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Diabetes and Hypertension Control

Diabetes and Hypertension Control

Diabetes mellitus is a chronic disease which cannot be cured except in very specific situations. Management concentrates on keeping blood sugar levels as close to normal (“euglycemia”) as possible, without causing hypoglycemia. This can usually be accomplished with diet, exercise, and use of appropriate medications (insulin in the case of type 1 diabetes, oral medications as well as possibly insulin in type 2 diabetes).

Patient education, understanding, and participation is vital since the complications of diabetes are far less common and less severe in people who have well-managed blood sugar levels. The goal of treatment is an HbA1C level of 6.5%, but should not be lower than that, and may be set higher. Attention is also paid to other health problems that may accelerate the deleterious effects of diabetes. These include smoking, elevated cholesterol levels, obesity, high blood pressure, and lack of regular exercise.

Hypertension (HTN) or high blood pressure is a cardiac chronic medical condition in which the systemic arterial blood pressure is elevated. What that means is that the heart is having to work harder than it should to pump the blood around the body. Blood pressure involves two measurements, systolic and diastolic. Normal blood pressure is 120/80 mm/Hg. The first figure is the systolic blood pressure, the pressure there is in the arteries when your heart is contracting.

The second, or lower figure, is the diastolic blood pressure, which is the pressure in your arteries between heart beats. High blood pressure is anything above 140/90 mm/Hg. Hypertension is the opposite of hypotension. Hypertension is classified as either primary (essential) hypertension or secondary hypertension; about 90–95% of cases are categorized as “primary hypertension,” which means high blood pressure with no obvious medical cause. The remaining 5–10% of cases (Secondary hypertension) are caused by other conditions that affect the kidneys, arteries, heart or endocrine system.

Persistent hypertension is one of the risk factors for stroke, myocardial infarction, heart failure and arterial aneurysm, and is a leading cause of chronic kidney failure. Moderate elevation of arterial blood pressure leads to shortened life expectancy. Dietary and lifestyle changes can improve blood pressure control and decrease the risk of associated health complications, although drug treatment may prove necessary in patients for whom lifestyle changes prove ineffective or insufficient