Type 2 Diabetes – High Blood Sugar Levels and Your Heart
People who have Type 2 diabetes are two to four times more likely than non-diabetics to develop heart disease or have a stroke. It is also true approximately three-fourths of all diabetics die from heart disease.
But many diabetics might not be really aware of just how much diabetes can impact their heart, and in how many ways it can occur.
Cardio refers to “heart” and vascular means “blood vessels.” These two go hand-in-hand because the heart is the machine that pumps blood through your vessels. A problem anywhere in your body will affect how the cardiovascular system works.
Why does this happen? The same hormone, insulin, whose job it is to carry sugar into your cells for fuel also helps to lead fat into other body cells for storage. So if you lack insulin, or if it doesn’t work as it is supposed to, fat continues to circulate in your bloodstream. Too much sugar and too much fat floating around in your bloodstream leads to clogged blood vessels.
What is the result? The result is then:
high blood pressure,
clots forming, and
extra strain placed on your heart,
hence heart attack and stroke.
Blood Pressure: When blood vessels constrict and become pressurized, this pressure translates into elevated blood pressure throughout your body and especially in your heart. The damage allows plaque to build up, a condition known as atherosclerosis. This blockage allows even more pressure to build. When your blood pressure increases, even a little, it puts unnecessary strain on your heart making it work harder. But increasing it to this level, the strain it produces is extreme.
When blood pressure becomes elevated it also means there is a restricted flow of oxygen to your brain, other major organs, and your heart. This starving of oxygen also means tissue fed by this blood becomes starved, as well.
As Type 2 diabetes runs out-of-control, it means there are also dramatic negative changes within your blood. Elevated blood sugar levels means elevated LDL, or “bad” cholesterol, lower levels of HDL, or “good” cholesterol, and elevated triglyceride levels, which reflect the amount of fat in your blood. High blood sugar also means there is a significant increase in the likelihood of clotting, which is why diabetes increases the incidence of stroke.
If the person with diabetes also has a sedentary lifestyle, now the odds are increased even more. Add smoking or a high consumption of alcohol and they rise even higher. If these habits are not changed their heart is, in essence, the same as a ticking time bomb, waiting to experience an episode.
This is why it is vital all diabetics maintain ideal blood sugar levels… not only to keep their disease under control, but for all the other medical complications it creates.