteries with blood. The second, or bottom, number is the diastolic pressure, or the pressure in the arteries when your heart rests between beats, filling itself with blood for the next contraction.
When it comes to preventing diabetes complications, normal blood pressure is as important as good control of your blood sugar levels.
Uncontrolled Diabetes, Protect Your Long Term Health!
Ok, so everyone knows that I’m an upbeat, positive person overall, but I’m not going to sugarcoat anything when it comes to this blog post. Whether it be type 1 vs type 2 diabetes we all know that we can be up against some serious, long term complications when it comes to battling diabetes on a daily basis 24/7/365. Its ruthless, its relentless, and probably worse of all, it never takes a day off.
Even when we feel like breaking down, giving up and throwing out the dreaded F-bomb because we’ve just had enough of the finger sticks, insulin injections, 2am lows, I’m here to show you why that is never a good idea. Why you need to push through and dig deeper even when you feel like giving up. Always remain vigilant and push through even when you don’t feel like doing so, here’s why!
Glaucoma And Diabetes:
When fluid inside the eye does not drain properly from a buildup of pressure inside the eye, it results in another eye problem with diabetes called glaucoma. The pressure damages nerves and the vessels in the eye, causing changes in vision.
Treatment of open-angle glaucoma, the most common form of glaucoma requires lowering the eye’s pressure by increasing the drainage of aqueous humor or decreasing the production of the fluid. Medications can accomplish both of these goals.
With open-angle glaucoma, there may be no symptoms of this eye problem at all until the disease is very advanced and there is significant vision loss. In the less common form of this eye problem, symptoms can include headaches, eye aches or pain, blurred vision, watering eyes, halos around lights, and loss of vision.
Treatment of this eye problem in diabetes can include special eye drops, laser procedures, medicine, or surgery. Surgery and laser treatments are directed at improving the eye’s aqueous drainage. You can prevent serious eye problems in diabetes problems by getting an annual glaucoma screening from your eye doctor.
Increase In Cardiovascular Disease?
Cardiovascular disease includes blood vessel disease, heart attack and stroke. It is the leading cause of death in Australia. The risk is greater for people with diabetes, who often have increased cholesterol and blood pressure levels. Smoking, having a family history of cardiovascular disease and being inactive also increase your risk.
To reduce your risk and pick up any problems early:
- Have your blood pressure checked at least every six months, but more often if you have high blood pressure or are taking medication to lower this.
- Have your cholesterol checked at least yearly, as well as an HbA1c (average blood glucose over the past three months).
- Further pathology tests such as an electrocardiogram (ECG) or exercise stress test may also be recommended by your doctor.
Diabetic Nephropathy, How Diabetes Effects The Kidneys:
Ok, so over the past couple of weeks, I’ve received several questions relating to the issues diabetics face in relation to kidney problems and how diabetes affects the kidneys, also known as nephropathy.
Diabetic nephropathy is the most common cause of renal failure, accounting for more than half of all cases of end-stage renal disease in the United States. Renal disease will affect between 20-40% of diabetics in their lifetime, so lets take a closer look at what its all about and more importantly, what we can do to avoid it!
Stop me if you’ve heard this one before, but as we’re aware, diabetes can affect many parts of the body, including the kidneys. In healthy kidneys, many tiny blood vessels filter waste products from your body. The blood vessels have holes that are big enough to allow tiny waste products to pass through into the urine but are still small enough to keep useful products (such as protein and red blood cells) in the blood.
High levels of sugar in the blood can damage these vessels over time if diabetes is not controlled. This can cause kidney disease, which is also called nephropathy (say: nef-rah-puh-thee). If your not well controlled and the damage is bad enough, your kidneys could stop working.
Signs And Symptoms Of Nephropathy:
Early signs and symptoms of kidney disease in patients with diabetes are typically unusual. However, signs and symptoms listed below may manifest when kidney disease has progressed:
- Albumin or protein in the urine
- High blood pressure
- Ankle and leg swelling, leg cramps
- Going to the bathroom more often at night
- High levels of blood urea nitrogen (BUN) and serum creatinine
- Less need for insulin or antidiabetic medications
- Morning sickness, nausea, and vomiting
- Weakness, paleness, and anemia
The differential diagnosis of diabetic nephropathy are extensive, but they include the following in a patient with known type 1 and type 2 diabetes:
- Primary or secondary glomerular disease
- Renovascular hypertension
- Renal artery stenosis
- Renal vein thrombosis
- Multiple myeloma
- Cholesterol embolization
- Chronic obstruction
- Interstitial nephritis
Okra And Diabetes
Ah yes, there’s that magical word again that all type 1 diabetics love to cringe and roll their eyes at (me included). Lets take a closer look at why Okra is a great addition to a healthy diet and why ITS NOT going to magically cure type 1 diabetes. Are you ready? Ok, lets go!
Okra also known as gumbo or lady fingers, is a common vegetable in southern cooking, where it is fried, boiled or pickled, often along with tomatoes, corn or onions. Sliced, cooked okra releases a juice that thickens fluids, making it an essential ingredient of gumbo, a traditional Creole stew. Regardless of the cooking method, okra is a good low-calorie, fat-free, nutrient-dense addition to any diet.
Okra And Fiber:
A 1/2-cup serving of sliced, cooked okra provides 2 grams of dietary fiber. This amount supplies approximately 10 percent of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s recommended daily allowance of fiber for healthy adult men and women adhering to a 2,000-calorie diet. Okra’s fiber content is made up of both soluble and insoluble fiber. According to Mayo Clinic.com, soluble fiber may help prevent diabetes and high blood cholesterol, while insoluble fiber regulates digestive system functions. A 2009 “Nutrition Reviews” article adds that fiber may also lessen your risk of obesity, stroke, heart disease and hypertension..
Okra And Kidney Disease:
One study published in the October 2005 Jilin Medical Journal found that regular consumption of okra can help prevent kidney disease. In the study, “those who ate okra daily reduced clinical signs of kidney damage more than those that simply ate a diabetic diet.” This also ties in with diabetes, as nearly 50% of kidney disease cases are caused by diabetes.
Okra And Healthy Skin:
Vitamin C helps keep the skin looking young and vibrant. The vitamin aids in the growth and repair of bodily tissues, which affects collagen formation and skin pigmentation, and helps to rejuvenate damaged skin. Okra is full of vitamin C.
Topical tip: Boil a handful of okra until soft. After letting it cool, mash it, and apply it to your face. After 5 minutes, your skin should feel smooth and rejuvenated