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It is possible to have diabetes with only very mild symptoms or without developing any symptoms at all. A condition known as prediabetes that often leads to type 2 diabetes also produces no symptoms. The most common symptoms are related to hyperglycemia (high blood sugar levels), especially the classic symptoms of diabetes: frequent urination and thirst.
If your insulin is ineffective, or not there at all, your kidneys cannot filter the glucose back into the blood. As the insulin in your blood is not working properly, or is not there at all, and your cells are not getting their energy, your body may react by trying to find more energy - food. If your insulin is not working properly, or is not there at all, glucose will not be entering your cells and providing them with energy. If you are over 50 and experience frequent or constant sexual dysfunction (erectile dysfunction), it could be a symptom of diabetes.
If there is too much sugar in your body your nerves could become damaged, as could the tiny blood vessels that feed those nerves. Diabetes can often be detected by carrying out a urine test, which finds out whether excess glucose is present.
If you are worried that you may have some of the above symptoms, you are recommended to talk to your Doctor or a qualified health professional.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Basics about diabetes, accessed August 2015. American Heart Association, Symptoms, diagnosis & monitoring of diabetes, accessed August 2015. Mayo Clinic, Diabetes symptoms: When diabetes symptoms are a concern, accessed August 2015.
Disclaimer: This informational section on Medical News Today is regularly reviewed and updated, and provided for general information purposes only. Please note that although you may feel free to cite and quote this article, it may not be re-produced in full without the permission of Medical News Today. Learn all about diabetes, a lifelong metabolism disorder that causes high blood sugar levels. Learn all about type 1 and type 2 diabetes and the differences between the two conditions in our article about the diabetes mellitus metabolism disorder. The higher number is the systolic blood pressure, the pressure in your arteries while your heart is pumping blood. As your body is not making insulin it will seek out another energy source (the cells aren't getting glucose).
As Type 1 is of a more sudden onset and Type 2 is much more gradual, weight loss is more noticeable with Type 1.
Women with diabetes find it especially difficult to recover from bladder and vaginal infections.
The materials contained within this guide do not constitute medical or pharmaceutical advice, which should be sought from qualified medical and pharmaceutical advisers.
The lower number is the diastolic blood pressure, the pressure when your heart is relaxing and refilling with blood between beats. People with certain health conditions (diabetes) may benefit from a lower target goal.For elderly people, the risks of medication side effects need to be weighed against the benefits of achieving ideal blood pressure goals. Home Blood Pressure MonitoringMost people with high blood pressure will benefit from monitoring their blood pressure at home on a regular basis. Home monitoring can help show if blood pressure medications are working or if they need to be adjusted.Lifestyle Changes and High Blood PressureLifestyle changes are important for preventing and treating high blood pressure.
Although some people need only one drug to control blood pressure, most patients require at least two medications.Blood pressure measurements can fluctuate throughout the day and in different environments.
The decision to start or increase blood pressure medications should not be based on a single blood pressure reading.
To obtain the most accurate estimate of your true blood pressure, your doctor will use an average of multiple readings.
These may include repeated readings made in the doctor's office as well as blood pressure measurements you performed at home. Blood pressure is the force applied against the walls of the arteries as the heart pumps blood through the body. The pressure is determined by the force and amount of blood pumped and the size and flexibility of the arteries.High blood pressure makes the body's heart work harder, which over time can lead to damage in blood vessels throughout the body. It shows the pressure in the arteries when the heart is beating.Diastolic blood pressure (the second and lower number) is the measurement of force as the heart relaxes to allow the blood to flow into the heart.
A third number, pulse pressure, is the difference between the systolic and the diastolic readings. About 90% of all high blood pressure cases are this type.Secondary hypertension is high blood pressure caused by an underlying medical condition, such as kidney or endocrine disorders. Doctors may also categorize hypertension based on what portion of the blood pressure reading is abnormal:Isolated systolic hypertension occurs when systolic pressure is high (over 139 mm Hg) but diastolic pressure is normal (under 90 mm Hg). Isolated systolic hypertension is the most common form of hypertension in people older than age 50. African-Americans or people with certain types of heart disease or chronic kidney disease may benefit from lower target goals. For example, if systolic pressure is 165 (Stage 2) and diastolic is 92 (Stage 1), the person would still be diagnosed with Stage 2 hypertension. However, doctors do agree that medication side effects need to be considered, especially when treating elderly patients. At the same time, poorly controlled blood pressure can increase the risk for stroke and heart complications. The advantages and disadvantages of aggressively treating blood pressure need to be carefully considered for each individual patient.Blood Pressure in ChildrenFor children, blood pressure readings are based on percentile ranges for a child's body size. Hypertension in children is defined as average systolic and diastolic readings that are greater than the 95th percentile for gender, age, and height on at least three occasions.Prehypertension in children is diagnosed when average systolic or diastolic blood pressure levels are at least in the 90th percentile, but less than the 95th percentile. Increasing rates of childhood obesity have led to higher rates of hypertension and prehypertension among children and adolescents. However, according to the United States Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF), it is not clear if blood pressure screening is helpful for children who do not show signs or symptoms of hypertension. It is also not certain if screening accurately identifies children at risk for heart disease.

The USPSTF recommends pediatricians make a decision to evaluate blood pressure based on specific clinical situations (for example, when a child is overweight). Primary hypertension may be due to a combination of genetic, environmental, and other factors.
A number of genetic factors or interactions between genes play a major role in primary hypertension. Genes under investigation include:Genes that regulate a group of hormones known collectively as the angiotensin-renin-aldosterone system.
This system influences all aspects of blood pressure control, including blood vessel contraction, sodium and water balance, and cell development in the heart.Genes that cause abnormalities of the sympathetic nervous system. This is the part of the autonomic nervous system that controls heart rate, blood pressure, and the diameter of the blood vessels. Causes of Secondary HypertensionSecondary hypertension is caused by an underlying medical condition or other factor (such as medications) that elevates blood pressure.
Kidney damage (diabetic nephropathy) is generally the cause of high blood pressure in people with diabetes.Kidney disease. Kidney disease is the most common cause of secondary hypertension, particularly in older people.
In addition to diabetic nephropathy, many other types of kidney diseases can cause hypertension. Renal artery stenosis involves the narrowing of the renal artery and is usually caused by atherosclerosis. Other types of kidney disease associated with hypertension are polycystic kidney disease and renal parenchymal disease.Coarctation of the aorta. This is a birth defect that causes narrowing of the aorta, the main artery leading out of the heart that brings blood to the rest of the body.Endocrine disorders.
Adrenal tumors (pheochromocytoma, aldosteronism), thyroid disorders, and Cushing syndrome can all cause secondary hypertension.Medications.
People who are diagnosed with prehypertension are at increased risk of developing high blood pressure.Age and GenderAge is the major risk factor of hypertension.
Among younger people, boys are at higher risk for high blood pressure than girls.Race and EthnicityCompared to Caucasians and other ethnic groups, African-Americans are more likely to have high blood pressure. Even moderately obese adults have double the risk of hypertension than people with normal weights. Children and adolescents who are obese are at increased risk for high blood pressure when they reach adulthood.Obstructive Sleep ApneaObstructive sleep apnea, a disorder in which breathing halts briefly but repeatedly during sleep, is present in many people with hypertension. The relationship between sleep apnea and hypertension has been thought to be largely due to obesity.
But studies are finding a higher rate of hypertension in people with sleep apnea regardless of their weight.Lifestyle FactorsSmoking.
Cigarette smoking is a major risk factor for high blood pressure.Sodium (salt) and potassium. Similarly, a diet that is too low in potassium can make the body accumulate too much sodium. Women may be more sensitive than men to the blood pressure effects of alcohol.Physical inactivity.
A sedentary lifestyle and lack of physical activity can increase the risk of becoming overweight.Stress.
Chronic stress can lead to engaging in unhealthy behaviors (overeating, smoking, alcohol use, lack of exercise) that contribute to high blood pressure.   Complications   High blood pressure, also called hypertension, is a disorder characterized by chronically high blood pressure.
It must be monitored, treated, and controlled by medication, lifestyle changes, or a combination of both.High blood pressure places stress on several organs (called target organs), including the kidneys, eyes, and heart. The stress causes them to deteriorate over time.High blood pressure contributes to 75% of all strokes and heart attacks. Hypertensive heart disease is a group of complications that include:Coronary artery disease.
High blood pressure contributes to the thickening of the blood vessel walls, which can cause or worsen atherosclerosis (accumulated deposits of cholesterol in the blood vessels). Over time, this can cause the heart muscle to thicken (cardiac hypertrophy), which makes it more difficult for the heart to pump out sufficient blood. High blood pressure increases the risk for cardiac arrhythmias (disturbances and irregularities in heartbeats). Arrhythmias include atrial fibrillation, premature ventricular contractions, and ventricular tachycardia. Hypertensive people have up to 10 times the normal risk of stroke, depending on the severity of the blood pressure in the presence of other risk factors. Hypertension is also an important cause of silent cerebral infarcts, which are blockages in the blood vessels in the brain (mini-strokes) that may predict major stroke or progress to dementia over time.Diabetes and Kidney DiseaseDiabetes.
High blood pressure, and some of the medications used to treat it, can increase the risk for developing type 2 diabetes.
There are strong biologic links between insulin resistance (with or without diabetes) and hypertension. For some people, especially younger people, a systolic blood pressure goal of less than 130 mm Hg may be appropriate.
High blood pressure causes about 30% of all cases of end-stage kidney disease (referred to as end-stage renal disease, or ESRD). Although older drugs used to treat hypertension caused erectile dysfunction as a side effect, the disease process that causes hypertension is itself a major cause of erectile dysfunction.
Oral phosphodiesterase type 5 (PDE5) inhibitors -- such as sildenafil (Viagra), tadalafil (Cialis), vardenafil (Levitra), and avanafil (Stendra) -- do not appear to pose a risk for most men who have both high blood pressure and erectile dysfunction. Men who take nitrate medications for heart disease cannot take erectile dysfunction pills.Pregnancy and High Blood PressureMany women who are likely to develop hypertension when they are older have their first elevated blood pressure readings during pregnancy. Elevated blood pressure readings generally show up early in pregnancy, before 16 to 20 weeks. These women often require antihypertensive medications during pregnancy and closer monitoring of themselves and the fetus. Continued hypertension after the pregnancy is also not uncommon.Severe and sudden high blood pressure in pregnant women is one component of a condition called preeclampsia (also called toxemia) that can be very serious for both mother and child. Preeclampsia occurs in up to 10% of all pregnancies, usually in the third trimester of a first pregnancy, and resolves immediately after delivery. Other symptoms and signs of preeclampsia include protein in the urine, severe headaches, and swollen ankles.The reduced supply of blood to the placenta can cause low birth weight and eye or brain damage in the fetus. Severe cases of preeclampsia can cause kidney damage, convulsions (seizures), and coma in the mother and can be lethal to both mother and child.

Women at risk for preeclampsia (particularly those with existing hypertension) are monitored carefully for its presence.
In severe cases, the obstetrician will need to induce pre-term birth.   Symptoms   High blood pressure increases slowly over the years. It is often called the "silent killer" because it usually produces no symptoms until vital organs are damaged, like the heart, brain, and kidneys.Everyone, 18 years and older, should have their blood pressure measured on a regular basis.
It is particularly important for anyone with risk factors to have their blood pressure checked regularly and to make appropriate lifestyle changes.
The lower (diastolic) blood pressure reading, which is normally around 80 mm Hg, is often above 130 mm Hg.
This rare disorder affects about 1% of people with high blood pressure, including both children and adults. It is more common in younger adults, especially African-American men.Malignant hypertension is a life-threatening condition and must be treated immediately. People should not smoke, exercise, or drink caffeinated beverages within 30 minutes before their blood pressure measurement.Measuring Blood PressureThe standard instrument used to measure blood pressure is called a sphygmomanometer, more often referred to as a blood pressure cuff. Measurements are given as units of mercury, which was used to fill the central column in standard sphygmomanometers for many years.
While seated with your back supported, an inflatable cuff with a meter attached is placed around your upper arm, over the artery. If the measurements are still elevated, your health care provider should take blood pressure readings from both arms. Decisions on starting or increasing medications should be based on multiple blood pressure readings, taken at both the doctor's office and even at home.
This can be due to "white coat hypertension," which is blood pressure that is only elevated during a doctor's office visit. The device checks blood pressure about every 15 to 30 minutes during the day and night and provides a read-out of blood pressure measurements for the doctor. Ambulatory monitoring may be used for people who have borderline high blood pressure or for those who have had difficulty keeping their blood pressure under control. It can also help distinguish between true and white coat hypertension and it can detect masked hypertension (readings that are normal in a doctor's office but high during daily life). Ambulatory monitoring can also be helpful for diagnosing children with suspected high blood pressure.Home MonitoringThe American Heart Association (AHA) recommends that all people with high blood pressure monitor their blood pressure at home on a regular basis. If you get a systolic reading (top number) of 180 or higher, or a diastolic reading (bottom number) of 110 or higher, you may need emergency treatment. In monitoring at home, it is important to note that blood pressure is usually highest from morning to mid-afternoon. Such symptoms include headache, heart palpitations, excessive sweating, muscle cramps or weakness, or excessive urination.Any emotional or environmental factors that could affect blood pressure. Laboratory and Other TestsIf a physical examination indicates hypertension, additional tests may help determine whether organ damage is present.Blood tests and urinalysis. Most of the time this test is not necessary for people who have only hypertension and no other symptoms. Specific blood pressure goals may differ depending on a patient’s individual health profile and risk factors. Lifestyle changes are the first step for reducing blood pressure, and are an essential accompaniment to drug treatment.
The doctor needs to consider a patient’s risk factors, such as age, diabetes, or other heart disease conditions. In some people, a single-drug regimen can control Stage 1 hypertension (systolic 140 to 159 or diastolic 90 to 99) if lifestyle changes (diet, exercise, weight control) are not enough. Some people find that the treatment may make them feel worse than the disease, which usually has no symptoms. If your current blood pressure drugs are causing uncomfortable side effects, your doctor may switch your drug, or adjust your dosages or combinations.Withdrawal from anti-hypertensive medications.
Some people whose blood pressure has been well-controlled and who are able to maintain a healthy lifestyle may be able to withdraw from medications. These are generally people with mild-to-moderate (Stage 1) hypertension who have been treated with a single medication. Treatment of Resistant HypertensionSome people are unable to meet target blood pressure goals despite consistently following a treatment plan that includes three or more medications.
Factors that contribute to treatment resistant hypertension include: Older age (especially age 75 or older)High baseline blood pressureMedical conditions such as obesity, sleep apnea, diabetes, and chronic kidney disease Treating any underlying medical condition is important for helping control blood pressure. People should be sure to adhere to healthy lifestyle changes and may require modifications to their drug regimens. Those with severe resistant hypertension should consult with a doctor who specializes in treating high blood pressure.Treatment of Older AdultsOlder adults should have their blood pressure monitored on a regular basis. In general, older adults usually have an elevated systolic blood pressure and a normal or low diastolic blood pressure, a condition known as isolated systolic hypertension.Blood pressure drugs prescribed for older people are generally started at the lowest dose and then gradually increased as necessary. As with all people with high blood pressure, lifestyle changes are an essential component of treatment.Medication side effects are an important concern for older people. In treating elderly people, blood pressure targets need to be balanced against drug side effects. Restricting Sodium (Salt)In general, everyone should restrict their sodium intake to no more than 2,400 mg a day (less than 1 teaspoon of salt). This is particularly important for people over age 50, all African-Americans, and everyone with high blood pressure. The American Heart Association recommends that people with heart disease risk factors limit sodium intake to no more than 1,500 mg a day (about ? teaspoon). Sodium restriction lowers blood pressure and also helps protect against heart failure and heart disease.Some people are salt sensitive. People with salt sensitivity have a higher than average risk of developing high blood pressure, as well as other heart problems. A nutritionist can teach you how to understand these labels.Don't cook with salt or add salt to what you are eating. However, people who already have kidney problems or who take medications that limit the kidney's ability to excrete potassium, such as ACE inhibitors, digoxin, or potassium-sparing diuretics, should not take potassium supplements and should be aware of excess potassium in their diet.DASH DietThe salt-restrictive DASH diet (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) is proven to help lower blood pressure, and may have additional benefits for preventing heart disease and stroke.

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