There is a causal relationship between high blood sugar levels and stroke. People with high blood sugar conditions such as diabetes and pre-diabetes are 2-4 times more likely to suffer a stroke. High blood sugar levels indicate that the body is unable to metabolize or break these sugars down. A hormone called insulin allows glucose to enter the cells. Insulin comes from the pancreas. When there is a problem with insulin production, it leads to problems with blood sugar levels. The glucose cannot enter the cells and give them energy. Instead, it remains in the blood.
As time passes, this accumulation of sugar in the blood can damage the blood vessels. These are the veins and arteries that the blood travels through during circulation. Fatty deposits and clots can form in the blood vessels due to the elevated blood sugar levels. When the fatty deposits become big enough, they can block a vein or artery. This deprives the brain of oxygen which results in a stroke. Alternatively, a clot may dislodge from the wall of a vein or artery and pass through the brain.
The consequences of a stroke can be paralysis or loss of specific brain and body functions. This can be temporary. In a lot of cases, however, it becomes permanent. This can have a profound effect on the sufferer’s quality of life.
If your doctor identifies that you are at risk of a stroke, it’s a good idea to test your blood sugar. It can be contributing to the rising chance of having a stroke. Risk factors for a stroke include high cholesterol levels, high blood pressure, and obesity in addition to high blood glucose levels. Other risk factors that can cause a stroke are smoking, drinking, and an unhealthy diet and lifestyle.
High blood sugar levels can cause heart disease. If you start to experience the symptoms of heart disease, the chances of your blood sugar levels being elevated are high. Different symptoms tell you there’s something wrong with your heart. One of them is pain and discomfort in the chest. It means the heart is having problems with blood supply. Other symptoms of heart disease include nausea, stomach aches, heartburn, and indigestion.
Dizziness and lightheartedness are also indicators that your heart is struggling to function properly. A person with heart disease is permanently fatigued and struggles to gather enough energy even to do the simple things in life. They feel breathless because the heart is unable to supply enough oxygenated blood to the lungs.
High blood sugar levels with other risky behaviors such as smoking, drinking, and unhealthy diet cause blockages in the veins and arteries that lead to and from the heart. When one of them becomes completely blocked, or it contracts, the heart responds by spasming. This is called a heart attack. Even if you don’t have a heart attack, heart disease damages the heart and causes it to malfunction. The heart works harder than normal trying to sustain life and keep the body functioning. This causes the heart to wear out more quickly.
If you have a heart attack, it will spike your blood sugar levels immediately. This is the stress response to the cardiac event. You can improve the health of your heart if you take steps to do so. Changing your habits, especially your eating and exercising habits, can ease a lot of the strain on your heart. A healthy diet lowers the blood sugar levels in your body. If you’re diagnosed with heart disease, you need to take it as seriously as the proverbial heart attack. Otherwise, it may lead to the literal heart attack, which could be avoided.
Elevated blood sugar levels can lead to elevated blood pressure levels (hypertension). High blood pressure is caused by the irregular contraction of the blood vessels which damages them over time. When your blood sugar is too high, it changes the way your blood vessels behave. It makes them contract more than they should. This narrowing of the blood vessels causes the blood pressure to rise. The heightened pressure on the walls of the blood vessels can cause permanent damage.
It affects the elasticity of the blood vessels. They can become so damaged that they no longer work properly. They could even start to leak, which affects the entire circulatory system. When the blood vessels are damaged, it is hard for them to recover unless the cause of the damage is eliminated. High blood pressure is treated with medication. Patients are, however, expected to change their lifestyles as well. Those who smoke and drink are advised to stop. Healthy exercise patterns are encouraged.
Another major contributor to high blood pressure is stress. Stress management techniques are advised so that patients can learn to manage stress without letting affect them physically. One of the things a doctor will look at is the blood sugar levels of someone with high blood pressure. Eliminating high blood sugar levels can help to reduce blood pressure.
Left untreated, blood pressure can lead to heart attacks or strokes. It can have fatal consequences if not addressed. Keeping your blood sugar levels under control can go a long way toward keeping your blood pressure levels within the normal range. It also prevents a diagnosis of diabetes which is a lifelong condition that needs ongoing management and treatment.