How Does Diabetes Damage Blood Vessels?

How Does Diabetes Damage Blood Vessels
Blood vessels – Excess blood sugar decreases the elasticity of blood vessels and causes them to narrow, impeding blood flow. This can lead to a reduced supply of blood and oxygen, increasing the risk of high blood pressure and damage to large and small blood vessels.

heart attack stroke peripheral arterial disease

Microvascular disease can also lead to problems with the:

eyeskidneysnervous system

A person with diabetes can reduce the risk of cardiovascular and circulatory problems by:

managing blood sugar levels quitting smoking managing blood pressure and lipidsusing prescription medications, such as statin drugs, to lower cholesterol monitoring blood pressureexercising regularlyeating a fiber-rich diet

For some people with type 2 diabetes, current guidelines recommend that doctors prescribe sodium-glucose cotransporter 2 inhibitors (SGLT2) and glucagon-like peptide 1 receptor agonists (GLP-1 RA). These drugs can reduce the risk of high blood sugar and cardiovascular disease.

They also work to decrease weight, lower blood pressure, reduce systemic inflammation, and improve cardiac function. The guidelines recommend these for people who have diabetes, plus those with atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease with a high risk of heart failure, and chronic kidney disease, These drugs can also reduce the risk of chronic kidney disease progression.

A doctor may also prescribe them to treat atherosclerosis with no relation to heart failure.

How does diabetes affect nerves and blood vessels?

Causes of diabetic neuropathy – Neuropathy is one of the long-term  complications  of diabetes. Over time, high blood glucose (sugar) levels can damage the small blood vessels that supply the nerves in your body. This stops essential nutrients reaching the nerves.

Does diabetes affect the blood vessels?

How Diabetes Affects Your Heart – Over time, high blood sugar can damage blood vessels and the nerves that control your heart. People with diabetes are also more likely to have other conditions that raise the risk for heart disease:

High blood pressure increases the force of blood through your arteries and can damage artery walls. Having both high blood pressure and diabetes can greatly increase your risk for heart disease. Too much LDL (“bad”) cholesterol in your bloodstream can form plaque on damaged artery walls. High triglycerides (a type of fat in your blood) and low HDL (“good”) cholesterol or high LDL cholesterol is thought to contribute to hardening of the arteries.

None of these conditions has symptoms. Your doctor can check your blood pressure and do a simple blood test to see if your LDL, HDL, and triglyceride levels are high. These factors can also raise your risk for heart disease:

Smoking Being overweight or having obesity Not getting enough physical activity Eating a diet high in saturated fat, trans fat, cholesterol, and sodium (salt) Drinking too much alcohol

People with diabetes are also more likely to have heart failure, Heart failure is a serious condition, but it doesn’t mean the heart has stopped beating; it means your heart can’t pump blood well. This can lead to swelling in your legs and fluid building up in your lungs, making it hard to breathe. Get regular checkups to keep track of your heart health.

Is diabetic blood vessel damage reversible?

There is evidence to suggest that diabetes complications can be reversed if strong diabetes control and a healthy lifestyle are followed. Control of blood glucose levels can lead to diabetic complications development slowing down or even regressed in some cases.

What happens to blood vessels in high blood sugar?

How do health problems from diabetes begin? – If your diabetes is not well controlled, the sugar level in your blood goes up. This is called “hyperglycemia” (high blood sugar). High blood sugar can cause damage to very small blood vessels in your body.

Eyes. Having high levels of sugar in your blood for a long time can harm the tiny blood vessels in your eyes. This can result in vision problems or blindness. Heart. High blood sugar may also harm larger blood vessels in your body that supply oxygen to your heart and brain. Fat can build up in the blood vessels as well. This can lead to a heart attack or stroke. Nerves. Nerves carry important messages between your brain and other parts of your body. Having high levels of sugar in your blood for many years can damage the blood vessels that bring oxygen to some nerves. Damaged nerves may stop sending pain signals. Feet. Diabetes can harm your feet in two ways. First, it can damage your body’s nerves. Nerve damage stops you from feeling pain or other problems in your feet. Another way that diabetes can cause damage to your feet is from poor blood circulation. Poor blood flow makes it hard for a sore or infection to heal. If sores don’t heal and get infected, it can lead to amputation. Kidneys. Think of your kidneys like a coffee filter. They keep the things you need inside your body, but filter out wastes and extra fluid. Your kidneys are filled with tiny blood vessels. Over time, high blood sugar can cause these blood vessels to get narrow and clogged. As your kidneys get less blood, less waste and fluid is taken out of your body. Kidney disease that is caused by diabetes is called “diabetic kidney disease.” It is the number one cause of kidney failure in the United States.

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Why do blood vessels thicken in diabetes?

Abstract – Vascular basement membrane (BM) thickening is a fundamental structural alteration of small blood vessels in diabetes. Over two decades of research has established hyperglycemia as the primary causal factor mediating this alteration. Various high glucose-induced mechanisms have been investigated and excess synthesis of BM components has been identified as a major contributing factor to BM thickening.

How long does a damaged blood vessel take to heal?

Subconjunctival Hemorrhage: Symptoms, Causes, Treatments The conjunctiva, or membrane that covers the white of an eye, has many blood vessels that can break, resulting in what is called a subconjunctival hemorrhage on the eye’s surface. Most causes are not serious and can be diagnosed by doctors easily.

Subconjunctival hemorrhage is the term for a broken blood vessel on the surface of the eye. The clear membrane that lines the inside of the eyelid and covers the white of the eye is called the conjunctiva. It has many very small blood vessels that break easily. When a break happens, blood can leak under the conjunctiva.

When this happens, the blood causes part of the white of your eye to turn bright red. The red spots caused by subconjunctival hemorrhage can look scary. But most cases do not cause any symptoms or need treatment. It is most common in older people, but it can happen at any age.

Straining (during coughing, sneezing, vomiting, or while using the toilet) Injury to the head or eye, including infection Rubbing the eye too hard Wearing contact lenses Taking medications, including blood thinners and a cancer drug called interferon

Other than the red spot, there are no symptoms associated with subconjunctival hemorrhage. It does not cause pain or swelling, and it does not affect your vision. Most people who have so-called “red eye” do not even know it until they look in a mirror or someone tells them.

A doctor can diagnose subconjunctival hemorrhage by looking at the eye. The condition does not have any other identifying features. Subconjunctival hemorrhage doesn’t require treatment. Artificial tears (eye drops) can help relieve eye irritation if it occurs. Most broken blood vessels heal within 2 weeks.

Larger spots may take longer to go away. As the blood clears up, the color of the area may change, like a fading bruise. Contact your doctor if pain accompanies the eye redness. This could be a sign of other conditions that are more serious, such as a hyphema (collection of blood in front of the colored part of the eye).

Keeping your contact lenses clean Wearing protective eyewear during sports or activities that involve flying debris Checking with your doctor if you have a bleeding disorder

Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 02/20/2018.

Can damaged blood vessels heal themselves?

Can Veins Heal Themselves? – The good news is that yes, veins can heal themselves, however, only to a certain degree. When veins are damaged they can take years to repair. Even when this occurs, healed veins never recover completely. At most, a damaged vein will only ever regain a portion of its previous blood-circulating capabilities.

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If vein damage is too extensive your body will abandon that vein altogether and rather than try and salvage the blood vessel it will create a new one by a process called angiogenesis, This is much more common in instances of intravenous drug use, where frequent and improper needle insertion methods are coupled with inadequate tools or sterilization.

Although veins are numerous, if enough of them are damaged, there can be lasting impacts on the individual’s overall health. In addition to the negative impact of impaired blood flow, vein damage can also incur respiratory damage as well.

How does diabetes block arteries?

Causes of diabetic arterial disease – People with diabetes have too much sugar in their blood. This may change blood chemistry and cause blood vessels to narrow. Or, it can damage blood vessels — a process known as atherosclerosis, Atherosclerosis is also called hardening of the arteries.

  1. It results when plaque — which is made up of cholesterol and other fats, calcium, and fibrous tissue — builds up in the walls of arteries.
  2. If enough plaque builds up to narrow or block an artery for a prolonged period, it can cause damage to tissue and organs.
  3. The health problems that result depend on the location of any narrowing or blockage.

For example:

Narrowing or blockage of an artery that supplies blood to the heart can result in heart attack. Blocked carotid arteries in the neck can result in a stroke. Blockages in the blood vessels to the legs may lead to difficulty walking or wounds in the feet. The same circulation problems often occur in the arteries that supply the eyes and kidneys.

What happens when a blood vessel is damaged?

Vascular trauma complications – Vascular trauma can lead to a number of complications, including:

Loss of blood, sometimes a large amount. Formation of a blood clot (thrombosis). Bruising and swelling. Soreness or pain. Scarring.

Scarring or incomplete healing can cause permanent weakness in the artery or vein, which makes it more prone to future injury. Blood clots can cause a blockage of blood flow. A clot becomes especially dangerous when it breaks off and travels through to another part of the body, like the heart, lungs, or brain.

What do damaged blood vessels feel like?

What does vascular pain feel like? – Vascular pain often feels like an uncomfortable heaviness or throbbing sensation. It can also feel like an aching sensation. It usually affects your legs and can be worse with walking or exerting yourself.

What do damaged blood vessels look like?

Is bleeding into the skin serious? – Bleeding into the skin is usually minor. If symptoms keep developing in the same area or don’t go away within two weeks, it could indicate a more serious condition. If you’ve had bleeding into the skin for longer than two weeks, see your healthcare provider.

You should see your provider sooner if you have bruises along with: A note from Cleveland Clinic Bleeding into the skin happens when small blood vessels burst just below your skin’s surface. These blood vessels leak into surrounding tissues. Your skin may appear red, purple, blue or black. Bleeding into the skin may cause only discoloration, or the spot may be swollen and tender to the touch.

Usually, bleeding into the skin is minor and heals in about two weeks. Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 04/25/2022.

How do doctors repair blood vessels?

Vascular Reconstruction

Vascular Reconstruction

If an artery or vein is blocked or damaged, a vascular surgeon may replace the damaged section with a new vessel, known as a graft; a graft can be either synthetic or tissue. Sometimes the graft is created from a human blood vessel, either from a donor or from elsewhere in the patient’s body.

A vascular grafting procedure is usually done through traditional open surgery, and requires a hospital stay. If the aorta (the large artery that carries blood out from the heart) is weakened, it can sometimes be treated with a different type of graft—an endovascular stent graft. This is a strong mesh tube that rests inside the aorta and provides structural support, lessening pressure on the vessel’s walls.

The graft is implanted via catheter. Temple offers several options for graft materials, and our vascular surgeons are highly experienced. We have special expertise in vascular reconstruction to restore blood flow to limbs that might otherwise require amputation, and in grafting of the carotid artery.

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How does diabetes affect nerves?

Nerve damage can affect your hands, feet, legs, and arms. High blood sugar can lead to nerve damage called diabetic neuropathy. You can prevent it or slow its progress by keeping your blood sugar as close to your target range as possible and maintaining a healthy lifestyle.

  • Managing your blood sugar is an essential part of your diabetes care plan.
  • Not only does it help you with day-to-day wellness, it can help prevent serious health problems down the road.
  • Nerve damage is one possible complication from having high blood sugar levels for a long time.
  • High blood sugar damages your nerves, and these nerves may stop sending messages to different parts of your body.

Nerve damage can cause health problems ranging from mild numbness to pain that makes it hard to do normal activities. Half of all people with diabetes have nerve damage. The good news is that you can help prevent or delay it by keeping your blood sugar as close to your target levels as possible.

How does diabetes affect peripheral nerves of smaller arteries?

The Diabetes Connection – Diabetic neuropathy and peripheral artery diseases share a common denominator: Diabetes, In diabetes, the nerve gets “sick” from either increased blood sugar or too little blood sugar reaching the nerves, This results in the nerve not getting enough oxygen.

  1. A common cause of diabetic peripheral neuropathy is early vascular disease, a disorder of blood vessels that reduces or compromises blood flow.
  2. Since blood vessels include arteries (as well as capillaries and veins), consider that PAD can be a cause of diabetic neuropathy.
  3. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), type 2 diabetes is responsible for about 90-95% of diabetes cases.

So, we will focus our attention here. Type 2 diabetes most often develops in people over age 45, but more young adults are also developing it. The main cause is high blood sugar due to insulin resistance in the body. High blood sugar is bad for your body and can cause other serious health problems such as heart and kidney diseases, and vision loss.

High blood pressure High cholesterol Heart disease Smoking Family history Overweight; obesity Lack of exercise and sedentary lifestyle

Because there is no defining cure, diabetes treatment and management are crucial. You and your specialist at Lam Vascular & Associates will craft a personalized plan which will include some or all of the following:

Monitoring and controlling blood sugar Screening tests for blood pressure and cholesterol Developing a healthy eating and activity plan Taking suggested supplements, vitamins and foods rich in both, such as ALA (alpha-lipoic-acid), vitamins B1, B5, B6, B12 and vitamin D Stopping smoking Limiting alcohol use Developing a light physical therapy plan Walking short distances (5-10 minutes) daily

How does neuropathy affect blood vessels?

Vasculitis is a systemic illness with inflammation in the blood vessels. The inflammation may lead to occlusion of blood vessels and subsequent ischemia in the organs and tissues. When the inflammation is in the blood vessels supplying peripheral nerves, patients may develop vasculitic neuropathy.

Which complication related to diabetes affects nerves?

What is diabetic neuropathy? – Neuropathy is a complication of diabetes that can lead to problems throughout the body. Diabetes can affect nerves that control movement, sensation and other functions. If you have diabetes, you can develop nerve problems at any time.

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