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Diabetes Treatment With Lisinopril

written by: weborglodge • edited by: Diana Cooper • updated: 9/20/2010

Diabetes can cause several serious complications, making management of the condition imperative. Lisinopril and diabetes may seem to be an unlikely combination. However, lisinopril can help prevent kidney damage sometimes caused by diabetes.

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    How Lisinopril Works

    Circulation issues with diabetes are well known. Your risk of cardiovascular disease increases if you are a diabetic. Poor blood flow can cause foot damage or injure the blood vessels of the retina, warns Mayo Clinic. Lisinopril typically is diagnosed for high blood pressure.

    The drug is part of a class of medications called ACE inhibitors. To lower blood pressure, it causes your blood vessels to widen, it does this by inhibiting angiotensin converting enzyme. This enzyme speeds up a chemical reaction in your body that converts angiotensin I to angiotensin II. Angiotensin causes your blood vessels to constrict. It also causes other reactions in the body which lead to sodium retention.

    If you retain sodium, you will also retain water. This action increases your blood volume and thus, causes the heart to work harder. Sodium retention occurs in the kidney. This complex relationship between the cardiovascular system and the kidneys explains the link between lisinopril and diabetes. Research supports its use. A 2008 study in the Chinese journal, Zhonghua yi xue za zhi, found lisinopril was an effective way to prevent and treat diabetic-related kidney damage.

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    Side Effects of Lisinopril

    Treatment with lisinopril is not without its complications. Because it directly impacts blood pressure, there is a risk of dizziness and fainting, especially when first getting up. Some individuals may complain of flu-like symptoms including fatigue and muscle weakness. The medication can also cause mild gastrointestinal distress.

    Lisinopril also commonly causes an odd side effect which some individuals may find disconcerting and uncomfortable. The drug can cause a dry hacking cough which cannot be treated with cough medicine. You may find the cough annoying, but not painful. Yet, its occurrence may be distressing to some people.

    The cough may occur because of its effect on the angiotensin converting enzyme. Researchers believe this enzyme has a secondary role in the breakdown of substances in your lungs. A cough is a natural reaction to try and rid your body of these materials.

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    Drug Interactions

    Like many prescription medications, lisinopril may interact negatively with other drugs. According to the Drugsite Trust, 544 medications have documented drug interactions with lisinopril, 41 of which are concerned major.

    These drugs include potassium-sparing diuretics, medications for treating iron deficiency anemia, and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen. In addition, you should not take lisinopril if you are pregnant or planning to do so due to the increased risk of birth defects.

    Managing diabetes can be complicated by the very medications that are used to provide relief. The relationship between lisinopril and diabetes is a classic example. If you find the side effects too uncomfortable, discuss your situation with your doctor. There may be other options which may not cause you distress.

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    References

    Drugsite Trust: Lisinopril Drug Interactions – www.drugs.com

    L. Han et al. Effects of lisinopril on diabetic peripheral neuropathy: experiment with rats. Zhonghua yi xue za zhi, September 2008; 88(35):2513-2515.

    Mayo Clinic: Diabetes: Complications – www.mayoclinic.com