Microscopic blood vessels are damaged due to high levels of sugar flowing through them, and this often leads to a variety of health consequences. Scientists at Ishibashi Clinic in Japan and the University of Exeter in the United Kingdom have demonstrated how keeping blood sugar readings in a healthy range helps the microscopic blood vessels and the organs they feed.
Their study reported on in the Frontiers in Endocrinology in March of 2018, included …
- 141 participants diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes, and
- 60 non-diabetic participants.
They noted the HbA1c levels over a period of 4 years. The HbA1c levels were categorized as …
- good – below 53 mmol / mol, average IFCC HbA1c 47.5 mmol / mol
- fair – 53 mmol / mol to 58.5 mmol / mol, average IFCC HbA1c 55.6 mmol / mol.
- poor – 58.5 mmol / mol, average IFCC HbA1c 68.9 mmol / mol.
At the beginning of the study, the participants with Type 2 diabetes had significant nerve fiber damage in their eyes compared to the non-diabetic participants. Further damage was related to their average HbA1c levels …
- good blood sugar control improved nerve functions, while
- fair control was linked with loss of some nerve functions.
- poor control damaged all nerve functions.
Nerves in the eye are …
- optic nerve,
- cranial nerves,
- oculomotor nerve,
- abducens nerve,
- trochlear nerve,
- ciliary ganglion,
- short ciliary nerves, and
- nasociliary nerve.
The nerves function in …
- eye movements,
- changes in pupil size to adjust to changes in light, and the
- corneal reflex which causes the eyes to shut when objects are seen as becoming too close.
Maintaining low HbA1c levels is possible with some effort …
1. Plan your diet with your doctor or dietitian. The American Dietetic Association recommends a vegetarian or vegan diet.
2. Get enough physical activity. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in the United States recommends …
- at least 2 hours and 30 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity each week, or
- 1 hour and 15 minutes a week of vigor-intensity aerobic activity, or
- some combination of the two.
Get a check-up to make sure you will be able to exercise safely before embarking on any new plan for physical activity. Some examples of moderate-intensity physical activity are …
- walking – take the dog for a walk.
- climbing stairs at a rate of 100 a minute.
- walking downstairs or downhill.
Examples of vital physical activity include …
- swimming laps,
- tennis, Egypt
- cycling 10 miles per hour or faster.
3. Measure your blood sugar levels four times a day or as directed.
4. Use your medication faithfully as directed by your doctor.