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Medical Why does diabete affect the health of blood vessals?

  1. Oct 30, 2011 #1
    If the blood sugar is too high, why does it affect the health of blood vessals?
    Does sugar become fat and block the blood vessals?
    Does anyone have any suggestions?
    Thanks in advance for any suggestions
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 1, 2011 #2
    Diabetes makes blood cholesterol level too high. The high cholesterol level cause the insides of large blood vessels narrowed or clogged.
    The narrowed and clogged blood vessels make it difficult for enough blood to get to all parts of your body. This problem is called atherosclerosis. This further can cause heart attack and other serious problems.
  4. Nov 1, 2011 #3
    Could you please give any suggestions on how high blood sugar directly or indirectly influence the blood cholesterol level?
    Thanks you very much for any suggestions
  5. Nov 1, 2011 #4


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    Gold Member

    This is a pretty simple question with complex answers. You may have to spend some time with Google to find the answers that relate to your concerns. Diabetics can develop serious problems with blood-flow to the extremities and to blood-rich areas like the retinas. As an optician, I found it very sad to see people losing their vision to a condition that should have been controllable, at least to some degree.
  6. Nov 1, 2011 #5


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    Staff: Mentor

    You should try doing an online search.

    Here is some information.


    And more technical here.

  7. Nov 1, 2011 #6
    Thanks everyone very much for suggestions
  8. Nov 9, 2011 #7
    Don't know if you found your answer already but this can be answered with textbook knowledge of metabolism. [Insulin]/[Glucagon] concentration ratio is the key regulatory factor in the body that controls lipid mobilization for break down and subsequent release of free fatty acids (FFA). A diabetic person (type I let's say) has an autoimmune disorder that attacks their pancreatic beta cells which causes them to secrete less insulin. Therefore their [insulin]/[glucagon] ratio drops if their diabetes is untreated since cells can't up take glucose and switch to gluconeogenesis ( in other words glucagon is released). There is a receptor (keep things simple) that when glucagon binds to it, it activates adenylate cyclase which will generate cAMP (this is hormone regulated lipolysis). Insulin also binds to this same receptor, however, it has the opposite effect, it shuts it off. So you can see why a low [insulin]/[glucagon] ratio is the key regulatory factor. cAMPs then activate PKA (kinase) which in turn phosphorylates hormone sensitive lipase (enzyme that breaks down triacyl glyerols to FFAs). FFAs are released into the blood where they are transported by lipoproteins which clog up arteries.

    Hope you found the answer already though, I just wanted to use this as practice for my upcoming metabolism exam.
  9. Nov 9, 2011 #8
    Oxidation via hyperglycemia appears to play a role:


  10. Nov 10, 2011 #9
    The body uses primarily two routes to produce energy: sugar metabolism and fat metabolism with insulin being involved with the former. When there is insufficient insulin, sugar metabolism, the path first choosen by the body, is interrupted. The body detects this and is forced to switch to fat metabolism causing a large increase in the metabolites of fats, free fatty acids. This increase in fats in the body has a deleterious affect on the vascular system.

    Also, I believe insulin is not dirrectly involved with sugar metabolism but rather only facilitates the transport of sugar through the cell membrane. Would need to confirm that. I'll leave that to the OP if they're interested.
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2011
  11. Nov 10, 2011 #10
    Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has the following:

    Last edited by a moderator: May 5, 2017
  12. Nov 10, 2011 #11
    Insulin not only affects glycolysis, it also affects lipolysis. It is one of the regulators of metabolism. Like I said, one of the way lipolysis is turned on/off is by the binding of either insulin or glucagon to a G protein receptor that when activated by glucagon turns on an cAMP cascade to turn on hormone mediated lipolysis enzymes.

    Insulin can control metabolism at the level of DNA transcription. Not only does it regulate how glucose can get into cells, it regulates the levels of enzymes that play key roles in glycolysis. Insulin turns the MAPK pathway, which turns on certain transcription factors that increase glucokinase synthesis. GK is the enzyme that controls the first step of glycolysis.

    Insulin can also control the levels of fructose 2,6, bisphosphate, the key allosteric regulator of phosphofructokinase 1 which is the major regulatory enzyme of all of glycolysis. Insulin stimulates certain phosphatases that remove Pi from PFK2 and FBPase which causes levels of F2,6P to rise thereby stimulating glycolysis by allosterically turning on PFK1. Insulin does oh so much more than just cause cells to uptake glucose.
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2011
  13. Nov 11, 2011 #12
    . . . schooled.
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