High blood pressure, or hypertension, is common in people with diabetes. In fact, some researchers estimate that high blood pressure affects up to 50% of people with diabetes.
Managing your blood pressure is important, as high blood pressure means you are at a higher risk of stroke, heart disease, retinopathy and other complications.
However, unless your blood pressure is very high, you may not realise you are at risk. This is why it is important to get your blood pressure regularly checked by a healthcare professional.
What should my blood pressure be?
As a general guide, the current recommended blood pressure target range for all people with or without diabetes is less than or equal to 130/80. However your doctor will discuss and set a target range that is appropriate for you.
When should I have my blood pressure checked?
You should have your blood pressure checked at every doctor’s visit. This should be at least:
- every six months for people with normal blood pressure
- every three months for people with high blood pressure
- every 4 to 8 weeks if your blood pressure medication is being changed.
What can I do at home to lower my blood pressure?
There are several positive steps you can take:
- Don’t smoke. If you smoke, you should try to quit.
- Aim to keep your blood glucose levels within your target range.
- If you are overweight, take steps to lose weight.
- Eat for good health. Choose a wide variety of foods from all the food groups.
- Do regular physical activity – aim for 30 minutes of moderate physical activity every day.
- Cut down on the amount of salt you eat by limiting the amount of processed and takeaway foods you eat. Don’t put any salt in your home cooking.
- Limit the amount of alcohol you drink. Try not to drink more than two standard drinks a day, if you are a man, or no more than one standard drink a day if you are a woman.