This common condition is a failure of the body to produce insulin or to regulate existing insulin levels. There are two types of diabetes which are:

  • Type 1 diabetes: known as insulin dependent diabetes. This is where the body is unable to produce insulin.
  • Type 2 diabetes: the more common form of diabetes which is also known as insulin resistance. The body fails to produce enough insulin or to it effectively.

Around 80% of Type 2 diabetics and 25% of Type 1 diabetics have high blood pressure. (Source: Blood pressure association)

Diabetes leads to long term health risks such as heart disease, stroke and kidney failure. But if you have diabetes and high blood pressure then this increases this risk even further.

Causes of diabetes

This depends on whether you have Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes.

Type 1 diabetes may be caused by an immune system disorder, a genetic tendency or damage to the pancreas.

Type 2 diabetes is caused by several factors which include a genetic tendency, age, obesity and poor lifestyle factors. High blood pressure is another factor.

Symptoms of diabetes

These include:

  • Frequent urination
  • Excessive thirst
  • Weight loss
  • Blurred vision
  • Fatigue/extreme tiredness
  • Thrush

Treatment for diabetes

If diabetes is not controlled it can cause serious damage to your kidneys, eyes, heart and blood vessels. So you are at risk of heart disease, stroke, kidney failure etc.

High blood pressure can also lead to these conditions.

This is doubly worse if you have both diabetes and high blood pressure. If you do suffer from both of these then you may be given medication called ACE inhibitors. This is a form of high bloo0d pressure medication which helps protect the kidneys.

Find out more about this and other forms of medication in our treating high blood pressure section.

Treatment for diabetes involves insulin injections, a healthy diet and exercise.

Can you prevent diabetes?

There are some risk factors which you cannot change such as your age, family history and ethnic background. But there are a few changes you can make which include eating healthily, taking exercise, and stopping smoking, watching your alcohol intake and checking your blood pressure.

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