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Effects of High Blood Sugar

Effects of High Blood Sugar

The effects of high blood sugar include frequent urination, increased thirst and unexplained weight loss. To know what is high blood sugar, read on...
Nicks J
Last Updated: Apr 23, 2018
Did You Know?
Apart from exercise, eating asparagus (a green vegetable) regularly is the key to keep blood sugar levels in check. Asparagus stimulates pancreas to release more insulin (blood sugar-controlling hormone) that contributes in effectively managing chronic conditions like diabetes.

Having normal blood sugar levels is an absolute must to stay healthy. Our body depends on sugar for its energy needs but high blood sugar levels for sustained periods of time can be detrimental to health. It is discussed below:
Short-Term Side Effects
When the blood sugar level is elevated for a short period, it does not damage any organs of the body. However, if urgent treatment is not undertaken, it can cause further complications. One of the immediate effects of high blood sugar is fatigue. The person feels extremely tired, weak and sleepy while performing day-to-day activities. When the blood sugar level is high it can also cause frequent urination. Increased urination dehydrates the person leading to excessive thirst. The person feels thirsty throughout the day, despite having enough fluids. Headache and difficulty in concentration is commonly observed in patients suffering from high blood sugar. Too much sugar in the blood can also result in weight loss. Short-term high blood sugar can also cause dry mouth and itchy or dry skin.
Long-Term Side Effects
Diabetes
The hormone insulin is responsible for maintaining stable levels of sugar in the blood. However, when the body does not respond to insulin or the pancreas that secretes insulin, do not work properly, then it can lead to chronically high levels of blood sugar, medically known as diabetes mellitus.
Vision Problems
If the blood sugar is not within the normal range, and is left untreated for years, then it can cause eye problems. Uncontrolled or poorly controlled diabetes can damage the retina. Mild vision problems like dark spots, flashing lights or difficulty focusing can also occur. Blurred vision, which is often considered a complication of diabetes may lead to blindness.
Impaired Immune System
Persistent high blood sugar levels can weaken the immune system. The person's ability to fight infections decreases considerably. As a result, he becomes susceptible to infections like influenza and other similar diseases.
Nerve Damage
Uncontrolled blood sugar can also damage the nerves, channels that transport electrical signals of the brain to the desired muscle group to initiate movement. Health complications like peripheral neuropathy have been linked to uncontrolled diabetes. In peripheral neuropathy, the nerves located in the extremities (hands and feet) are damaged. Due to nerve damage the patient experiences a tingling or burning sensation in the hands and feet. As aforementioned, high blood sugar can also be detrimental to the eyes. Poor eyesight in diabetes means excess sugar has induced damage to the optic nerve that communicates visual data between the retina and the brain.
Arteriosclerosis
Arteriosclerosis, commonly known as hardening of the arteries can also occur due to high blood sugar. Arteries are blood vessels that supply blood to various parts of the body including the heart and the brain. Carrying blood containing excess sugar can be damaging to the arteries. The arteries lose their flexibility, become hard and narrow. The arterial wall become thick due to excess buildup of sugar. Arterial damage is followed by heart problems. This is because, in arteriosclerosis the arteries are unable to provide sufficient blood to the heart. So, one can say that high blood sugar also hurts the heart and even the brain. No wonder, heart attack and stroke are the consequences of uncontrolled high blood sugar.
Kidney Failure
Sustained high blood sugar levels is bound to cause malfunctioning of the kidneys. Too much sugar in the blood for long periods of time is one of the most common factors behind the onset of kidney disorders. As we all know, one of the most important tasks of the kidneys is to filter out toxins and other impurities from the blood. Hence, excessive blood sugar is a great burden for the kidneys. The kidneys have to work harder to filter blood that is abnormally high in sugar. Over time, this overload of work takes a toll on the kidneys, eventually reducing their efficiency. In simple words, too much blood sugar cannot be tolerated by the kidneys. No wonder, uncontrolled diabetes is said to be fatal for the kidneys.
Untreated high blood sugar, also known as hyperglycemia, is also linked with health problems such as erectile dysfunction, pregnancy complications and risk of a stroke. A recent study has shown that ignoring the treatment for high blood sugar can have a devastating effect on the production of the growth hormone. The body fails to produce growth hormones in sufficient amounts that may accelerate the aging process of the skin.
Health care professionals will tell what things to do in order to manage high blood sugar effectively. The doctor will prescribe certain medicines for high blood sugar. Insulin injections are sometimes recommended to manages diabetes. Exercise is another factor that can help to bring down high blood sugar levels. It is extremely important that the person remains active and performs the required exercises to keep blood sugar under control. Consuming the right food and maintaining a healthy diet can also create a positive impact on blood sugar level, thereby helping to mitigate health issues associated with high blood sugar.
Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is solely for educating the reader. It is not intended to be a substitute for the advice of a medical expert.