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How Does High Glucose Levels Damage Blood Vessels?

Heart And Blood Vessels

Heart And Blood Vessels

Key fact: Having good blood pressure reduces your risk of having a heart attack or stroke - even five units can make a difference. And people with chest pain who stop smoking may find they can walk two to three times as far before it hurts. A healthy heart pumps blood through your blood vessels to every part of your body. This ensures that the blood reaches all your essential organs as well as the tips of your fingers and toes, and your genitals. Why do problems with blood vessels happen in diabetes? Problems with blood vessels in diabetes can be due to any one, or a combination, of these factors: Persistently high blood glucose levels: glucose can bind to certain proteins in the blood vessels and cause damage. High cholesterol levels: this can lead to narrowing of vessels and clots in the vessels. High blood pressure: this puts added pressure on the vessels and makes them more prone to damage. Symptoms requiring urgent action If you have any of these symptoms, call an ambulance by dialling 999: new or worsening chest tightness that doesn't stop when you rest and lasts for more than 10 minutes symptoms that suggest a stroke - face fallen on one side, unable to raise both arms and keep them up or slurred speech. What are the most common problems? High blood pressure. When blood vessels are damaged or coated in cholesterol, they tend to become stiffer, and this can lead to high blood pressure. Calf pain. Damage to the blood vessels in the legs can restrict the amount of oxygen that gets to the leg muscles. This can cause calf pain, particularly when walking up hills. Angina. Narrow vessels around the heart restrict the amount of oxygen which can get to the heart muscle. This can cause a pressure sensation over the chest, particularly during activity. Heart attack. If a la Continue reading >>

How Does Diabetes Affect Blood Vessels?

How Does Diabetes Affect Blood Vessels?

As complicated as the disease is, diabetes is known to cause adverse effects on different body parts and organs. Uncontrolled diabetes causes high levels of blood glucose which causes damage and disruptions to the blood vessels which include the arteries, the capillaries, and the veins. Each of these is responsible for their own individual functions and diabetes can lead to a complete destruction of the same. In this article, we shall try to analyze the causes as to how does diabetes affect the blood vessels of the patient’s body. How Can Complications in Diabetes Affect the Blood Vessels? It is a well-known fact that various diabetic complications can lead to damage caused in various blood vessels of the body. When blood vessels of a particular organ are damaged effectively, the particular organ ceases to function in a normal healthy manner. The organs which are at a higher risk owing to diabetes and its related complications include the heart, the eyes, the human brain, as well as those of the kidneys. Effect of Diabetes on the Blood Vessels Diabetes has a damaging effect on the normal functioning of the blood vessels due to the following reasons: In diabetes, patients often suffer from high levels of blood glucose. In the long run, the high blood glucose proves damaging to the various blood vessels of the body. Nitric oxide is an important element which smoothness function of the blood vessels. The high blood glucose levels slow the release of this important element with the result that the blood vessels of the patient tend to narrow down over a period of time. If you are someone who suffers from diabetes and its related complications, the blood will often carry what is known as Advanced Glycation End Products or AGEs as they are called. AGEs are the result of a pr 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 >>

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 >>

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 >>

The Effects Of Diabetes On Your Body

The Effects Of Diabetes On Your Body

When you hear the word “diabetes,” your first thought is likely about high blood sugar. Blood sugar is an often-underestimated component of your health. When it’s out of whack over a long period of time, it could develop into diabetes. Diabetes affects your body’s ability to produce or use insulin, a hormone that allows your body to turn glucose (sugar) into energy. Here’s what symptoms may occur to your body when diabetes takes effect. Diabetes can be effectively managed when caught early. However, when left untreated, it can lead to potential complications that include heart disease, stroke, kidney damage, and nerve damage. Normally after you eat or drink, your body will break down sugars from your food and use them for energy in your cells. To accomplish this, your pancreas needs to produce a hormone called insulin. Insulin is what facilitates the process of pulling sugar from the blood and putting it in the cells for use, or energy. If you have diabetes, your pancreas either produces too little insulin or none at all. The insulin can’t be used effectively. This allows blood glucose levels to rise while the rest of your cells are deprived of much-needed energy. This can lead to a wide variety of problems affecting nearly every major body system. The effects of diabetes on your body also depends on the type you have. There are two main types of diabetes: type 1 and type 2. Type 1, also called juvenile diabetes or insulin-dependent diabetes, is an immune system disorder. Your own immune system attacks the insulin-producing cells in the pancreas, destroying your body’s ability to make insulin. With type 1 diabetes, you must take insulin to live. Most people are diagnosed as a child or young adult. Type 2 is related to insulin resistance. It used to occur i Continue reading >>

Heart Disease And Stroke With Diabetes

Heart Disease And Stroke With Diabetes

Heart and blood vessel damage can affect anyone, but these problems occur more often in people with diabetes and can develop at an earlier age. If your family has a history of high blood pressure, stroke, or heart disease, you might carry some of the same genes that can lead to these problems. If you also have diabetes, the likelihood of blood vessel damage is even greater. No one knows exactly why people with diabetes are more likely to have these problems, but some possible reasons are: Blood-fat levels tend to be high when blood sugar levels are high. High levels of certain blood fats (especially cholesterol, LDL or bad cholesterol, and triglycerides) increase the risk of blood vessel damage and heart attack. High blood pressure, which is more common in people with diabetes than in other people, also increases the chances for heart disease and stroke. How Damage Happens Arteries, the blood vessels that carry blood from your heart to the rest of your body, are like flexible, elastic tubes. Inside the artery walls are slippery to let blood pass through quickly. When fat begins to build up on the artery walls, it makes the artery thick and less flexible. The lining of the artery wall becomes sticky instead of slippery, causing more fat to build up. The fat build-up clogs and blocks the artery. When the artery is blocked, the parts of the body beyond the blockage can't get the oxygen and nutrients they need. This causes damage that can lead to serious health problems including high blood pressure, heart attack, stroke, kidney damage, and poor blood flow to the arms, legs, and head. Preventing Heart Disease You can't change the fact that you have diabetes or a family history of high blood pressure, stroke, or heart disease. But there are many things you can do to lower yo Continue reading >>

Could Slightly High Blood Sugar Cause Neuropathy?

Could Slightly High Blood Sugar Cause Neuropathy?

My glucose levels usually run between 120 and 135 with a nonfasting blood test, though do not have a diagnosis of diabetes. I suffer greatly with my feet and been told by a podiatrist that it is neuropathy. Is it possible that my high glucose levels are causing the neuropathy? Dear Terry, Thanks for your question. I like to think of blood glucose values as a spectrum of numbers with no clear cutoff between nondiabetic and diabetic. In similar manner there is a gray area of blood glucose that defines pre-diabetes. Many people use blood sugar and blood glucose interchangeably. The definition of diabetes has changed over time. The numbers you quote might very well be considered diagnostic of diabetes today whereas they were not 20 years ago. In 1997, the American Diabetes Association definition of normal blood glucose decreased from 120 to 110 mg/dL (6.1 mmol/L). In 2002, the American Diabetes Association defined a normal fasting blood glucose as less than 100 mg/dL (5.6 mmol/L). Today we consider fasting blood sugars of 100 mg/dl to 125mg/dl to be in the realm of glucose intolerance which is sometimes called pre-diabetes. These patients are at increased risk for developing frank diabetes. Several fasting glucose levels over 125 or a single random glucose over 200 mg are considered diagnostic of diabetes. There are other tests used to make the diagnosis of pre-diabetes or diabetes. Pre-diabetes is defined as a blood sugar of 140 to 199 mg/dL (7.8 to 11.0 mmol/L) two-hour after drinking 75 grams of an oral glucose solution. The diagnosis of diabetes is confirmed with a blood sugar of 200 mg/dL or greater, two hours after ingestion of the glucose solution. Hemoglobin A1C is a blood test that gives an estimate of blood sugar levels over the previous three months. Persons with Continue reading >>

Cholesterol In Blood Vessels – Cause And Cure

Cholesterol In Blood Vessels – Cause And Cure

Cholesterol and triglycerides are words even second graders know. Why do some people have a high amount of cholesterol and or triglycerides in their blood vessels? First let’s make it clear high amounts of triglycerides and cholesterol in the body are not from eating too much saturated fat! All medical authorities agree that the buildup of cholesterol in the form of plaque on artery walls is caused by the body responding to inflammation and damage to the artery walls. Inflammation is the body’s way to heal. The red, swelling and heat that appear after a sprained ankle or when you get a bug bite; are signs that inflammation is at work healing. Inflammation is like a scab, but inside of you. Like a scab it is not supposed to last for more than a couple of days to a couple of weeks. When it stays for long periods of time in blood vessels, it is a sign that something has gone wrong. Our bodies are programmed to survive and to do that our brains reward us for eating sugar and fat. The reward is a rush of an opiate like substance that makes us feel good. Over consumption of carbohydrates is behind many health problems because all carbohydrates turn to sugar in our mouths or stomachs and begins destruction with: Carbohydrates= Sugar = Glycation = Oxidation = Inflammation = Damage to blood vessels For more about how oxidation leads to inflammation: What is cholesterol? Cholesterol is a waxy, fat-like substance that is found in all cells in the body. Your body uses cholesterol for several things: to make all your hormones to make vitamin D to make enzymes that help you digest food to make a patch or internal scab on the inflamed vessel wall. What are triglycerides? Triglycerides are chains of fats the body makes in the liver when excess carbohydrates are consumed. They are e Continue reading >>

15 Ways High Blood Sugar Affects Your Body

15 Ways High Blood Sugar Affects Your Body

High blood sugar symptoms Glucose, or sugar, is the fuel that powers cells throughout the body. Blood levels of this energy source ebb and flow naturally, depending what you eat (and how much), as well as when you eat it. But when something goes wrong—and cells aren't absorbing the glucose—the resulting high blood sugar damages nerves, blood vessels, and organs, setting the stage for dangerous complications. Normal blood-sugar readings typically fall between 60 mg/dl and 140 mg/dl. A blood test called a hemoglobin A1c measures average blood sugar levels over the previous three months. A normal reading is below 5.7% for people without diabetes. An excess of glucose in the bloodstream, or hyperglycemia, is a sign of diabetes. People with type 1 diabetes don’t make insulin, the hormone needed to ferry sugar from the bloodstream into cells. Type 2 diabetes means your body doesn’t use insulin properly and you can end up with too much or too little insulin. Either way, without proper treatment, toxic amounts of sugar can build up in the bloodstream, wreaking havoc head to toe. That’s why it’s so important to get your blood sugar levels in check. “If you keep glucose levels near normal, you reduce the risk of diabetes complications,” says Robert Ratner, MD, chief scientific and medical officer of the American Diabetes Association. Here’s a rundown of the major complications and symptoms of high blood sugar. No symptoms at all Often, high blood sugar causes no (obvious) symptoms at all, at least at first. About 29 million people in the U.S. have diabetes, but one in four has no idea. Another 86 million have higher-than-normal blood sugar levels, but not high enough to be diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. That's why it’s a good idea to get your blood sugar test Continue reading >>

Diabetes Complications

Diabetes Complications

High blood sugar (glucose) that circulates in the bloodstream instead of being absorbed into cells damages nerves and blood vessels throughout the body and, ultimately, the major organs such as the kidneys and heart. It has been said that there isn’t a system in the body that isn’t affected by diabetes. The good news is that diabetes can be managed and the risk of developing complications significantly reduced. A nationwide study conducted from 1983-1993 called the Diabetes Control and Complications Trial showed that when blood sugar levels are checked consistently throughout the day – and kept close to normal – complications of the disease can be reduced by as much as 70 percent. This method is also referred to as "tight control" of blood sugar and has become standard of care in diabetes management. Diabetic Neuropathy (Nerve Damage) Approximately 60-70 percent of people with diabetes have mild to severe forms of nerve damage. Often the first symptoms of diabetes are tingling, numbness or pain in some part of the body, which is an indication that nerves have been damaged. Neuropathy from diabetes can affect many different parts of the body, including the lower limbs (legs, feet), the bladder and the gastrointestinal tract. Several theories exist as to why diabetes has such a devastating effect on the nervous system. One theory holds that excess sugar in the bloodstream reacts negatively with an enzyme in the cells surrounding the nerves and damages them. Another theory suggests that decreased blood flow to nerves, from damaged blood vessels caused by diabetes, results in neuropathy. In general, there are three types of neuropathy: sensory, autonomic and motor. Sensory neuropathy is the most common, affecting how we perceive temperature, texture and pain. Autono Continue reading >>

Broken Blood Vessels Are The Real Problem In Lifestyle Diseases

Broken Blood Vessels Are The Real Problem In Lifestyle Diseases

Most people think cardiovascular disease is all about heart problems and diabetes, is all about sugar problems and the pancreas. But the heart is a victim of the “real” problem. And the sugar is compounding the “real” problem. So what is the “real” problem ? Blood vessels are the “real” problem. The blood vessels have become damaged and this leads to blocks and breaks which can have some nasty consequences. Heart attacks Strokes Blindness Amputation Blood vessel troubles begin with too little FAS A little fancy molecular biology, allowed scientists at Washington University, to create a very special kind of mouse, the FAS less mice (FASTie). What makes these mice so special, is they are unable to produce the enzyme, fatty acid synthase (FAS) in their blood vessels. The mice can produce the enzyme in the rest of their bodies, so everywhere else things are “normal”. It turns out, the FASTie mice develop broken blood vessels. The reason for this is because without the FAS enzyme, they are unable to produce a type of “molecular glue”, which holds another enzyme, nitric oxide synthase (NOS), onto the cells lining the blood vessels. The process that is defective is called palmitoylation. The absence of the fused NOS becomes problematic, because the cells are not being supplied with sufficient nitric oxide, the chemical produced by the enzyme. Nitric oxide is a very important messenger so the blood vessels can’t function properly. They become leaky when damaged and the repair process is flawed. So who cares ? Insulin instigates FAS shortages People suffering from diabetes, both type 1 (too little insulin) and type 2 (too much insulin), typically have very low levels of this enzyme in their blood vessels. So in diabetics, NOS is not able to bond to the Continue reading >>

New Research On High Glucose Levels

New Research On High Glucose Levels

American Diabetes Association (ADA) guidelines advise “lowering A1C to below or around 7%” and postprandial (after-meal) glucose levels to 180 mg/dl or below. But new research shows that these glucose levels damage blood vessels, nerves, organs, and beta cells. An article by diabetes blogger Jenny Ruhl analyzes at what blood glucose level organ damage starts. According to Ruhl, research shows that glucose can do harm at much lower levels than doctors had thought. This news could be discouraging or even terrifying. If it’s hard to meet your current glucose goals, how will you reach tighter goals? Such news might make some people give up. But remember, a high postprandial or fasting reading won’t kill you. All we know is that higher numbers correlate with higher chances of complications. You have time to react. In fact, we could choose to look at this as good news. We all know of people who developed complications despite “good control.” But complications are not inevitable; it’s just that so-called “good control” wasn’t really all that good. First, the numbers. “Post-meal blood sugars of 140 mg/dl [milligrams per deciliter] and higher, and fasting blood sugars over 100 mg/dl [can] cause permanent organ damage and cause diabetes to progress,” Ruhl writes. For nerve damage, University of Utah researchers studied people with painful sensory neuropathy, or nerve damage. They found that participants who did not have diabetes but who had impaired glucose tolerance on an oral glucose tolerance test, or OGTT, (meaning that their glucose levels rose to between 140 mg/dl and 200 mg/dl in response to drinking a glucose-rich drink) were much more likely to have a diabetic form of neuropathy than those with lower blood glucose levels. The higher these OGTT num 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 >>

Problems From High Blood Sugar Levels

Problems From High Blood Sugar Levels

High blood sugar levels (hyperglycemia) occur when your blood sugar (also called glucose) is higher than your body needs to function normally. High blood sugar levels can cause both immediate and long-term problems. Immediate problems Diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) is a life-threatening blood chemical (electrolyte) imbalance that develops in a person with diabetes when the cells do not get the sugar they need for energy. As a result, the body breaks down fat instead of glucose and produces and releases substances called ketones into the bloodstream. People with type 1 diabetes and some people with type 2 diabetes have an increased risk for DKA if they do not take enough insulin, have a severe infection or other illness, or become severely dehydrated. Symptoms of diabetic ketoacidosis include: Flushed, hot, dry skin. A strong, fruity breath odor. Loss of appetite, abdominal pain, and vomiting. Restlessness. Rapid, deep breathing. Confusion. Drowsiness or difficulty waking up. Young children may lack interest in their normal activities. Severe diabetic ketoacidosis can cause difficulty breathing, brain swelling (cerebral edema), coma, or death. Prompt medical evaluation and treatment are needed if symptoms of diabetic ketoacidosis are present. you might like Treatment involves giving insulin and fluids through a vein and closely monitoring and replacing electrolytes. Long-term complications Your risk of complications increases if your blood sugar levels are often above your target level. Persistently high blood sugar can damage blood vessels and nerves. Damage to large blood vessels (macrovascular disease) can lead to a buildup of plaque, increasing your risk of coronary artery disease, heart attack, and stroke. Damage to small blood vessels (microvascular disease) can lead Continue reading >>

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