Hypertension, or high blood pressure, can also contribute to cardiovascular disease. Hypertension itself usually has no symptoms. If you have it, you probably won't even realize it unless you have your blood pressure checked. Hypertension is especially common among people with type 2 diabetes. Over 70 percent of people with diabetes also have high blood pressure or use medicines to treat hypertension.

High blood pressure not only increases your risk for heart disease but also increases your risk for other diabetes complications. The recommended blood pressure for most people with diabetes is <130/80 mmHg. Along with exercise, weight loss, and watching salt intake, many people with diabetes also take one or more medications to lower their blood pressure. The most commonly used are angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors and angiotensin receptor blockers (ARBs). These lower blood pressure and help protect your kidneys. Diuretics, beta blockers, and calcium channel blockers may also be used. It will take time to figure out the best medicine plan for you. Be sure to keep in close contact with your health care team during this time and let them know if you are experiencing any side effects from these medications.

If you have hypertension, your heart is forced to work harder than usual. This extra stress can damage the lining of your arteries. If this goes untreated for a long period, a type of fatty tissue called atheroma can form. This can cause your arteries to narrow or become completely blocked. Even by itself, hypertension can damage small blood vessels and capillaries, especially in the eyes and kidneys. If you have hypertension on top of diabetes, there is an even greater chance that your arteries may become clogged. The risk of further damaging tissues and further aggravating cardiovascular disease increases dramatically if you have both hypertension and diabetes.

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