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Diabetes And Hypertension: Role Of Lifestyle Modifications

Diabetes And Hypertension: Role Of Lifestyle Modifications
Regular exercise can help you regulate blood pressure and blood sugar levels


  1. A fibre rich diet can help you control blood pressure
  2. You should exercise for at least 30 minutes in a day
  3. Avoid highly processed foods as they are loaded with sugar and salt

An individual with uncontrolled diabetes is at risk of developing complications which may affect the heart, kidney, eye or stroke to occur in the brain. Uncontrolled hypertension can also affect the heart causing thickening of the heart muscles eventually leading to heart failure. It can also cause kidney dysfunction resulting in chronic kidney disease necessitating dialysis. Prolonged high blood pressure can precipitate strokes in the brain, and occasionally it may result in the rupture of a blood vessel leading to brain haemorrhage which is a potentially fatal condition. So, you can see that both diabetes and hypertension if uncontrolled target the same organs in the body. Hence if the same individual has poorly controlled diabetes and hypertension together the risk of all these problems is doubled, and if smoking is added to the list, then it is like adding fuel to the fire.

However, there is good news. Both of these can be controlled with a healthy diet and lifestyle. Stress -is a main trigger for the worsening of both these conditions. This maybe sudden severe stress caused by events like death, serious illness in the family, loss of job or others. Most people today suffer from long term background stress which may be related to job stress, or chronic emotional stress or in today's world anxiety caused by the Covid pandemic. Since there are no effective medicines to tackle stress, it tends to be neglected by physicians and patients alike. Instead, most patients are on multiple medications to treat both diabetes and hypertension. A more sensible approach would be to go back to the basics and encourage a healthy diet, regular physical exercise and reduction of body weight which will go a long way in controlling both these problems. If basic lifestyle changes are implemented and continued long-term, medicines if required, will be in much less dosage and numbers.


Uncontrolled stress can put you at a higher risk of several condition
Photo Credit: iStock

To tackle the problem of stress there are a number of effective methods like meditation or regular practice of yoga which will help you to alleviate stress. So, a proper understanding and strict adherence to lifestyle modifications along with appropriate medication will help keep both diabetes and hypertension under check and prevent all the dreadful complications that have been mentioned.

(Dr Harish Kumar, Professor & Head, Department of Endocrinology & Diabetes, Amrita Hospital, Kochi)

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed within this article are the personal opinions of the author. NDTV is not responsible for the accuracy, completeness, suitability, or validity of any information on this article. All information is provided on an as-is basis. The information, facts or opinions appearing in the article do not reflect the views of NDTV and NDTV does not assume any responsibility or liability for the same.

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Managing Diabetes - A Touch Away

Managing Diabetes - A Touch Away

According to the 9th edition of the Diabetes Atlas by the International Diabetes Foundation, 1 in 6 people with Diabetes in the world are from India.

With an estimated 77 million people with Diabetes, India is number two in the world after China (116 million) in terms of the most number of diabetics in the world.

Given the epidemic proportions and the spread of the disease, it is important to know not just about prevention measures but also how a diabetic can effectively manage the disease.

The NDTV campaign, Managing Diabetes - A Touch Away, supported by One Touch aims to highlight the importance of regular and meaningful monitoring of blood glucose at home in addition to lifestyle changes and medication in managing Diabetes