Does High Blood Sugar Thicken Blood

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High blood sugar is likely to be the first thought that goes through your mind when we’re talking about diabetes. It will cause a number of complications if poorly controlled. It can cause damage to blood vessels, affecting your circulatory system seriously. Over a long period of time it may also factor into viscous blood, thickening your blood.

Thick blood is serious threat for your circulatory system

When it comes to talking about heart health, people usually have a good understanding of common variables such as blood pressure and blood cholesterol. But did you know that your blood thickness (viscosity) is also a vital blood-related issue?

It is one of indicators for the resistance of blood in flowing through blood vessels. If it’s abnormal (thicker than normal), blood is likely to be hard and more difficult in circulating all around the body. As a result, this would cause numerous consequences to your health.

Abnormal blood viscosity could be a serious threat to cause heart problems. People with more viscous (thicker) blood are likely to get heart attack, one report released by the Harvard University suggests [1]

Blood has plasma (clear fluid) to make it at salty ‘base’. The plasma carries elements of blood such as white and red blood cells, proteins, platelets, and so forth. Most property is dominated by red blood cells, which is up to 50 percent of the blood volume.

Blood viscosity is dependent on many factors since there are lots of things found in blood. But since red blood cells are the majority thing in the blood volume, it may have a more significant role to influence the viscosity.

Hematocrit is a variable to describe the property for both number & size of our red blood cells. For most women, hematocrit value is normally about 36-46 percent (this means the volume of red blood cells are 34-46 % of total 100% total blood volume). In men, hematocrit number is normally about 41-53 percent.

There are procedures and tests to check this viscosity, but they’re not routinely used. The tests are commonly done in people with certain conditions like blood cancers.

Whatever, blood viscosity is one of important variables you should put on your radar for your overall health in long term, especially heart health. Unfortunately most people have no idea on this, and probably you’re one of them.

How and why does high blood sugar thicken blood?

Blood thicker than normal is also known as hypercoagulability. It makes the blood to be sticker than usual, making blood clots more likely. This provokes the higher resistance for the circulation of nutrients and oxygen in the body, preventing them from normally archiving body’s cells and tissues [2].

Again, a number of things can factor into increased level of blood viscosity. Blood fats, for example, are one of them. High level of bad fats ‘LDL (low-density lipoprotein)’ makes blood thicker than usual. How about high blood sugar?

High blood sugar is commonly linked to diabetes, a chronic condition in which the body’s insulin doesn’t work normally in regulating the amounts of glucose (sugar) in the blood. Comprehensive strategies are required to control diabetes in long term!

One study (released by the US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health) suggests that type-2 diabetes may have a role to increase the risk of hypercoagulability [3]. Diabetes could provoke an imbalance of pro versus anti-coagulation.

The high concentration of glucose in the bloodstream would cause a sticker consistency, making the blood thicker more likely. Just imagine how sticky it can be for thick syrup to flow into small and tinny blood vessels.

The symptoms of hypercoagulability can vary from person to person, and even sometimes the condition also could be symptomless. This is usually dependent on the underlying cause and its location. The common ones are blurred vision, shortness of breath, easy bruising, fatigue (lack of energy), and headaches – some are common found in people with diabetes.

High blood sugar and hypercoagulability – dos and don’ts!

Still, following diabetes treatment plan (including regular exercise and eating right, especially low in sugar) is a must if you’re a diabetic.

Along with your treatment plan, the following steps might help too:

Do good things for your heart!

All things that are good for your heart health will also have positive impact on your blood viscosity as well as on controlling your diabetes. These are especially true for regular exercise and diet low in salt & saturated fats.

Also, keep your weight healthy. Overweight is a nightmare for both of your heart health and diabetes management plan.

Don’t go to be a sedentary individual!

Your heart is actually a muscle. As most things with any muscle, adequate physical activity does have a significant effect to boost its performance. And if your heart is healthy, so is your blood viscosity.

One big mistake to avoid, don’t sit for long hours at one time. This is bad for your cardiovascular system, no matter how much intense workout you do, according to one study published on ACP Journals [4].

Don’t smoke cigarette!

As always, tobacco smoke is generally considered bad for your overall health. Probably, it’s still debatable whether it carries negative effect on blood viscosity. But numerous studies show it does cause a nightmare to heart health.

Tobacco smoke carries hazardous chemicals that drive plaque buildups in your blood vessels. As a result, blood is more difficult to flow and also would likely be thicker.

Even secondhand smoke is still dangerous. The risk of heart disease is likely to be higher (25-30 percent) in people exposed to secondhand smoke, scientific evidence confirm this [5]! The risk may increase significantly for non-smokers with hypertension and high blood cholesterol.

How about donating blood? Does this help in improving your blood viscosity, keep reading!


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