When it comes to blood sugar levels, the closer to normal the better. Scientific studies have shown that controlling blood sugar helps prevent diabetes complications.
Individual thresholds for developing complications vary. And there is no good fix on who is more prone to complications or who is more protected. So, it makes sense that everyone try to achieve blood sugar levels as close to normal as is safely possible – for as long as possible.
High blood sugar levels affect all parts of the body, but they are especially hard on:
Diabetes also increases the chance you will have problems with:
What underlies this damage?
Excess blood sugar is at the root of the problem. Normally, blood vessel cells form a tight tube to keep blood inside the blood vessel; they also regulate what chemicals pass between the tissues and the blood.
Chronic high blood sugar levels overwhelm the blood vessel cells’ ability to burn the sugar. Ultimately, the cells weaken and die faster than the body can repair or replace them.
Also, damage occurs when excess sugar sticks to proteins inside the cell or in connective tissue throughout the body. This is particularly true of blood vessel walls, the heart and tendons.
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