CareNow® - May 11, 2022

doctor checking a patient's blood pressure

Almost half of adults in the United States (47% to be exact) suffer from high blood pressure, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The condition, commonly referred to as hypertension, is defined as systolic blood pressure higher than 130 mmHg or diastolic blood pressure higher than 80 mmHg.

Unfortunately, only 1 in 4 adults who have high blood pressure are actively doing something to get their hypertension under control. When left untreated, high blood pressure can lead to a number of complications of diabetes like kidney disease or diabetic eye disease.

If you suffer from diabetes or hypertension, it’s important to be aware of the potential complications and what you can do to prevent them so you can keep both conditions under control.

Will Urgent Care Treat High Blood Pressure?

One of the best ways to get an accurate read of your blood pressure levels is by visiting an urgent care facility that can issue a blood pressure test.

When you arrive at the urgent care clinic, a nurse or physician will wrap an inflatable cuff around the top of your arm right below your shoulder. Once the test begins, you will feel the cuff inflate as it works to cut off blood flow and minimize the pressure.

When the cuff is done inflating, the pressure is measured and your blood pressure numbers will be revealed.

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Can You Prepare for a Blood Pressure Test?

If you know you’ll be getting your blood pressure checked, it’s a good idea to wear a shirt with short sleeves or sleeves that can be easily moved up on your arm. A blood pressure test is a typical part of a medical exam, so it’s safe to assume you will have it done at any urgent care visit.

If possible, avoid eating or drinking anything 30 minutes before your blood pressure is taken. It’s also a good idea to empty your bladder before your test.

During the test, remain seated in a comfortable position — ideally, with your back against the back of the chair and both feet flat on the floor with your legs uncrossed.

What Are the Signs of Diabetes?

If you suffer from diabetes, you are twice as likely to also develop high blood pressure. You are also four times as likely to end up with heart disease versus someone without either condition. 

So how do you know if you have diabetes? There are several tell-tale signs you should keep an eye out for. If you notice any of the following, it’s a good idea to get checked for diabetes as soon as possible:

  • Frequent urination
  • Extreme thirst
  • Unexpected weight loss
  • Abnormal hunger
  • Blurred vision
  • Numbness or tingling in hands or feet
  • Tiredness
  • Dry skin
  • Slow-healing sores
  • Frequent infections

Are Symptoms Different for Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes?

Symptoms may also vary depending on the type of diabetes you have. Type 1 diabetes, a genetic disorder, typically shows up early in life. Meanwhile, type 2 diabetes is normally diet-related and may develop over time.

If you have type 1 diabetes, you may experience nausea, vomiting or stomach pains in addition to the symptoms listed above.

With type 2 diabetes, it’s common to not experience any symptoms — that’s why it’s especially important to know the risk factors.

Can Urgent Care Check for Diabetes?

If you show signs of type 1 or type 2 diabetes, you need to seek medical attention immediately to receive a proper diagnosis. Most urgent care clinics will be able to give you an A1C (glucose) test to measure your average blood sugar levels over a three-month period.

This test, often referred to as a glycohemoglobin test, HbA1c or hemoglobin A1c test, can inform you if you have diabetes or a condition called prediabetes.

If your lab results show you have prediabetes, it means your blood sugar levels are higher than normal but not high enough to be considered type 2 diabetes just yet. Thankfully, prediabetes can usually be treated with lifestyle changes.

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What to Expect with a Diabetes Test

In order to test for diabetes, you will need to take an A1C test. This test is a simple blood test and can be done by drawing blood from a vein or sticking the finger for several drops of blood.

There is typically nothing you’ll need to do beforehand as fasting is not required for this test. If you’ve already been diagnosed with diabetes, it’s recommended that you get your A1C tested at least twice a year.

What is the Link Between Diabetes and Hypertension?

Those who have type 1 diabetes, type 2 diabetes or gestational diabetes (a condition brought on by pregnancy) may find themselves with hypertension as well.

Because type 2 diabetes and hypertension are both related to obesity and cardiovascular disease, the two are often diagnosed together or near the same time.

Some common causes of diabetes and hypertension include obesity, inflammation, insulin resistance and oxidative stress.

Can Diabetes Cause Hypertension or Vice Versa?

If you suffer from diabetes, it means you either don’t have enough insulin to process glucose or your insulin doesn’t work the way it should. Because of this, glucose can accumulate in the bloodstream, causing damage to the blood vessels and kidneys. If this happens, it can increase blood pressure numbers.

A study in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology revealed that those with high blood pressure are also at a heightened risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

To prevent complications, it’s a good idea to get regular medical exams and bloodwork done. This will make it more likely that hypertension or diabetes will be detected early.

If you’re looking for urgent care for high blood pressure testing or an urgent care diabetes test, consider visiting your local CareNow®.

At CareNow®, we offer both blood pressure testing and diabetes testing at more than 175 locations throughout the country. Each of our locations is open after hours and on the weekends so you can get the care you need when you need it most.

We have also earned the distinction of Accredited Urgent Care Center from our industry’s association, Urgent Care Association (UCA), so you know our qualified physicians are offering the best care possible.

Be sure to utilize our Web Check-In® feature before your visit so you can wait from anywhere!

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