It is important that you know what your blood pressure is, especially if you are taking medications to control your arthritis symptoms. If you are concerned about your blood pressure, and you take medications to manage your arthritis, read the product labels, check with your physician, or consult with your pharmacist regarding side effects the medications may cause.
Discuss alternatives with your health care provider if you are taking a medication known to elevate blood pressure, and be sure to monitor your blood pressure and arthritis symptoms if you’re taking new medications, in order to see how they affect you.
Pain and Stress Due to a Rise in Blood Pressure Levels
A third, and common, way that osteoarthritis may elevate your blood pressure is due to a direct effect. As you know, osteoarthritis causes pain. Pain elevates your blood pressure.
Since you are living with a chronic health condition, you may also be feeling stress related to your illness. You may worry about your ability to care for yourself as you grow older, as the arthritis progresses. You may fear that you might need painful, expensive surgery in the future.
When pain and stress are present and your blood pressure rises, then the cause of an elevation in your blood pressure may be directly due to the osteoarthritis. However, unless your pain or stress is prolonged or inadequately managed, it is unlikely that osteoarthritis alone will cause you to have high blood pressure.
You may experience only a slight increase in blood pressure when your pain levels increase, or you may have a dramatic, short lived spike in hypertension which goes away once your pain is brought under control. The degree with which pain influences blood pressure is variable.
If you have osteoarthritis and you are suffering or have high blood pressure, seek help from a qualified health care provider.
Diabetes, Osteoarthritis and Hypertension
A research study conducted in Germany showed the impact of osteoarthritis and high blood pressure among people who were diagnosed with diabetes. The researchers investigated how osteoarthritis, hypertension, and other health conditions affected the quality of life among individuals who had diabetes.
They found that high blood pressure was the most commonly diagnosed condition that people who had diabetes experienced. Because hypertension by itself does not usually cause symptoms, the researchers found that it had little impact on the participants’ quality of life. However, side effects from the medications used to treat high blood pressure caused the participants to have a lower quality of life than people who did not have hypertension.
The second most common condition that the patients who had diabetes experienced was osteoarthritis. Osteoarthritis had very detrimental effects on the participants’ quality of life as they experienced discomfort and disability. The people in the study who had arthritis needed to seek medical attention more frequently due to their symptoms.
Many individuals had diabetes, hypertension and osteoarthritis. These individuals also reported a lower quality of life.
More studies are needed to determine if you are at a higher risk of developing osteoarthritis due to diabetes; it is not known if there is a direct link between diabetes and osteoarthritis.
The bottom line is that each of your conditions must be well managed for you to experience a desirable quality of life, fewer disease related complications, and maintain your health.