Can Diabetes Medications Cause High Blood Pressure?
Among the most important questions that a diabetic must ask himself or herself is, “Can diabetes medications cause high blood pressure?” One of the most popular medications used to manage diabetes is Metformin, which can lower blood pressure under certain physiological conditions. This article will also look at the role played by vitamin B6, Niacin, in raising blood glucose levels and lowering low-density lipoprotein cholesterol.
( See Dr. Chris Driscoll, a functional medicine Omaha diabetes specialist Doctor. Specializing in reverse type 2 diabetes, Call today!)
Metformin lowers blood pressure under certain physiological conditions
While metformin is highly effective for lowering blood pressure, it is not without its side effects. Metformin is a type of diabetes medication and can cause a wide range of side effects, including stomach pain and dizziness. However, it is important to remember that metformin is not for everyone. People with kidney disease should avoid metformin, but patients with mild or moderate kidney disease may be able to tolerate it.
Metformin works by inhibiting the metabolic process of the liver, known as gluconeogenesis. Gluconeogenesis is the process by which the liver produces glucose from nonglucose starting materials. Metformin also inhibits a specific metabolic complex in the mitochondria, which is responsible for producing energy. These complexes include four involved protein complexes and electron transport chains. Complex I is the largest energy-producing complex and is inhibited by metformin.
Niacin raises blood glucose
Niacin is an essential B vitamin and is naturally high in corn. But the carbs that are bound to niacin make it difficult to absorb. Using the traditional process of nixtamalization to treat corn makes it absorbable. However, this process also increases blood glucose and can cause flushing. Niacin is also not recommended as the first line of defense against cholesterol problems.
Some people are sensitive to niacin, and they should consult with a doctor before using this vitamin. Niacin increases blood glucose levels, so it’s important to watch your blood sugar levels closely. Some medications may affect niacin’s effect, including some types of diabetes drugs. Nicotine patches may make flushing associated with niacin worse. In rare cases, niacin can also cause high blood pressure.
Niacin reduces low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol
Studies have shown that niacin decreases the amount of low-density lipoprotein cholesterol and improves HDL function. Interestingly, the effects of niacin were modest and transient. Although the number of triglycerides was not changed, LDL-C was significantly lower and the number of HDL particles increased by 22%. Moreover, plasma apolipoprotein B levels decreased when niacin was given to patients.
One study found that niacin decreased LDL-C levels by 13% in healthy men and women. The same study found that niacin increased large and medium HDL particles while reducing small and very low HDL-C particles. However, the effect was reversible after a washout period of four weeks. In addition, the effects of niacin on plasma lipids were reversible, and it was not statistically significant.