Diabetes Self-Management Articles

These articles cover a wide range of subjects, from the most basic aspects of diabetes care to the nitty-gritty specifics.

Links not loading properly?

Some of our pages use Portable Document Format (PDF) files, which require Adobe Acrobat Reader. To download Acrobat Reader for free, visit www.adobe.com.

Sign up for our weekly e-mail newsletter and receive a FREE GIFT! Enter your e-mail below.

Learn more

Learn more about diabetes

Links to help you learn more about diabetes.

Ask a diabetes expert
Other diabetes resources
Browse article topics



An enzyme released into the blood by cells of the kidney. Through a series of chemical reactions, renin converts angiotensinogen (a protein released into the blood by the liver) to angiotensin I. As blood passes through the lungs, angiotensin I is converted into angiotensin II, a highly potent vasoconstrictor (an agent that induces narrowing of the blood vessels). Angiotensin II stimulates the adrenal cortex to release aldosterone, a hormone that enhances sodium ion reabsorption by the kidneys. Sodium then moves into the blood, followed by water, and both blood volume and blood pressure rise.

Though renin itself has no effect on blood pressure, angiotensin II does. An excess of angiotensin II can lead to hypertension, or high blood pressure. The extra stress of hypertension on the heart can damage the lining of the arteries, and, if left untreated, can cause the arteries to narrow or become completely blocked.

Nearly 60% of people with Type 2 diabetes have hypertension, and people with both hypertension and diabetes face a high risk of cardiovascular disease. Fortunately, drugs such as angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors and beta-blockers have been found to lower blood pressure. ACE inhibitors prevent the formation of angiotension II. This causes the arteries to dilate and, in effect, lowers blood pressure. Beta-blockers lower blood pressure by blocking the effects of adrenaline (also called epinephrine), a hormone that increases heart rate and contractility, and inhibiting renin secretion by the kidney.

Some studies have shown an association between increased renin activity and a cluster of cardiovascular disease risk factors called Syndrome X, or metabolic syndrome. These risk factors include insulin resistance (one of the major underlying problems in Type 2 diabetes), high triglycerides, low HDL (“good”) cholesterol, and some others.



More articles on Diabetes Definitions



Statements and opinions expressed on this Web site are those of the authors and not necessarily those of the publishers or advertisers. The information provided on this Web site should not be construed as medical instruction. Consult appropriate health-care professionals before taking action based on this information.



Being Kind to Your Kidneys (Part 1)
When was the last time you thought about your kidneys? Was it when you had a kidney test (a... Blog

I've been experiencing high blood glucose a lot lately. Is there anything I can do? Get tip