High blood pressure can lead to diabetes

Blood pressure and diabetes

Under the term diabetes mellitus, medicine summarizes a group of metabolic diseases that have one characteristic in common: increased blood sugar levels or detectable sugar in the urine. In many cases, limited or no insulin production can be the cause of the increased blood sugar levels. A typical case is the type 1 diabetic whose insulin-producing cells in the pancreas - the pancreas - have been destroyed by autoimmune reactions. In type 2 diabetics, on the other hand, sufficient insulin production can still be demonstrated (at least at the beginning of the disease). However, the biological activity of insulin is limited for various reasons. As a result, the pancreas produces more insulin to make up for the deficiency and, because of this overload, loses its ability to produce insulin in the long term. Type 2 diabetes is the most common of the forms of diabetes. It is often accompanied by obesity.

Sweet damage

Long-term high blood sugar levels have a fundamentally negative effect on a number of organs. At high concentrations, glucose has a tendency to bind to tissue proteins (glycation or glucation). This can happen, for example, on the retina (retina) of the eye, which in the end stage leads to blindness. The nerve tracts can also be affected, which is why diabetics in an advanced stage often have less feeling in their feet and hands. In connection with increased insulin levels, the high blood sugar content destroys the inner lining of the arterial blood vessels and in this way causes the arteries to harden - arteriosclerosis. For the heart and its coronary vessels, this means an increased risk of a heart attack. Wounds on feet and legs heal poorly or not at all (risk of sore legs).

Kidneys, blood pressure and diabetes

One organ that is particularly affected by diabetes is the kidney, whose job it is to filter the blood. In diabetes, glycation of the kidney tissue occurs - especially of the filtration apparatus (the glomeruli), which has a lasting effect on kidney function. But the kidney doesn't just clean up. It plays a major role in regulating blood pressure. If diabetes-related damage occurs to the kidney, which mostly affects the filtration performance, then the kidney interprets this as a need to increase the blood pressure in order to achieve an improved kidney blood flow and thus an improved filtration rate. This laid the first cornerstone for high blood pressure. If this condition is left untreated, there is increased glycation and the damage leads to a further increase in blood pressure. But even without diabetes, hypertension can damage the kidneys for a long time. Together with diabetes, both factors have a long-term destructive effect on the glomeruli.
In extreme cases, this interplay of destructive factors can lead to total kidney failure and necessitate dialysis or a transplant.


All content has been checked medically and is revised several times a year. Last update from Sabine Croci(11/2020).