Seven herbs and supplements for type 2 diabetes The uncontrolled blood sugar levels in diabetes have the potential for a herbal helping hand. Growing research suggests that herbs and supplements, such as aloe vera and cinnamon, may help with type 2 diabetes. Learn about seven of these herbs and supplements in this MNT Knowledge Center article. Read now
^ Bennett WL, Maruthur NM, Singh S, Segal JB, Wilson LM, Chatterjee R, Marinopoulos SS, Puhan MA, Ranasinghe P, Block L, Nicholson WK, Hutfless S, Bass EB, Bolen S (May 2011). "Comparative effectiveness and safety of medications for type 2 diabetes: an update including new drugs and 2-drug combinations". Annals of Internal Medicine. 154 (9): 602–13. doi:10.7326/0003-4819-154-9-201105030-00336. PMC 3733115. PMID 21403054.
When an individual is approaching death, the systolic blood pressure will typically drop below 95mm Hg. However, this number can vary greatly as some individuals will always run low. Low blood pressure alone does not mean that death is imminent. Therefore, it is difficult to give an exact low blood pressure death range. The patient’s hospice care team will be assessing all of the patient’s symptoms in their totality, including how the patient is breathing and whether they have become unresponsive.
In short, everyone. The motivation behind the change was to make people healthier. With more sensitive guidelines, we are able to get in control of our blood pressure sooner and improve heart health before reaching levels that could cause more serious health problems. For some, the changing guidelines may result in antihypertensive (blood pressure lowering) medication, along with lifestyle management, but that will not be the case for everyone.

Blood pressure guidelines show the lower the blood pressure numbers the better. As long as no symptoms of trouble are present there is no one number that doctors consider being too low. The guidelines call for an individualized, risk-based approach to managing hypertension, as well as a personal consultation with a health care provider. While the new guidelines mean we are more aggressive about blood pressure control, lifestyle changes are always a part of the treatment plan. A treatment plan is agreed to by patient and provider, and includes ongoing communication to see how the patient is feeling and how their medications are working.

Metformin may rarely cause a serious, life-threatening condition called lactic acidosis. Tell your doctor if you have kidney disease. Your doctor will probably tell you not to take metformin. Also, tell your doctor if you are over 65 years old and if you have ever had a heart attack; stroke; diabetic ketoacidosis (blood sugar that is high enough to cause severe symptoms and requires emergency medical treatment); a coma; or heart or liver disease. Taking certain other medications with metformin may increase the risk of lactic acidosis. Tell your doctor if you are taking acetazolamide (Diamox), dichlorphenamide (Keveyis), methazolamide, topiramate (Topamax, in Qsymia), or zonisamide (Zonegran).
There have been a significant number of studies on metformin’s risk of inducing lactic acidosis — a state in which lactic acid builds up in the body, which can be fatal. But the greater majority of studies concluded without any cases of lactic acidosis according to “The Phantom of Lactic Acidosis due to Metformin in Patients With Diabetes” in the American Diabetes Association’s (ADA) Diabetes Care journal.
A simple view of the hemodynamics of systemic arterial pressure is based around mean arterial pressure (MAP) and pulse pressure. Most influences on blood pressure can be understood in terms of their effect on cardiac output[54] and systemic vascular resistance. Cardiac output is the product of stroke volume and heart rate, and stroke volume is influenced by blood volume. In the short-term, the greater the blood volume, the higher the cardiac output. This may explain in part the relationship between dietary salt intake and increased blood pressure, where increased salt intake may increase blood volume potentially resulting in higher arterial pressure. However, this varies with the individual and is highly dependent on autonomic nervous system response and the renin–angiotensin system.[55][56][57] In the longer-term the relationship between volume and blood pressure is more complex.[58] In simple terms systemic vascular resistance is mainly determined by the caliber of small arteries and arterioles. The resistance attributable to a blood vessel depends on its radius as described by the Hagen-Poiseuille's equation (resistance∝1/radius4). Hence, the smaller the radius, the very much higher the resistance. Other physical factors that affect resistance include: vessel length (the longer the vessel, the higher the resistance), blood viscosity (the higher the viscosity, the higher the resistance)[59] and the number of vessels, particularly the smaller numerous, arterioles and capillaries. The presence of an arterial stenosis increases resistance to flow, however this increase in resistance rarely increases systemic blood pressure because its contribution to total systemic resistance is small, although it may profoundly decrease downstream flow.[60] Substances called vasoconstrictors reduce the caliber of blood vessels, thereby increasing blood pressure. Vasodilators (such as nitroglycerin) increase the caliber of blood vessels, thereby decreasing arterial pressure. In the longer term a process termed remodeling also contributes to changing the caliber of small blood vessels and influencing resistance and reactivity to vasoactive agents.[61][62] Reductions in capillary density, termed capillary rarefaction, may also contribute to increased resistance in some circumstances.[63]

In addition to an electrocardiogram (ECG) to evaluate possible heart damage, an echocardiogram may be used to see if your heart has become enlarged or if you have other cardiac problems related to hypertension, like blood clots or heart valve damage. Doppler ultrasound examination can be used to check the blood flow through the arteries to determine if they have narrowed, thus contributing to high blood pressure.
Dietary changes can help control blood pressure. One diet designed to promote lower blood pressure is known as the DASH diet. This stands for Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension. The DASH diet recommends eating more vegetables, fruits, whole grains, low-fat dairy products, poultry, nuts, and fish. Red meat, saturated fats, and sweets should be avoided. The DASH diet can lower blood pressure within 2 weeks. It can also help to reduce your intake of sodium. The following is the DASH diet suggested daily intake:
Isolated systolic/diastolic hypertension . Patients with a systolic blood pressure greater than 140 mm Hg and a diastolic pressure of less than 90 mm Hg are considered to have isolated systolic hypertension. Those with a diastolic pressure greater than or equal to 90 mm Hg but with a systolic pressure less than 140 mm Hg are considered to have isolated diastolic hypertension. The systolic blood pressure is the best predictor of risk in individuals over the age of 60. Studies show that there are significant benefits to treating blood pressure, particularly in patients with mild hypertension. Current recommendations suggest that blood pressure medication be initiated in patients with stage I hypertension, although it should be started earlier in people who have heart disease, diabetes, or chronic kidney disease.
But as many people know, diet and lifestyle change can often be very difficult. Medication is also an option for many people, sometimes because an individual has a difficult time achieving significant lifestyle change, and sometimes because hypertension is severe enough to mandate a combination of lifestyle change with medication. For many, treating their high blood pressure with medication can be a difficult subject-one that should always be considered under the guidance of your doctor.
If you plan to have surgery or a radiology procedure that uses iodine contrast, you should stop taking metformin 48 hours before the procedure. These procedures can slow the removal of metformin from your body, raising your risk of lactic acidosis. You should resume taking metformin after the procedure only when your kidney function tests are normal.
Start low and go slow. When starting metformin, most people do well with starting with 500 mg at night or with dinner, and staying at this dose for a full week. At that point, a second 500-mg pill can be added in the morning. After another week, a third pill can be added to the evening dose. After one more week, a fourth pill can be added to the morning dose, so that by the end of the month, the full daily dose of 2,000 mg is being taken.
Metformin is a drug approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration as a prescription medication to treat diabetes. This medication is used to decrease hepatic (liver) glucose production, to decrease GI glucose absorption and to increase target cell insulin sensitivity. This medication is a treatment indicated as an adjunct to diet, exercise, and lifestyle changes such as weight loss to improve glycemic (blood sugar) control in adults with type 2 diabetes. Many patients with type 2 diabetes will eventually need to take insulin by injection. Metformin does not cause weight gain.

Serum creatinine is measured to assess for the presence of kidney disease, which can be either the cause or the result of hypertension. Serum creatinine alone may overestimate glomerular filtration rate and recent guidelines advocate the use of predictive equations such as the Modification of Diet in Renal Disease (MDRD) formula to estimate glomerular filtration rate (eGFR).[27] eGFR can also provide a baseline measurement of kidney function that can be used to monitor for side effects of certain anti-hypertensive drugs on kidney function. Additionally, testing of urine samples for protein is used as a secondary indicator of kidney disease. Electrocardiogram (EKG/ECG) testing is done to check for evidence that the heart is under strain from high blood pressure. It may also show whether there is thickening of the heart muscle (left ventricular hypertrophy) or whether the heart has experienced a prior minor disturbance such as a silent heart attack. A chest X-ray or an echocardiogram may also be performed to look for signs of heart enlargement or damage to the heart.[23]
Important complications of uncontrolled or poorly treated high blood pressure are due to chronic damage that occurs to different organs in the body and include heart attack, congestive heart failure, stroke, kidney failure, peripheral artery disease, and aneurysms (weakening of the walls of an artery, leading to a sac formation or ballooning of the artery wall). Aneurysms can be found in the brain, along the route of the aorta (the large artery that leaves the heart), and other arteries in the abdomen and extremities.

Enlarged heart. High blood pressure increases the amount of work for your heart. Like any heavily exercised muscle in your body, your heart grows bigger (enlarges) to handle the extra workload. The bigger your heart is, the more it demands oxygen-rich blood but the less able it is to maintain proper blood flow. As a result, you feel weak and tired and are not able to exercise or perform physical activities. Without treatment, your heart failure will only get worse.
Once the diagnosis of hypertension has been made, healthcare providers should attempt to identify the underlying cause based on risk factors and other symptoms, if present. Secondary hypertension is more common in preadolescent children, with most cases caused by kidney disease. Primary or essential hypertension is more common in adolescents and has multiple risk factors, including obesity and a family history of hypertension.[83] Laboratory tests can also be performed to identify possible causes of secondary hypertension, and to determine whether hypertension has caused damage to the heart, eyes, and kidneys. Additional tests for diabetes and high cholesterol levels are usually performed because these conditions are additional risk factors for the development of heart disease and may require treatment.[6]
Exercise stress test: More commonly used for patients with borderline hypertension. This usually involves pedaling a stationary bicycle or walking on a treadmill. The stress test assesses how the body's cardiovascular system responds to increased physical activity. If the patient has hypertension this data is important to know before the exercise test starts. The test monitors the electrical activity of the heart, as well as the patient's blood pressure during exercise. An exercise stress test sometimes reveals problems that are not apparent when the body is resting. Imaging scans of the heart's blood supply might be done at the same time.
If you are diagnosed with hypertension, your physician or health care provider may order laboratory tests to determine whether or not there is a secondary cause, such as a thyroid abnormality or abnormality of the adrenal gland. Other blood tests will measure electrolyte levels, creatinine, and blood urea nitrogen to determine if your kidneys are involved.
Fortunately, the senior years are not too late to take an active role in lowering blood pressure. Managing blood pressure can be as simple as increasing physical activity and regulating one’s diet. In those cases when a change in lifestyle doesn’t significantly impact hypertension, prescription drugs have proven very effective in regulating blood pressure.
It is usually only when a person is in the midst of what is known as a hypertensive crisis — a period of extremely high blood pressure with a reading of 180/120 millimeters of mercury (mm Hg) or higher — that she or he will experience symptoms, such as a headache. This is considered a medical crisis, and if it occurs, you should call 911 and get emergency help. 

Side effects such as diarrhea and gas are common when beginning the medication, but can often be alleviated by carefully titrating the dose upward over a period of time. Less common but possibly serious side effects may include lactic acidosis and B12 deficiency. Knowing the possible symptoms of lactic acidosis and monitoring B12 can offset most serious complications.
tell your doctor and pharmacist what other prescription and nonprescription medications, vitamins, nutritional supplements, and herbal products you are taking. Be sure to mention any of the following: amiloride (Midamor); angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors such as benazepril (Lotensin, in Lotrel), captopril, enalapril (Vasotec, in Vaseretic), fosinopril, lisinopril (in Zestoretic), moexipril (Univasc), perindopril (Aceon), quinapril (Accupril), ramipril (Altace), and trandolapril (Mavik); beta-blockers such as atenolol (Tenormin), labetalol (Trandate), metoprolol (Lopressor, Toprol XL), nadolol (Corgard, in Corzide), and propranolol (Hemangeol, Inderal, InnoPran); calcium channel blockers such as amlodipine (Norvasc), diltiazem (Cardizem, Cartia, Diltzac, others), felodipine, isradipine, nicardipine (Cardene), nifedipine (Adalat, Afeditab CR, Procardia), nimodipine (Nymalize), nisoldipine (Sular), and verapamil (Calan, Covera, Verelan, in Tarka); cimetidine (Tagamet); digoxin (Lanoxin); diuretics ('water pills'); furosemide (Lasix); hormone replacement therapy; insulin or other medications for diabetes; isoniazid (Laniazid, in Rifamate, in Rifater); medications for asthma and colds; medications for mental illness and nausea; medications for thyroid disease; morphine (MS Contin, others); niacin; oral contraceptives ('birth control pills'); oral steroids such as dexamethasone, methylprednisolone (Medrol), and prednisone (Rayos); phenytoin (Dilantin, Phenytek); procainamide; quinidine (in Nuedexta); quinine; ranitidine (Zantac); triamterene (Dyrenium, in Maxzide, others); trimethoprim (Primsol); or vancomycin (Vancocin). Your doctor may need to change the doses of your medications or monitor you carefully for side effects.

In addition to being used for diabetes, metformin is sometimes used "off-label" in polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) as an aid in fertility, as a weight loss adjunct, or to treat gestational diabetes. Research is currently evaluating the possible increased survival of those with several cancers such as lung cancer, breast cancer, and bladder cancer who have been treated with metformin. Other studies have found that metformin targets many pathways in the growth of cancer. Metformin is also being studied for its effect on thyroid as it appears to reduce the risk of goiters, thyroid nodules, and thyroid cancer.
Baroreceptor reflex: Baroreceptors in the high pressure receptor zones detect changes in arterial pressure. These baroreceptors send signals ultimately to the medulla of the brain stem, specifically to the rostral ventrolateral medulla (RVLM). The medulla, by way of the autonomic nervous system, adjusts the mean arterial pressure by altering both the force and speed of the heart's contractions, as well as the systemic vascular resistance. The most important arterial baroreceptors are located in the left and right carotid sinuses and in the aortic arch.[67]
Lactic acidosis is a rare but serious side effect of this drug. With this condition, lactic acid builds up in your blood. This is a medical emergency that requires treatment in the hospital. Lactic acidosis is fatal in about half of people who develop it. You should stop taking this drug and call your doctor right away or go to the emergency room if you have symptoms of lactic acidosis.
Half of American adults have this life-threatening condition, yet many are unaware or simply don’t take it seriously. But it doesn’t have to be that way. Hypertension is manageable and even preventable, but you have to know your risk factors and get your blood pressure checked (regularly!) to see if you’re at risk. Let’s take a closer look at what blood pressure actually is, how hypertension works, and how you can prevent the effects of high blood pressure to stave off heart disease.
Dr. Charles "Pat" Davis, MD, PhD, is a board certified Emergency Medicine doctor who currently practices as a consultant and staff member for hospitals. He has a PhD in Microbiology (UT at Austin), and the MD (Univ. Texas Medical Branch, Galveston). He is a Clinical Professor (retired) in the Division of Emergency Medicine, UT Health Science Center at San Antonio, and has been the Chief of Emergency Medicine at UT Medical Branch and at UTHSCSA with over 250 publications.
Various expert groups have produced guidelines regarding how low the blood pressure target should be when a person is treated for hypertension. These groups recommend a target below the range 140–160 / 90–100 mmHg for the general population.[13][99][100][101][102] Cochrane reviews recommend similar targets for subgroups such as people with diabetes[103] and people with prior cardiovascular disease.[104]
Blood pressure guidelines show the lower the blood pressure numbers the better. As long as no symptoms of trouble are present there is no one number that doctors consider being too low. The guidelines call for an individualized, risk-based approach to managing hypertension, as well as a personal consultation with a health care provider. While the new guidelines mean we are more aggressive about blood pressure control, lifestyle changes are always a part of the treatment plan. A treatment plan is agreed to by patient and provider, and includes ongoing communication to see how the patient is feeling and how their medications are working.
Important complications of uncontrolled or poorly treated high blood pressure are due to chronic damage that occurs to different organs in the body and include heart attack, congestive heart failure, stroke, kidney failure, peripheral artery disease, and aneurysms (weakening of the walls of an artery, leading to a sac formation or ballooning of the artery wall). Aneurysms can be found in the brain, along the route of the aorta (the large artery that leaves the heart), and other arteries in the abdomen and extremities.
Hypertension (HTN or HT), also known as high blood pressure (HBP), is a long-term medical condition in which the blood pressure in the arteries is persistently elevated.[10] High blood pressure typically does not cause symptoms.[1] Long-term high blood pressure, however, is a major risk factor for coronary artery disease, stroke, heart failure, atrial fibrillation, peripheral vascular disease, vision loss, chronic kidney disease, and dementia.[2][3][4][11]
Everybody’s blood pressure goes up and down throughout the day. Walking to work, meditating, stressing about your Facebook feed, taking that sweet afternoon nap, and pounding a triple shot espresso all influence your blood pressure. There’s even a thing called “White Coat Hypertension” where people report higher than normal blood pressure readings due to the stress of just being in a doctor’s office with a cuff strapped to your arm. Blood pressure is a moving target. It’s not the end of the world if it spikes every now and then.
This means whether your parent’s needs are mild or complex, you can work with the elderly home health care services provider to devise a course of care, management, support, and assistance that will help them to stay safe, healthy, comfortable, and happy throughout their later years. Through a highly personalized approach to their care, this home health care provider can help your loved one live the quality of life they desire and deserve, remain as independent as possible, and find meaning and fulfillment in this chapter in their life.
Metformin is an effective and commonly administered drug for controlling plasma glucose concentrations in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus. Gastrointestinal adverse effects such as abdominal pain, nausea, dyspepsia, anorexia, and diarrhea are common and widely accepted when occurring at the start of metformin therapy. Diarrhea occurring long after the dosage titration period is much less well recognized. Our patient began to experience nausea, abdominal cramping, and explosive watery diarrhea that occasionally caused incontinence after several years of stable metformin therapy A trial of metformin discontinuation resolved all gastrointestinal symptoms. A review of the literature revealed two reports that suggest diarrhea occurring long after the start of metformin therapy is relatively common, based on surveys of patients with diabetes. Metformin-induced diarrhea is differentiated from diabetic diarrhea, which is clinically similar, except diabetic diarrhea is rare in patients with type 2 diabetes. Patients with type 2 diabetes who are taking metformin and experience diarrhea deserve a drug-free interval before undergoing expensive and uncomfortable diagnostic tests, even when the dosage has been stable over a long period.
The findings mean that an additional 14 percent of U.S. adults, or about 30 million people, will now be diagnosed as having high blood pressure, compared with the number diagnosed before the new guidelines. This will bring the total percentage of U.S. adults with high blood pressure to 46 percent, up from 32 percent previously. [9 New Ways to Keep Your Heart Healthy]

Metformin also interacts with anticholinergic medications, due to their effect on gastric motility. Anticholinergic drugs reduce gastric motility, prolonging the time drugs spend in the gastrointestinal tract. This impairment may lead to more metformin being absorbed than without the presence of an anticholinergic drug, thereby increasing the concentration of metformin in the plasma and increasing the risk for adverse effects.[91]
Half of American adults have this life-threatening condition, yet many are unaware or simply don’t take it seriously. But it doesn’t have to be that way. Hypertension is manageable and even preventable, but you have to know your risk factors and get your blood pressure checked (regularly!) to see if you’re at risk. Let’s take a closer look at what blood pressure actually is, how hypertension works, and how you can prevent the effects of high blood pressure to stave off heart disease.
6. One blood pressure reading means very little. The advice to "Have your blood pressure checked once a year" is useless. What time of day? Had you eaten less salty foods recently? Were you relaxed that day, when you are usually much more stressed? Had you recently exercised vigorously? You must check your BP far more often than once a year, especially if you show "borderline" readings. I can produce a very low, or very high blood pressure AT WILL, based upon what I do during the 24 hours prior to the measurement.
ACE (angiotensin converting enzyme) inhibitors are another class of antihypertensive drugs. They reduce the body's levels of angiotensin II, a substance that narrows blood vessels. This means that arteries are more open (dilated) and the blood pressure is lower. ACE inhibitors can be used alone, or with other medications such as diuretics. Side effects of ACE inhibitors can include skin rash, dry cough, dizziness, and elevated potassium levels. Women who are pregnant, planning to get pregnant, or breastfeeding should not take ACE inhibitors.

Hypertension is rarely accompanied by symptoms, and its identification is usually through screening, or when seeking healthcare for an unrelated problem. Some people with high blood pressure report headaches (particularly at the back of the head and in the morning), as well as lightheadedness, vertigo, tinnitus (buzzing or hissing in the ears), altered vision or fainting episodes.[20] These symptoms, however, might be related to associated anxiety rather than the high blood pressure itself.[21]
Blood pressure monitors for use at home can be bought at drug stores, department stores, and other places. Again, these monitors may not always give you a correct reading. You should always compare your machine’s reading with a reading from your doctor’s machine to make sure they are the same. Remember that any measurement above normal should prompt a visit to the doctor, who can then talk with you about the best course of action.
James, P.A., Oparil, S., Carter, B.L., Cushman, W.C., Dennison-Himmelfarb, C., Handler, J., & Ortiz, E. (2013, December 18). 2014 evidence-based guideline for the management of high blood pressure in adults: Report from the panel members appointed to the eighth joint national committee. Journal of the American Medical Association. Retrieved from http://jamanetwork.com/journals/jama/fullarticle/1791497
Metformin causes depletion of Vitamin B12, Folic Acid and CoQ10, leading to feelings of tiredness, weakness and in some cases, even anemia. If you have been feeling tired all the time and are lacking the energy to do anything, you may be missing Vitamin B12, or Folic Acid (Vitamin B9), or Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10). These nutrients are needed to ensure that red blood cells of the right size are created in the body and cells are able to produce energy.

Exercise every day. Moderate exercise can lower your risk of high blood pressure. Set some goals so you can exercise safely and work your way up to exercising at least 30 minutes a day most days of the week. Check with your doctor before starting an exercise plan if you have any health problems that are not being treated. You can find more information about exercise and physical activity at Go4Life.
Damage to the arteries from high blood pressure, including scarring and cholesterol build-up, results in a stiffening of the arteries.This causes the heart to work harder to push blood throughout the body. The heart is a muscle, and over time, it will become damaged and floppy as a result of high blood pressure. The chambers of the heart will enlarge and the muscular fibers will not be able to contract adequately to compensate, resulting in heart failure.
Over time, high blood pressure, also known as hypertension, can damage your blood vessels, allowing cholesterol and other substances to build up. High blood pressure also increases your heart’s workload, which can affect its ability to pump blood and could lead to a heart attack. If left untreated, high blood pressure increases your risk of coronary artery disease and other heart problems. It is the most serious risk factor for stroke.

Primary (or essential) hypertension is when the cause is unknown. The majority of hypertension cases are primary. When there is an underlying problem such as kidney disease or hormonal disorders that can cause hypertension, it is called secondary hypertension. When it is possible to correct the underlying cause, high blood pressure usually improves and may even return to normal.
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