Once you develop one health condition, you’re more at risk for others. That’s because anything that happens in one area of your body affects the rest of your body, too. In fact, if you have diabetes, you’re twice as likely to develop hypertension (i.e., high blood pressure) than someone who doesn’t have diabetes.
Similarly, if you have high blood pressure (HBP), you’re at higher risk for diabetes than non-hypertensive individuals. Both conditions increase your risk for cardiovascular disease.
Kimberly Bolling, MD, a knowledgeable and experienced internist in Bowie, Maryland, has expertise in understanding how the body’s systems influence one another. When she treats a “condition” you have, her aim isn’t just to manage that one issue but to improve your health overall.
If you have either Type 2 diabetes, HBP, or cardiovascular disease, here’s what you need to know about how they influence one another.
Obesity is a risk factor for all three
Obesity is a worldwide epidemic. In the United States alone, more than 41% of women, men, and children are obese. Obesity increases your risk for many serious, life-threatening conditions and diseases, including:
- Cardiovascular disease
- Heart attack
- Type 2 diabetes
- Certain cancers
When your body carries too much weight, it puts pressure on your blood vessels. The extra pounds also stress your heart.
If you’re overweight, Dr. Bolling helps you identify the factors that led to your medical condition. She then custom designs a medically supervised weight loss program to help you safely shed pounds quickly and permanently.
Inflammation is involved in all three, too
Did you know that certain foods create inflammation in your body that can raise your risk for Type 2 diabetes, HBP, and cardiovascular disease? When you have diabetes, for instance, the excess glucose in your blood vessels creates damage and inflammation.
Your blood pressure rises when these inflamed, damaged blood vessels are too narrow for the blood to pass through freely. And, of course, degraded, clogged blood vessels are a prime cause of cardiovascular disease.
One condition raises your risk for another
Chronic diseases that are related to lifestyle and environment — such as Type 2 diabetes, HBP, and cardiovascular disease — rarely occur in isolation. Usually one condition creates damage that increases your risk for other conditions.
For instance, high blood pressure damages your blood vessels and increases your risk for cardiovascular disease.
When Dr. Bolling approaches your health, she looks at it holistically. She conducts a thorough physical examination, orders bloodwork and urine tests, conducts an EKG test, if necessary, and takes a detailed personal and medical history.
Her aim is to address the factors that underlie your conditions or diseases, rather than deal only with symptoms. By getting to the root of your disease, she helps improve your overall health.
If you have Type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, or HBP, she may first advise lifestyle changes, such as switching to a whole-foods diet and getting more exercise. These steps not only give your body the nutrients and oxygen it needs, they also reduce disease-causing inflammation.
She may also recommend medications to keep you safe and control your symptoms. Medications may be particularly helpful in the beginning of your journey, as you make the changes necessary to improve your overall health.
Take charge of your health by dealing with any medical condition you now have. To get help with your diabetes, HBP, cardiovascular disease, or obesity, call us today at 301-352-0090 or request an appointment online.