Blood sugar and veins have a lot more in common than you might think. If you’ve been diagnosed with prediabetes, it could be a cause for concern.
Recent research has found that prediabetes is associated with multiple health threats other than a type-2 diabetes diagnosis. In fact, researchers found even when the condition does not progress, there is a significantly higher risk for heart attack or stroke.
Prediabetes is an often-overlooked health condition not always treated as a big deal. It’s marked by higher-than-normal blood sugar, but not high enough for type-2 diabetes.
But that does not mean it’s not dangerous and worth getting a handle on.
According to the 14-year study looking at 25,000 patients, having prediabetes nearly doubled the chance of a major cardiovascular event—something that kills 1 in 4 people in the U.S.
Blood sugar might affect vein health in a couple of ways. The most significant could be that it contributed to stiff veins and boosts the risk for atherosclerosis, which is the accumulation of plaques along arterial walls.
Dietary sugar is associated with both inflammation (which can make veins stiffer) and higher levels of small, dense “bad” LDL particles that cause atherosclerosis. When blood struggles to move efficiently through arteries and blood vessels, the risk for stroke and heart attack skyrockets.
Further, the study found that heart attack and stroke risk still existed after prediabetic blood sugar levels were normalized.
Do your best to keep blood sugar levels in check by getting exercise and limiting the intake of processed foods.
Including more fruits and vegetables in your diet, as well as increasing activity, can promote better blood flow by relaxing veins and removing plaque. Fiber-rich whole grains can help, as well.
It’s important to remember that when one health concern arises, others often follow. Keeping blood sugar in check can not only help prevent diabetes, but it will keep your heart and brain healthy, as well.