Medic Cautions Residents Over Rising Hypertension, Diabetes Cases

A medic in Kericho County has decried the rising cases of diabetes and hypertension (high blood pressure), advising residents to be wary of developing the two serious diseases that share common risk factors and progress with unnoticed symptoms.

According to a Resident Surgeon at the AIC Litein Kericho Annex clinic, Dr. Philip Blasto, a patient with high blood pressure is at increased risk of developing diabetes.

‘So while hypertension might not cause diabetes directly, it could increase the risk of someone developing diabetes if they have high blood pressure. Increased pressure on one’s kidneys, heart, eyes, heart, and other organs increases the risk of developing diabetes. Patients with high blood pressure or hypertension usually have insulin resistance and have an increased risk of developing diabetes compared to those with typical blood pressure,’ said Dr. Blasto.

In an interview with KNA, Dr. Blasto noted that diabetes and hypertension share common causes and risk factors that include family history, b
eing overweight, having a sedentary lifestyle, eating unhealthy diet, chronic stress, having poor sleep habits, tobacco smoking, and excessive alcohol consumption.

The surgeon said high blood pressure exhibited no symptoms, and regular blood pressure checks are used to detect the disease.

‘A sphygmomanometer is used to read a patient’s blood pressure. A normal blood pressure range for a healthy person is less than 120/80 millimetres of mercury (120/80 mmHg). People with diabetes should have a reading ideally less than 130/80 mmHg. There are many serious complications when someone has both diabetes and high blood pressure, notably heart attacks, strokes, and kidney disorders,’ said Dr. Blasto.

‘Diabetes is a disease that is seen when the pancreas is not producing enough insulin or the body is resistant to the insulin produced in the body, or both. Type 1 diabetes occurs in those who are young, between the ages of 16 and below, where the pancreas is not producing insulin at all, and Type 2 diabetes occurs in
older adults where there is little production of insulin or the body is resistant to insulin. A patient with high blood sugar levels exhibits signs of feeling thirstier than usual, urinating often, losing weight, feeling tired and weak, having blurry vision, feeling very hungry despite eating, and having slow-healing sores.

Over time, high blood glucose levels can damage the body organs, and possible long-term effects include damage to large and small blood vessels, which can lead to pressure on the kidney, leading to renal failure that could result in poor vision, reduced sensation of the nerves, and reduced immunity,’ noted Dr. Blasto.

He lamented that the hospital was managing around 70 patients every day suffering from both hypertension and diabetes, an indicator that the two diseases were rampant in Kericho.

‘The hospital facility has a hypertension and diabetics unit that attends to over 100 patients every day from Monday to Friday, and from this number, 20 to 30 are new patients, and the rest contin
ue with their medical appointments,’ noted Dr. Blasto.

The medic recommended that preventive lifestyle measures were crucial for managing both blood glucose levels and blood pressure, including maintaining a healthy weight, being physically active, eating a healthy diet, limiting alcohol consumption, and avoiding tobacco smoking as ways of keeping chronic diseases at bay.

Dr. Blasto urged residents to set aside some days from their busy work schedules for their annual medical check-ups, as it was an important part of preserving good health and preventing serious health problems.

Source: Kenya News Agency

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