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What Is Blood Sugar For In The Cardiovascular System?

Diabetes And Cardiovascular Disease

Diabetes And Cardiovascular Disease

Diabetes and cardiovascular disease often go hand-in-hand. Persons with diabetes are at a much greater risk for cardiovascular diseases such as heart attacks, strokes and high blood pressure. Other vascular problems include poor circulation to the legs and feet. Unfortunately, many of the cardiovascular problems can go undetected and can start early in life. Persons with diabetes often experience changes in the blood vessels that can lead to cardiovascular disease. In persons with diabetes, the linings of the blood vessels may become thicker, making it more difficult for blood to flow through the vessels. When blood flow is impaired, heart problems or stroke can occur. Blood vessels can also suffer damage elsewhere in the body due to diabetes, leading to eye problems, kidney problems, and poor circulation to the legs and feet. Risk factors include: poorly controlled blood sugars, too high or out of the normal range high blood pressure obesity abnormal cholesterol and high triglycerides lack of physical activity smoking By controlling these risk factors, patients with diabetes may be able to avoid or delay the development of cardiovascular disease. People with insulin resistance or diabetes in combination with one or more risk factors are more likely to development cardiovascular disease. Symptoms of Cardiovascular Disease The following are the most common symptoms of heart disease. However, each individual may experience symptoms differently. Symptoms of cardiovascular disease may include: chest pain shortness of breath irregular heartbeat swollen ankles People with diabetes frequently have vague or silent symptoms of ischemia and may not have typical symptoms of chest discomfort. Consideration for a cardiac etiology should be entertained if unexplained shortness of bre 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 >>

High Blood-sugar Levels Seen To Affect How Blood Vessels Contract

High Blood-sugar Levels Seen To Affect How Blood Vessels Contract

A new research study has demonstrated, for the first time, how high blood sugar levels (hyperglycemia) influence the heart and blood pressure. According to the study, higher glycemia levels affect how blood vessels contract, making for stronger contractions than at normal physiological sugar levels. Specifically, the researchers found that increasing glucose levels to those that might be found after a large meal altered vascular contraction. The study was conducted by researchers at the Leicester University‘s Department of Cardiovascular Sciences, and led by Dr. Richard Rainbow, lecturer in Cardiovascular Cell Physiology. Titled “Distinct and complementary roles for α and β isoenzymes of protein kinase C in mediating vasoconstrictor responses to acutely elevated glucose,” it was published in the British Journal of Pharmacology. The research team investigated the mechanism behind the narrowing of blood vessels by studying the impact of glucose on arterial myocytes, the cells that compose arterial tissue and blood vessels. It used electrophysiology and myography techniques, methods that allow muscle assessment by measuring its electrical properties. Heart attacks result when coronary arteries become blocked, and prevent blood from reaching heart muscle. Research has shown that higher glucose levels can make such blockage more severe, leading to a higher risk of complications. According to Dr. Rainbow, the study showed “that the amount of sugar, or glucose, in the blood changes the behaviour of blood vessels, making them contract more than normal. This could result in higher blood pressure, or could reduce the amount of blood that flows through vital organs.” “Here, we have identified [that] a known signaling protein family, protein kinase C, is a key part of Continue reading >>

Blood Glucose Control (blood Sugar Levels)

Blood Glucose Control (blood Sugar Levels)

Introduction to blood sugar levels Our blood glucose level, or blood sugar level, is the amount of glucose (sugar) in the blood. The amount of glucose in the blood is measured in millimoles per litre (mmol/l). Glucose levels are measured most commonly to diagnose or to monitor diabetes. It is also important to keep an eye on blood glucose levels during certain situations – for example: during pregnancy, pancreatitis and with increasing age. Normally, blood sugar levels stay within a narrow range during the day. A good level is between 4 to 8mmol/l. After you consume food, your blood sugar level will rise and after you have had a night’s rest, they will usually be lowest in the morning. Diabetes is a common disease in our society, affecting 2-5% of the general population, with many more people unaware that they may be affected by this condition. Diabetes results from a lack of insulin, or insensitivity of the body towards the level of insulin present. Thus if you have diabetes, your blood sugar level may move outside the normal limits. Why is controlling blood sugar levels so important? Carbohydrate foods are the body’s main energy source. When they are digested, they break down to form glucose in the bloodstream. If you make sure you eat regular meals, spread evenly throughout the day, you will help maintain your energy levels without causing large rises in your blood sugar levels. It is also important to maintain a stable and balanced blood sugar level, as there is a limited range of blood sugar levels in which the brain can function normally. Regular testing of your blood sugar levels allows you to monitor your level of control and assists you in altering your diabetes management strategy if your levels aren’t within the expected/recommended range. Long term c Continue reading >>

Effects Of Diabetes On The Body And Organs

Effects Of Diabetes On The Body And Organs

Over time, the raised blood sugar levels that result from diabetes can cause a wide range of serious health issues. But what do these health issues involve, and how are the organs of the body affected? Can these effects be minimized? When people have diabetes, the body either does not make enough insulin or cannot use what it has effectively. As a result, the amount of sugar in the blood becomes higher than it should be. Glucose, or blood sugar, is the main power source for the human body. It comes from the food people eat. The hormone insulin helps the cells of the body convert glucose into fuel. Fortunately, taking a proactive approach to this chronic disease through medical care, lifestyle changes, and medication can help limit its effects. Effect on systems and organs The effects of diabetes can be seen on systems throughout the body, including: The circulatory system Diabetes can damage large blood vessels, causing macrovascular disease. It can also damage small blood vessels, causing what is called microvascular disease. Complications from macrovascular disease include heart attack and stroke. However, macrovascular disease can be prevented by: Microvascular disease can cause eye, kidney, and nerve problems, but good control of diabetes can help prevent these complications. The cardiovascular system Excess blood sugar decreases the elasticity of blood vessels and causes them to narrow, impeding blood flow. The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute say diabetes is as big a risk factor for heart disease as smoking or high cholesterol. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the risk of stroke or dying of heart disease increases by 200-400 percent for adults with diabetes. The nervous system When people have diabetes, they can develop n Continue reading >>

Women: How Controlling Blood Sugar Benefits Your Heart

Women: How Controlling Blood Sugar Benefits Your Heart

A high blood sugar level is commonly associated with diabetes. But did you know that it’s also related to heart disease? A Johns Hopkins cardiologist explains how—and why the danger seems to be especially high for women. Q&A “Your girth around the abdomen is one of the strongest determinants of your risk for type 2 diabetes,” says Johns Hopkins cardiologist Bill McEvoy, M.B., B.Ch. Doctors call it central adiposity (otherwise known as belly fat), and it indicates a dangerous level of fat around your central organs. “You may not be overweight all over, but if you have a beer belly or a potbelly shape, you are at increased risk for diabetes,” he explains. “That’s why in addition to body-mass index (BMI), you should have your waist circumference checked.” When most people hear the term “blood sugar,” the disease that generally comes to mind is diabetes, not heart disease. However, according to a Johns Hopkins study, type 1 and type 2 diabetes are some of the most harmful risk factors for cardiovascular disease, says Johns Hopkins cardiologist Bill McEvoy, M.B., B.Ch. Keeping your blood sugar (as well as blood pressure and cholesterol levels) under control is, therefore, one of the best things you can do for your heart. “A large proportion of diabetes patients have no symptoms, but diabetes, particularly when poorly controlled, is already harming their blood vessels and leading to hardening of the arteries, which is what leads to heart disease,” says McEvoy. In some cases, patients don’t even realize that they have diabetes until the disease progresses to the point where they have a heart attack, he says. That’s why it’s important to be aware of your blood glucose numbers, along with monitoring your overall weight and body fat. If Your Blood 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 >>

Diabetes, Heart Disease, And Stroke

Diabetes, Heart Disease, And Stroke

Having diabetes means that you are more likely to develop heart disease and have a greater chance of a heart attack or a stroke. People with diabetes are also more likely to have certain conditions, or risk factors, that increase the chances of having heart disease or stroke, such as high blood pressure or high cholesterol. If you have diabetes, you can protect your heart and health by managing your blood glucose, also called blood sugar, as well as your blood pressure and cholesterol. If you smoke, get help to stop. What is the link between diabetes, heart disease, and stroke? Over time, high blood glucose from diabetes can damage your blood vessels and the nerves that control your heart and blood vessels. The longer you have diabetes, the higher the chances that you will develop heart disease.1 People with diabetes tend to develop heart disease at a younger age than people without diabetes. In adults with diabetes, the most common causes of death are heart disease and stroke. Adults with diabetes are nearly twice as likely to die from heart disease or stroke as people without diabetes.2 The good news is that the steps you take to manage your diabetes also help to lower your chances of having heart disease or stroke. What else increases my chances of heart disease or stroke if I have diabetes? If you have diabetes, other factors add to your chances of developing heart disease or having a stroke. Smoking Smoking raises your risk of developing heart disease. If you have diabetes, it is important to stop smoking because both smoking and diabetes narrow blood vessels. Smoking also increases your chances of developing other long-term problems such as lung disease. Smoking also can damage the blood vessels in your legs and increase the risk of lower leg infections, ulcers, a Continue reading >>

Hey Kids, Learn About Blood Sugar And Diabetes

Hey Kids, Learn About Blood Sugar And Diabetes

Children and teens need to watch what they eat for a lot of reasons. One of them is that a healthy diet can help prevent diabetes, a dangerous disease that increases your risk of heart disease and stroke. Your digestive system breaks down foods and beverages that contain carbohydrates — like grains, fruits and vegetables — down into sugar. Certain foods, like whole grains, many fruits and vegetables and other high-fiber foods, take longer to digest. This helps keep the amount of sugar in your blood from going too high. But refined grains, potatoes and foods high in added sugar are digested fast and are quickly delivered into the bloodstream as sugar. If your blood sugar goes high too often, it can overwork your body’s ability to keep your blood sugar in healthy ranges, and you’re more likely to develop diabetes. What is diabetes? In diabetes, the body has problems either using or making a hormone called insulin. Insulin is important because it helps your body turn sugar and other food into energy. When the body doesn’t have enough insulin, it causes too much sugar to build up in your blood, which can cause damage to your heart and other parts of your body. There are two main types of diabetes: Type 1 and Type 2. Type 1 diabetes means the body does not make enough insulin to function properly. It is the type of diabetes that occurs mostly in very young people and comes on very suddenly. Type 2 diabetes often develops in a person over time because of bad habits. Being overweight and not getting enough regular physical activity are two bad habits that can lead to developing diabetes. Teenagers are now starting to develop type 2 diabetes. Once a person has type 2 diabetes, they are at risk for problems with almost every part of their body if they don’t take good Continue reading >>

Tight Blood Sugar Control In Type 2 Diabetes Linked To Fewer Heart Attacks And Strokes

Tight Blood Sugar Control In Type 2 Diabetes Linked To Fewer Heart Attacks And Strokes

Diabetes damages every part of the body, from the brain to the feet. High blood sugar, the hallmark of diabetes, wreaks havoc on blood vessels. It makes sense that keeping blood sugar under control should prevent diabetes-related damage — but how low to push blood sugar is an open question. A study published in today’s issue of The New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) provides reassuring evidence that so-called tight blood sugar control is good for the heart and circulatory system. “Tight blood sugar control represents a new age of diabetes care,” says Dr. David Nathan, professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School and director of both the General Clinical Research Center and the Diabetes Center at Massachusetts General Hospital. The hazards of high blood sugar Type 2 diabetes is marked by high levels of blood sugar. Over time, high blood sugar damages small blood vessels throughout the body. This is called microvascular disease. The damage can lead to kidney failure, nerve pain, amputation, and blindness. But the leading cause of complications and death in people with diabetes is cardiovascular disease, which involves the body’s larger blood vessels. (This is also called macrovascular disease.) About two-thirds of people with diabetes die from heart disease, stroke, or other cardiovascular problems. A good measure of blood sugar is the hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) test. It reveals a person’s average blood sugar level over the previous three months. People without diabetes have an HbA1c level under 5.7%; an HbA1c level of 6.5% or greater usually indicates diabetes. For some people with type 2 diabetes, a healthy diet and regular exercise can keep blood sugar in check, but many need medication as well. People with diabetes are usually urged to aim for tight blo Continue reading >>

Circulatory System And Diabetes

Circulatory System And Diabetes

The circulatory system is responsible for transporting blood around the body The circulatory system is responsible for the delivery of blood, and therefore glucose in the blood, round the body. The different complications of diabetes are a consequence of damage to blood vessels in different parts of the circulatory system. The circulatory system is essentially the body infrastructure, providing the route ways for the blood to transport oxygen, nutrients and hormones to and from the cells and organs. The heart plays a key role in the circulatory system, helping to pump blood around all the body. Blood vessels range in size, from larger arteries into very small blood vessels called capillaries. Capillaries feed into the veins which carry blood back to the heart. The circulatory system performs a number of roles, including: Delivering oxygen and nutrients, including glucose, to the bodys cells Carrying carbon dioxide and waste products away from the cells Transporting hormones and therefore helping the body communicate with its organs Transport white blood cells to fight off infection The circulatory system allows blood glucose levels to be regulated. The hormone glucagon, carried in the blood, signals the liver to release glucose into the blood and the presence of insulin in the blood instructs the cells to take in glucose from the blood. If blood glucose levels become too high for extended periods of time, damage can be sustained by the blood vessels. If significant numbers of blood vessels are damaged, this can have a negative effect on the functioning of the body. Where damage is sustained to a significant number of blood vessels in a certain area of the body, diabetic complications will develop. Neuropathy (nerve damage) results from damage to the blood vessels that Continue reading >>

Hypoglycemia And Cardiovascular Risks

Hypoglycemia And Cardiovascular Risks

Although hypoglycemia is the most common side effect of insulin therapy in diabetes and its morbidity is well known, for many years, the potentially life-threatening effects of hypoglycemia on the cardiovascular (CV) system have either been overlooked or have been dismissed as inconsequential to people with insulin-treated type 2 diabetes. This scenario may possibly be a consequence of the persisting misconception that this population is seldom exposed to severe hypoglycemia, defined as any episode that requires external assistance for recovery, whereas self-treated events are classified as “mild” (1). This myth was firmly repudiated by the findings of the large prospective study by the U.K. Hypoglycemia Study Group (2), which demonstrated that severe hypoglycemia is a common problem in insulin-treated type 2 diabetes and that the incidence increases with duration of insulin therapy. However, evidence for CV morbidity associated with hypoglycemia has been predominantly hypothetical and anecdotal (1,3). The potential dangers of intensive treatment regimens and strict glycemic control in people with type 2 diabetes who have CV disease (CVD) have now been highlighted by the disconcerting outcomes of recent studies (4–6), in which hypoglycemia was implicated in the excess mortality that was observed in some of these trials. It is therefore timely to review the effects of hypoglycemia on the CV system, how this major metabolic stress could precipitate major vascular events such as myocardial infarction and stroke, and its potential role in these recent clinical studies. In the adult human, acute hypoglycemia causes pronounced physiological responses as a consequence of autonomic activation, principally of the sympatho-adrenal system, and results in end-organ stimulatio Continue reading >>

Your Cardiovascular System And Diabetes

Your Cardiovascular System And Diabetes

Cardiovascular system is one of the most important systems in the human body. It is comprised of the heart, blood and blood vessels. Blood is being pumped out from the heart and is the one responsible in delivering oxygen and other nutrients to all the parts of the body. It also cleans up our body by picking up the waste products on its way back to the heart so our body can get rid of them. So what has diabetes got to do with the cardiovascular system? Since blood is part of the cardiovascular system, and diabetes is a condition in which the level of glucose in the blood is higher than normal, then there must be some relationship between the two. Diabetes and cardiovascular system diseases has been recognized to be closely related to each other for some time now due to the so-called insulin resistance syndrome or metabolic syndrome. Among the 20 million people in the United States who has diabetes, around 5 to 6 million of this population who are aged 35 years and above were diagnosed to have a certain cardiovascular disease according to the National Diabetes Surveillance System. Some examples of the commonly diagnosed cardiovascular disease are coronary heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure and other heart conditions. Cardiovascular diseases are the major cause now of deaths related to diabetes. In a study published few years back in the Journal of the American Medical Association, deaths due to some heart conditions went up by 23% in diabetic women despite the 27% drop of the same in non-diabetic women. As for diabetic men, there is only about 13% decrease in heart disease related deaths as compared to the 36% drop in non-diabetics. Thus, the two indeed go together. Risk Factors Diabetes is now considered by the American Heart Association a major risk factor in c Continue reading >>

Heart Disease: The Diabetes Connection

Heart Disease: The Diabetes Connection

Most people living with diabetes are aware that they have an increased risk of cardiovascular disease. But the statistics can be truly staggering: Nearly two-thirds of people with diabetes have high blood pressure, and, according to the American Diabetes Association, people with diabetes are two to four times more likely to die of heart disease or have a stroke than people who don't have the condition. The good news: Learning more about the link between heart disease and diabetes can help you take steps to help protect your heart and manage your diabetes. How Diabetes and Heart Disease Are Related The connection between diabetes and heart disease starts with high blood sugar levels. Over time, the high glucose in the bloodstream can damage the arteries, causing them to become stiff and hard. Fatty material that builds up on the inside of these blood vessels, a condition known as atherosclerosis. This can eventually block blood flow to the heart or brain, leading to heart attack or stroke. Your risk of heart disease with diabetes is further elevated if you also have a family history of cardiovascular disease or stroke. Other heart facts to consider: People with diabetes develop cardiovascular disease at a much earlier age than others. Heart disease that leads to heart attack or stroke is the leading cause of death among people with diabetes. A person who has diabetes has the same risk of heart attack as someone who is not diabetic, but already had a heart attack. Protecting Your Heart When You Have Diabetes If you believe you are at a higher risk for heart disease, don’t despair. There are several small lifestyle changes you can make to not only help prevent heart disease, but also manage your diabetes more effectively. Be active. The American Heart Association recomme 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 >>

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