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In The Doctor’s Words – How Mr. AK’s Hypertension Came Down

Published on: May 16, 2023
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Let me start with an interesting case study of a Fitterfly member. When 37 years old Mr. AK from North India approached us, his medical health score numbers were very high. He had an HbA1c of 11.1%, weighing 91 kg and a blood pressure of 150/100 on an average (just for perspective 120/80 mmHg is normal BP).

He was on two oral anti-diabetic medications and insulin injections and his insulin dose was being increased at regular intervals due to uncontrolled diabetes. He was on two antihypertensives and was going to be added on a third one soon.

In just 3 months, Mr. A.K was able to achieve all his desired outcomes.

Result Achieved In 3 months by Mr.AK1-01

Why did Mr. AK join Fitterfly Diabetes Program

He joined the Fitterfly Diabetes program with the sole intention of reducing his medications while controlling his blood sugar. The program focussed on improving his nutrition, fitness levels and reducing his stress levels with expert coaching and app-based content.

What did Mr. AK Learn?

He was taught the color plate method, simple meal substitution, exercises on the go, chair workouts, box-breathing, mindful meditation and sleep hygiene. He also understood how to always continue practicing this on his own even after the program finishes.

Remarkable Health Outcomes

At the end of three months, Mr. AK’s weight reduced by 11 kgs, his HbA1c came down to 7.5%, his insulin was stopped completely, his blood pressure averaged to 128/84 and he was now on just one medicine to lower his blood pressure.

While his goal was just diabetes control, he could achieve a lot more because the program focuses on overall metabolic health and sustained lifestyle changes in a holistic way.

From the Doctor’s Desk

There are several people like Mr. AK out there who are battling not just diabetes but also hypertension along with it. As a healthcare professional, I have observed that diabetes and hypertension are two of the most common chronic diseases affecting millions of people worldwide.

They often co-exist and have a complex relationship with each other. Studies have shown that people with diabetes are twice as likely to develop hypertension than those without diabetes. These conditions can have serious health consequences, including heart disease, kidney failure, and stroke.

In light of World Hypertension Day on 17th May, I would like to shed some light on the link between diabetes and hypertension, and how the right lifestyle interventions for one can also have a positive impact on the other.

Wake up call – Only 12% Indians are able to control their Blood pressure

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), diabetes affects more than 422 million people worldwide, with the number expected to rise to 570 million by 2030. The prevalence of diabetes is one of the highest in India.

Similarly, hypertension affects approximately one billion people worldwide, while only 12% in India are able to control their blood pressure. These statistics certainly raise an alarm and a lot can be done to prevent the disease or reduce complications.

What’s the connection: Diabetes & Hypertension

There is a strong link between diabetes and hypertension. People with diabetes are more likely to develop hypertension, and people with hypertension are more likely to develop diabetes. Both conditions are linked to obesity, physical inactivity, stress, and poor diet.

The reason for this link is thought to be related to insulin resistance, inflammation, and genetic factors. Insulin resistance is when the body’s cells become resistant to the effects of insulin, leading to high blood sugar levels.

This can also cause high blood pressure by increasing the production of a hormone called angiotensin II, which constricts blood vessels and increases blood pressure. Hypertension can also damage the blood vessels, making it harder for the body to use insulin and leading to diabetes.

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Complications of Co-existing Diabetes and Hypertension

The co-existence of diabetes and hypertension is common and can lead to several complications. People with both conditions are at a higher risk of developing cardiovascular disease, kidney disease, and stroke. In fact, hypertension is one of the leading causes of death in people with diabetes.

Lifestyle Changes: The Key to Managing Diabetes and Hypertension

Recent research has focused on identifying effective treatment strategies for managing diabetic hypertension. A study published in the Lancet found that lifestyle interventions such as weight loss, exercise, and dietary changes can significantly improve blood pressure control in people with diabetes.

Lifestyle changes can help prevent and manage diabetes and hypertension. These changes include

  • maintaining a healthy weight – can help improve insulin sensitivity and blood pressure
  • eating a balanced diet – can help regulate blood sugar levels and blood pressure
  • exercising regularly – can also improve insulin sensitivity and blood pressure
  • reducing salt intake – can help lower blood pressure
  • avoiding smoking and excessive alcohol consumption – can reduce the risk of developing heart disease and stroke.

The other 2 critical factors – Sleep & Stress Management

An often overlooked element of lifestyle changes is stress and sleep management. A recent research showed 1 in 2 patients with diabetes and hypertension had poor sleep quality. Improvement in sleep quality  reduced their blood sugar levels as well as the blood pressure.

The Power of a Holistic Approach

A healthcare program which incorporates the right mix of technology and expert personalized coaching for lifestyle changes can make a real difference. This will lead to holistic management and significantly reduce the risk of complications.

Approximately, 1 in 5 members of the Fitterfly Diabetes Management program had hypertension as a comorbidity. A 360° approach with the right nutrition advice, fitness coaching, sleep management and support on reduction of stress, helped these members reduce their blood sugar as well as their blood pressure effectively.

FlitterTake

In conclusion, diabetes and hypertension are two chronic diseases that often co-exist and have a complex relationship with each other. People with both conditions are at a higher risk of developing complications such as cardiovascular disease, kidney disease, and stroke. It’s ideal to consider lifestyle and behavioral changes as the first line of therapy in these cases.

Therefore, on this World Hypertension Day, I, as a Hypertension and Cardiovascular Health Specialist, urge everyone to take action and prioritize their health by adopting healthy lifestyle habits, getting screened regularly, and raising awareness about diabetes and hypertension.

Disclaimer

This blog provides general information for educational and informational purposes only and shouldn't be seen as professional advice.

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