When you were diagnosed with diabetes it is common for you to check your blood glucose regularly, but have you heard about checking blood pressure regularly is as important as checking blood glucose levels. Yes, it is very important in preventing long term complications of diabetes.
High blood pressure is one of the most important risk factors for stroke, heart attack, and kidney failure in people with diabetes.
Blood pressure is very dynamic, meaning that it can change instantaneously in response to the internal or external environment. For example, if you have an injury that causes severe bleeding, your blood pressure drops rapidly. But your body also responds to that drop within seconds by squeezing and narrowing the blood vessels and increasing heart activity to bring the pressure back up. Even if you are nervous at the time of your doctor’s visit, your blood pressure will be high and this will mislead. So, regular monitoring of your blood pressure at your home can avoid such problems and this will also alert you to be healthy.
How to check blood pressure at home:
When your blood pressure is measured, your arm should be at the level of your heart, and the blood pressure cuff should be sized appropriately for your arm. If the cuff just barely fits around your arm or pops off once it is in place, it may be too small, and you are likely to get a falsely elevated reading. A good time to monitor at home is in the morning before you take any medicines. Early morning is when blood pressure tends to be highest and when the effects of some drugs are wearing off. It is also the highest risk period for stroke and heart attack.
- Lifestyle modifications plays a significant role in the management of blood pressure and diabetes.
- Performing regular exercise, losing excess weight and keeping it off, and getting adequate sleep are a start.
- If you are excess in weight then you must be more concerned about weight loss. A sensible reduction in calorie intake along with a regular exercise program is the best way to gradually reduce your weight. Moderate-intensity exercise such as brisk walking is felt to be safer than very vigorous exercise.
- Reducing salt intake is also helpful.
- Avoid smoking and drinking alcohol as they will lead to so many other health issues which are not good for you
- Scientific studies using multiple home readings have found that home blood pressure readings predict cardiovascular risk better than medical office readings.
- In people with diabetes diagnosed with high blood pressure, drug therapy is initiated along with lifestyle changes.
- It can take several weeks to several months to find the right dose of a drug or combination of drugs along with lifestyle changes to achieve consistent blood pressure measurements below 140/90 mm Hg.