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Type 2 Diabetes – When Is The Best Time For Diabetics To Take Their Blood Pressure Drugs?

Heart and blood vessel disease is frequently a problem for anyone with Type 2 diabetes, and high blood pressure (B/P) can be the result. According to the American Diabetes Association, as many as two-thirds of diabetics have high blood pressure. Researchers at the University of Vigo in Spain set out to determine whether the traditional method of taking all medications in the morning were necessarily the way to get the best possible results. Their work was published in the June 2011 issue of the journal Diabetes Care.

Four hundred forty-eight people with high blood pressure and Type 2 diabetes were included in the study. Some were assigned to continue taking all their anti-hypertensive drugs in the morning while the rest were assigned to take one or more of their anti-hypertensive drugs at bedtime. Blood pressure was measured at the start of the study and at intervals for about 5 years. At the end of the study the group taking one or more blood pressure drugs at bedtime had fewer cases of heart attacks, death due to heart attacks, and strokes. They also had better controlled B/P both at night and during the day. It was therefore concluded taking at least one anti-hypertensive medication at night rather than during the day, improved blood pressure control and reduced the risk of heart attacks and strokes in Type 2 diabetics.

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The American Diabetes Association and the National Institute of Health recommend a blood pressure of below 130/80 to prevent strokes, eye disease, heart disease and kidney disease in diabetics. The top number, the systolic, is the force of the blood against the walls of the arteries when the heart is beating. The bottom number, the diastolic, is the force of the blood against the arterial walls between heartbeats. Both are measured in millimeters of mercury.

Medications for lowering blood pressure include:

angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors,
angiotensin receptor blockers (ARB’s),
beta blockers, and
calcium channel blockers.

A hormone called angiotensin is a hormone that narrows the blood vessels, causing your B/P to increase. ACE inhibitors prevent the hormone from being manufactured by the body. ARB’s keep angiotensin from doing its job of narrowing blood vessels. Diuretics cause the kidneys to put more water into the urine, causing blood pressure to drop because the blood vessels have less fluid to carry. Beta blockers cause the heart to beat less forcefully and more slowly. Calcium channel blockers keep calcium away from the heart and blood vessels, allowing them to relax.

If you are on more than one type of anti-hypertensive drug and your blood pressure is above 130/80, check with your doctor as to whether you should take one or more of your medications at bedtime.

POSTED ON June 27, 2011,