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How Does Glucose Damage Blood Vessels

Blood Glucose: How Your Blood Sugar Can Affect Your Health

Blood Glucose: How Your Blood Sugar Can Affect Your Health

Source: Best Health Magazine, May 2010 Unless you have diabetes, you’ve probably never given your blood glucose’the amount of sugar in your blood’a second thought. But researchers now know that a diet loaded with foods that send blood glucose on a roller-coaster ride of highs and lows can increase your risk of heart disease by damaging blood vessels and raising cholesterol. It can even chip away at your memory and increase the risk of certain cancers. While you may not notice a problem, that doesn’t mean there isn’t one; you may actually be on a path that shaves years off your life. Fortunately, none of this damage happens overnight, and even modest changes to the foods you eat every day can start you on a healthier routine and make you feel more alert and energized immediately. What blood glucose does When you need a quick pick-me-up, do you reach for a gooey Danish, a sugary donut or a couple of cookies? These ‘fast-acting’ foods are handy and they take no time at all to dissolve in your stomach. They race into your bloodstream, flooding your body with blood glucose and temporarily boosting energy. The trouble is that the surge doesn’t last long, and when the crash comes, you may feel listless, headachy’and ravenously, must-eat-something-sugary-this-minute hungry. Why controlling blood glucose matters Unfortunately, our diets are full of foods that send us for a ride on the glucose roller coaster. So it’s no wonder many of us have less energy than we’d like. And, yes, eating too much and exercising too little get the lion’s share of the blame for weight gain, but yo-yoing blood glucose contributes by setting in motion a chain of events that eventually sends you shopping for bigger jeans. But it’s not just low energy and weight gain that we ha Continue reading >>

Breakthrough In Protecting Arteries Against After-meal Glucose Spikes

Breakthrough In Protecting Arteries Against After-meal Glucose Spikes

Did you know that your risk of suffering from cardiovascular death is the greatest in the two-hour time period after you eat a meal? That’s partly because during that time, you can experience dangerous blood sugar spikes that acutely impair blood flow through vital arteries, ultimately leading to a heart attack or stroke. And while you may not entirely eliminate these after-meal blood sugar surges, you can build up your body’s defenses against those spikes to protect your cardiovascular system. In a study that may represent a breakthrough in the prevention of heart attack, the proper intake of gamma tocopherol was shown to limit the artery damaging impact of an after-meal glucose burst. This human study, published in July 2012, showed an expected 30-44% decrease in endothelial function (as measured by arterial blood flow) in men after consuming 2.5 ounces of pure glucose. Men who took gamma tocopherol five days before the glucose challenge, however, showed no significant loss of endothelial function.1 This well-designed study showed how gamma tocopherol, functioning via several proven pathways, prepared the arterial endothelium to cope with the attack of after-meal glucose. Foundation members have supplemented with gamma tocopherol since as early as 1996.This article describes the ways gamma tocopherol builds strong countermeasures into blood vessels, preparing them to survive and thrive even after a substantial spike in blood sugar.2 After-Meal Blood Sugar Spikes Increases Heart Attack Risk When your heart muscle calls for more blood to sustain a strong pumping action, it needs it now. Under normal circumstances, the coronary arteries—those vessels that provide blood to the heart muscle—respond by dilating and increasing blood flow accordingly. When that respon Continue reading >>

Mouse Study Reveals Mechanism Behind Diabetes Blood Vessel Damage

Mouse Study Reveals Mechanism Behind Diabetes Blood Vessel Damage

It is well known that diabetes wreaks havoc on the vascular system. In fact, vascular complications arising from diabetes are the leading cause of blindness, kidney failure and cardiovascular problems in the U.S. And yet, the physiological mechanisms that link diabetes, which afflicts 26 million Americans, to sickly blood vessels are poorly understood. Researchers have now identified key interactions among two enzymes that may help connect the dots between insulin control and the integrity of blood vessels. The two enzymes work in tandem to regulate the production of nitric oxide, a gas that relaxes blood vessels. The findings, shown in mice, could provide targets for drugs that would be designed to prevent and offset vascular damage. "Sadly, most people with diabetes will die from vascular complications," says Clay Semenkovich of Washington University in Saint Louis School of Medicine, co-author of the study published January 28 in The Journal of Biological Chemistry. Diabetes contributes to large blood vessel damage associated with common cardiovascular problems such as stroke and heart disease, but diabetes also deteriorates small blood vessels found in the eyes, kidneys and around nerves. "Small-vessel disease is fairly specific for diabetes, while large-vessel disease also occurs in people without diabetes, especially smokers," Semenkovich says. As a metabolic disease, diabetes causes a cascade of problems, many linked to high blood levels of glucose and lipids. "Increased sugars and fats promote oxidative stress—the production of excessive amounts of oxygen-derived free radicals that can damage blood vessels," according to Semenkovich. The damage manifests as inflammation. Nitric oxide, produced by the enzyme nitric-oxide synthase (NOS), helps reduce inflammatio Continue reading >>

Eye Damage With Diabetes

Eye Damage With Diabetes

Diabetes that isn't under control can damage your eyes. These are types of eye damage that can occur with diabetes. Swelling of the Eye Lens Blurred vision is a common sign of diabetes that isn't under control. When blood sugar levels are high for a long time, body water is pulled into the lens, causing it to swell. It will take about six weeks, after getting blood sugar levels closer to normal, for the swelling to go away completely. People with diabetes shouldn't get new glasses or contacts until their blood sugar levels have been under good control for at least two months. If you get new glasses or contacts before the swelling goes down, the prescription will fit the swollen eye lens. After the swelling is gone, the prescription won't work any more. Weakened Blood Vessels Even though blurred vision is a sign that something is wrong with the lens of the eye, the worst damage happens to the blood vessels in the retina, in the back of the eye. After many years of high blood sugar levels, the walls of the blood vessels in the retina become weak and thin. The weak areas can bulge out and form pouches called micro-aneurysms. These weak, thinning areas can leak a fatty protein called exudate. If exudate leaks into the center of the retina, in an area called the macula, it will cause swelling, making it hard to see. When this condition goes untreated, it causes changes in your vision that can be permanent. Damage to the Retina Damage can sometimes go unnoticed until it leads to serious vision problems. This damage is called retinopathy, which means disease of the retina. Blood can leak out of the weak blood vessels in the retina and cause hemorrhages, called early diabetes retinopathy or background diabetes retinopathy. The hemorrhages get worse if blood vessels in the eye b Continue reading >>

How Blood Sugar Damages The Eye In Diabetes

How Blood Sugar Damages The Eye In Diabetes

Blood vessels in the eye can weaken and leak fluid and blood into the retina.(VEER)High blood sugar is toxic to many parts of the body, and the eyes are no exception. Indeed, people with diabetes are 25 times more likely to go blind than those who do not have the disease. But it's not just blood sugar. High blood pressure is also a huge factor. The United Kingdom Prospective Diabetes Study found that people with type 2 who maintained "tight" blood pressure controlaveraging 144/82reduced their risk of vision loss by 47% and cut their risk for progression of diabetic retinopathy, the leading cause of blindness in adults, by 34%. Regular eye exams are important When it comes to vision-related complications of diabetes, prevention is the key, says Sean F. Murphy, MD, an ophthalmologist with the Eye Care Institute in Louisville, Ky. "Diabetic damage is kind of like going down the stairs. Wherever you are, our first goal is to kind of dig in ... and if we can improve things, that's great," he says. "But most of the time we cannot push you back up the stairs. So the sooner someone gets in and gets diagnosed and gets treatment and gets watched, the less damage that occurs (and) the better you can do." How One Woman Copes With Laser TreatmentsDoctors use such treatments to shrink abnormal blood vessels in the eye Read moreMore about diabetic retinopathy There are two types of diabetic retinopathy and they usually affect both eyes similarly, according to the Mayo Clinic. Nonproliferative diabetic retinopathy In this condition the walls of blood vessels in the retina begin to weaken, sometimes leaking fluid and blood into the retina. Often there are no symptoms early on, and even later in the disease, damage may progress without warning. "It's insidious, and that's the importance Continue reading >>

Researchers Discover Root Cause Of Blood Vessel Damage In Diabetes

Researchers Discover Root Cause Of Blood Vessel Damage In Diabetes

A key mechanism that appears to contribute to blood vessel damage in people with diabetes has been identified by researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. Blood vessel problems are a common diabetes complication. Many of the nearly 26 million Americans with the disease face the prospect of amputations, heart attack, stroke and vision loss because of damaged vessels. Reporting in the Journal of Biological Chemistry, the Washington University researchers say studies in mice show that the damage appears to involve two enzymes, fatty acid synthase (FAS) and nitric oxide synthase (NOS), that interact in the cells that line blood vessel walls. “We already knew that in diabetes there’s a defect in the endothelial cells that line the blood vessels,” says first author Xiaochao Wei, PhD. “People with diabetes also have depressed levels of fatty acid synthase. But this is the first time we’ve been able to link those observations together.” Wei is a postdoctoral research scholar in the lab of Clay F. Semenkovich, MD, the Herbert S. Gasser Professor of Medicine, professor of cell biology and physiology and chief of the Division of Endocrinology, Metabolism and Lipid Research. Wei studied mice that had been genetically engineered to make FAS in all of their tissues except the endothelial cells that line blood vessels. These so-called FASTie mice experienced problems in the vessels that were similar to those seen in animals with diabetes. “It turns out that there are strong parallels between the complete absence of FAS and the deficiencies in FAS induced by lack of insulin and by insulin resistance,” Semenkovich says. Comparing FASTie mice to normal animals, as well as to mice with diabetes, Wei and Semenkovich determined that mice without F Continue reading >>

How Blood Sugar Affects Your Body

How Blood Sugar Affects Your Body

When you have diabetes, your blood sugar (glucose) levels may be consistently high. Over time, this can damage your body and lead to many other problems. How much sugar in the blood is too much? And why is high glucose so bad for you? Here’s a look at how your levels affect your health. They're less than 100 mg/dL after not eating (fasting) for at least 8 hours. And they're less than 140 mg/dL 2 hours after eating. During the day, levels tend to be at their lowest just before meals. For most people without diabetes, blood sugar levels before meals hover around 70 to 80 mg/dL. For some people, 60 is normal; for others, 90. What's a low sugar level? It varies widely, too. Many people's glucose won't ever fall below 60, even with prolonged fasting. When you diet or fast, the liver keeps your levels normal by turning fat and muscle into sugar. A few people's levels may fall somewhat lower. Doctors use these tests to find out if you have diabetes: Fasting plasma glucose test. The doctor tests your blood sugar levels after fasting for 8 hours and it’s higher than 126 mg/dL. Oral glucose tolerance test. After fasting for 8 hours, you get a special sugary drink. Two hours later your sugar level is higher than 200. Random check. The doctor tests your blood sugar and it’s higher than 200, plus you’re peeing more, always thirsty, and you’ve gained or lost a significant amount of weight. He’ll then do a fasting sugar level test or an oral glucose tolerance test to confirm the diagnosis. Any sugar levels higher than normal are unhealthy. Levels that are higher than normal, but not reaching the point of full-blown diabetes, are called prediabetes. According to the American Diabetes Association, 86 million people in the U.S. have this condition, which can lead to diabetes Continue reading >>

High Blood Sugar Levels Could Lead To Heart Attack Complications

High Blood Sugar Levels Could Lead To Heart Attack Complications

Issued by University of Leicester Press Office on 5 January 2016 First study to show direct evidence of blood vessel contraction due to glucose (sugar) Effects observed even at glucose levels that could be reached after a large meal Research provides a potential therapeutic target for improving outcomes following a heart attack or stroke Scientists at the University of Leicester have demonstrated for the first time the mechanism by which the level of sugar in your blood can affect the contraction of blood vessels, with potentially dangerous effects on the heart and blood pressure. Researchers led by Dr Richard Rainbow from the University’s Department of Cardiovascular Sciences have shown that blood vessels contract more strongly at raised glucose levels than at ‘normal physiological’ levels. Blood vessels contract and relax to control blood pressure. In general, the more contracted the blood vessels are, the higher the blood pressure. Using electrophysiology and myography techniques to examine the impact of glucose on arterial myocytes, cells that make up the tissue of our blood vessels, the team has identified a mechanism that controls the narrowing of blood vessels. The research comes as MPs and health experts debate proposals for a ‘sugar tax’ and highlights the potential health risks of consuming large amounts of rich, sugary foods regularly in your diet. With healthy eating among the most common New Year’s resolutions, it adds another incentive to reduce our intake of these foods all year round. Heart attacks occur when a coronary artery, which provides the blood to the heart muscle to give the required nutrients and oxygen, are blocked. High glucose at the time of heart attack could make this block more severe by causing the blood vessel to contract, l Continue reading >>

Effects Of Diabetes

Effects Of Diabetes

In some cases the effects may be short term and can be eliminated through appropriate treatment. In the case of long term complications, any damage sustained tends to be permanent. Whilst there are a lot of ways in which diabetes can affect the body, it’s important to note that the risks of developing health problems can be significantly reduced through good management of diabetes and living a healthy life. Heart Higher than normal blood sugar levels over a period of time can lead to an increase in risk of damage occurring to larger blood vessels in the body. This raises the risk of blood clots forming in blood vessels which can lead to heart attacks – a form of coronary heart disease. Approximately, 600,000 people die of heart disease in the United States every year–that’s 1 in every 4 deaths. Learn more about Heart disease. Brain The brain is another major organ that can pose a threat to life if it is affected by damage or blockages in its blood supply. Elevated blood sugar levels over a long period of time can cause blockages in the blood vessels supplying the brain, resulting in stroke, and can also damage the very small blood vessels in the outer part of the brain, increasing the risk of brain damage and conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease. In the short term, too low blood glucose levels can lead to a reduced ability to make decisions and cause confusion and disorientation. Nerves The nerves play a very important part throughout the body. Not only do they allow us to sense touch, nerves also allow our organs to function properly. For instance, nerves are crucial in helping the digestive system to sense how it should respond. If the nerves become damaged we can lose our ability to sense pain in parts of the body that are affected and if nerve damage (ne Continue reading >>

Review Vascular Complications Of Diabetes: Mechanisms Of Injury And Protective Factors

Review Vascular Complications Of Diabetes: Mechanisms Of Injury And Protective Factors

Main Text Introduction The vascular complications of diabetes are among the most serious manifestations of the disease. Atherosclerosis is the main reason for impaired life expectancy in patients with diabetes, whereas diabetic nephropathy and retinopathy are the largest contributors to end-stage renal disease and blindness, respectively. The most well-established clinical advances in preventing vascular complications of diabetes include intensive blood glucose lowering, which decreases the risk of nephropathy and retinopathy; antihypertensive medicine, which decreases the risk of cardiovascular disease, nephropathy, and retinopathy; panretinal photocoagulation and agents targeting vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), which slow the progression of diabetic retinopathy; and statin therapy, which reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease. Despite these advances, diabetes complications remain an enormous problem. The public health impact of diabetes will continue to grow due to the expected increase in the prevalence of the disease. Although lowering blood glucose delays the onset of nephropathy and retinopathy, cardiovascular disease in diabetes shows less robust association with hyperglycemia and less benefit from glucose-lowering therapy. Moreover, it is clear that diabetes is associated with increased cardiovascular risk beyond what is explained by dyslipidemia or hypertension, both of which are more common in patients with diabetes. Accordingly, insulin resistance and its biological effects in various tissues may be more important factors than hyperglycemia in mediating atherothrombotic complications, particularly in type 2 diabetes. Despite these insights, there are few therapies targeting vascular abnormalities specific for diabetes. Advances in understanding Continue reading >>

Why Are Only Certain Organs Damaged?

Why Are Only Certain Organs Damaged?

From STOP the Rollerocaster Copyright © 1996 by Diabetes Services, Inc. Cell health depends on a steady supply of fuel from glucose and free fatty acids. These two major fuels are both regulated by insulin released directly into the blood from beta cells in the pancreas. From the blood, an insulin molecule crosses the blood vessel wall and attaches to an insulin receptor on the outer wall of a muscle, liver or fat cell. This attachment triggers the movement of glucose into the interior of the cell, where it can be converted into energy for metabolism, repair and defense. In contrast to the complicated transport system for glucose, and to the chagrin of many, fat moves easily across cell membranes. If insulin levels are too low, less glucose enters cells, but more glucose is released by the liver and more fat is released from fat cells. So a low insulin level causes not only a high blood sugar but it also causes more fat to enter the blood. Cells in the muscle, liver, and fat need insulin to receive glucose. The first group of cells that need insulin, those in muscle, liver, and fat, do not become exposed to high internal glucose levels when the blood sugars are high and insulin levels are low. The lack of insulin slows the movement of glucose into these cells, and probably spares them from damage when blood sugars are high. However, other cells such as those in the brain, nervous system, heart, blood vessels and kidneys pick up glucose directly from the blood without using insulin. These cells, except the brain, are more prone to damage from high blood sugars because they become exposed to high internal levels of glucose. This is one reason why damage tends to occur in these areas of the body, such as in nerve and kidney cells, and in small blood vessels like those in Continue reading >>

How Does Diabetes Affect Blood Vessels?

How Does Diabetes Affect Blood Vessels?

What do your Blood Vessels do? Blood vessels are like a network of pipelines in your body. This network helps transport blood to all body parts, which in turn delivers oxygen and other nutrients like glucose to the body’s cells. Your body has three main types of vessels: arteries, veins, and capillaries. The structure of vessels is layered like the rings of an onion. The innermost ring is called the endothelium, and it helps promote a steady blood flow through your blood vessels. Does Diabetes Damages Blood Vessels? Diabetes damages the body’s blood vessels in several different ways. For instance: It damages the endothelium A healthy endothelium is necessary for blood to flow freely in your blood vessels. High blood sugar in diabetes damages the endothelium. This impairs the steady flow of blood inside blood vessels. Diabetes decreases the release of Nitric Oxide from blood vessels Your blood vessels release a chemical called Nitric Oxide (NO). NO is important as it helps your vessels relax. Without it, the vessels become narrow and the flow of blood in them decreases as well. It accelerates the process of atherosclerosis Cholesterol and fats are two important substances in your blood. When their levels increase, they start to clog and harden your blood vessels. Atherosclerosis is the term doctors use to describe this process. Diabetes speeds up the process of atherosclerosis. As a result, your vessels harden and narrow down as well. Changes to the body’s blood vessels decrease the supply of blood to different body parts. Therefore, diabetes can lead to a lot of complications related to the blood vessels, which include: Poor vision An increased risk of heart attack or stroke High blood pressure Retention of body water, which may lead to ankle swelling Kidney failu Continue reading >>

Hyperglycemia

Hyperglycemia

Not to be confused with the opposite disorder, hypoglycemia. Hyperglycemia, or high blood sugar (also spelled hyperglycaemia or hyperglycæmia) is a condition in which an excessive amount of glucose circulates in the blood plasma. This is generally a blood sugar level higher than 11.1 mmol/l (200 mg/dl), but symptoms may not start to become noticeable until even higher values such as 15–20 mmol/l (~250–300 mg/dl). A subject with a consistent range between ~5.6 and ~7 mmol/l (100–126 mg/dl) (American Diabetes Association guidelines) is considered slightly hyperglycemic, while above 7 mmol/l (126 mg/dl) is generally held to have diabetes. For diabetics, glucose levels that are considered to be too hyperglycemic can vary from person to person, mainly due to the person's renal threshold of glucose and overall glucose tolerance. On average however, chronic levels above 10–12 mmol/L (180–216 mg/dL) can produce noticeable organ damage over time. Signs and symptoms[edit] The degree of hyperglycemia can change over time depending on the metabolic cause, for example, impaired glucose tolerance or fasting glucose, and it can depend on treatment.[1] Temporary hyperglycemia is often benign and asymptomatic. Blood glucose levels can rise well above normal and cause pathological and functional changes for significant periods without producing any permanent effects or symptoms. [1] During this asymptomatic period, an abnormality in carbohydrate metabolism can occur which can be tested by measuring plasma glucose. [1] However, chronic hyperglycemia at above normal levels can produce a very wide variety of serious complications over a period of years, including kidney damage, neurological damage, cardiovascular damage, damage to the retina or damage to feet and legs. Diabetic n Continue reading >>

How Diabetes Harms The Brain

How Diabetes Harms The Brain

TIME Health For more, visit TIME Health. When blood sugar levels start to climb in diabetes, a number of body systems are harmed—and that list includes the brain, since studies have linked diabetes with a higher risk of stroke and dementia. Now, a new study published in the journal Neurology reports that changes in blood vessel activity in the brains of diabetics may lead to drops in cognitive functions and their ability to perform daily activities. Dr. Vera Novak, associate professor of neurology at Harvard Medical School and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, and her colleagues followed a group of 65 older people. About half had type 2 diabetes, and half did not. After two years, the diabetic patients had lower scores on cognitive tests compared to when they began, while people without diabetes showed little change on the tests. MORE: The Strange Way a Diabetes Drug May Help Skin Scars What drove the decline, says Novak, were changes in the brains of the diabetic patients. Diabetes can cause blood vessels to be less responsive to the ebb and flow of demand in different parts of the brain. Normally, flexible vessels will swell slightly to increase blood flow and oxygen to areas that are more intensely active, such as regions involved in memory or higher reasoning during intellectual tasks. But unchecked blood sugar can make these vessels less malleable and therefore less responsive. “When doing any task, from cognition to moving your fingers, you need to increase blood flow to that specific area of the brain,” says Novak. “With diabetes, however, that vasodilation ability is reduced, so you have fewer resources to perform any task.” MORE: Statins May Seriously Increase Diabetes Risk In the study, Novak measured the changes in the flexibility of the blood v Continue reading >>

Endothelial Dysfunction And Diabetes: Effects On Angiogenesis, Vascular Remodeling, And Wound Healing

Endothelial Dysfunction And Diabetes: Effects On Angiogenesis, Vascular Remodeling, And Wound Healing

Go to: Diabetes mellitus (DM) is a chronic metabolic disorder characterized by inappropriate hyperglycemia due to lack of or resistance to insulin. Patients with DM are frequently afflicted with ischemic vascular disease or wound healing defect. It is well known that type 2 DM causes amplification of the atherosclerotic process, endothelial cell dysfunction, glycosylation of extracellular matrix proteins, and vascular denervation. These complications ultimately lead to impairment of neovascularization and diabetic wound healing. Therapeutic angiogenesis remains an attractive treatment modality for chronic ischemic disorders including PAD and/or diabetic wound healing. Many experimental studies have identified better approaches for diabetic cardiovascular complications, however, successful clinical translation has been limited possibly due to the narrow therapeutic targets of these agents or the lack of rigorous evaluation of pathology and therapeutic mechanisms in experimental models of disease. This paper discusses the current body of evidence identifying endothelial dysfunction and impaired angiogenesis during diabetes. Go to: 1. Introduction Endothelial cell dysfunction (ECD) is a broad term which implies dysregulation of endothelial cell functions, including impairment of the barrier functions of endothelial cells, vasodilation, disturbances in proliferative capacities, migratory as well as tube formation properties, angiogenic properties, attenuation of synthetic function, and deterrence of white blood cells from adhesion and diapedesis [1]. Several factors contribute to ECD including smoking, high blood pressure, diabetes, high cholesterol levels, obesity, hyperglycemia, advance glycation end products (AGEs), and genetic factors [1, 2]. Diabetes is a chronic metab Continue reading >>

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