If you're one of the nearly 24 million Americans living with type 2 diabetes, you know your body has difficulty using or producing insulin. What can you do to manage the disease? We asked Jill Crandall, MD, professor of clinical medicine and director of the diabetesclinical trials unit at Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York City, to debunk some myths and help you learn to live well.
Peripheral vascular disease (hardening of the arteries in the legs and feet)
Even blood pressure that's at the higher end of normal, called prehypertension (120/80 to 139/89) impacts your health. Studies show that people with prehypertension have a two to three times greater chance over 10 years of developing heart disease.
What Should Blood Pressure Be if You Have Diabetes?
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 heart beats 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.
Usually, high blood pressure has no symptoms. That's why it's so important to check your blood pressure regularly. You should get it checked at any doctor visit and follow your doctor's recommendations about checking your blood pressure at home, too.
How Is High Blood Pressure Treated?
ACE (angiotensin converting enzyme) inhibitors and ARBs (angiotensin II receptor blockers) are kinds of medications that are often used to treat high blood pressure for people with diabetes. Although other high blood pressure medicines are available, ACE inhibitors and ARBs treat high blood pressure and also prevent or slow kidney disease in people with diabetes.