There are two main types of complications of diabetes, which are called microvascular and macrovascular. Macrovascular, referring to the term macro, involves issues with macro circulation, which is the circulatory system itself, in other words causing disease in the cardiovascular system itself, while the micro kind involves micro circulation, involving things such as the eyes, the kidneys, and the nerves.
For the most part, the concerns about diabetic complications are focused a lot on the microvascular system, things like retinopathy, a disease of the retina, neuropathy, which affects the nerves, most notably the nerves in the perhiphery such as the feet and hands, and nephropathy, which affects the kidneys.
It is true that we are at particular risk for microvascular complications, since we are talking about more delicate systems that are more easily disturbed, but for the most part this is more of a focus because of the much higher risk that diabetics are subject to with these particular conditions.
High blood sugar is actually a big culprit here, this is why you see such strong correlations between A1C and these complications, and the higher the A1C, and therefore the higher the blood sugar, the more oxidative stress one is subject to, which ends up damaging one's microcirculation and nerve fibers to the extent that one experiences damage and symptoms.
Technically speaking, neuropathy isn't really a microcirculation disorder, it's a disorder of the nerves themselves, but it gets thrown into this category, and it actually makes sense to because the pathologies are pretty similar to things like retinopathy and nephropathy, which do involve microcirculation.
So the focus with the micro stuff we'll call it is almost exclusively on blood sugar levels, and while blood sugar levels are important here, when we focus too much on this we end up neglecting the fact that there is another major component of this that plays a very critical role in this disease process, which is oxidation.
So you need both, high blood sugar and too much oxidation of it, to be out of hand to get damage, and while the higher your blood sugar is the more oxidative stress you have, the body does have defences to this process which do vary. So we should not only be looking to improve our blood sugar here and reduce the oxidative load, we should also be focused on minimizing the damage from oxidation, by focusing on enhancing the body's antioxidant capacity.
So there are a bunch of things you can take for this, and this stuff has been shown to have a big impact on not only preventing oxidative damage from high blood sugar, but actually correcting and healing it, although people tend to not pay much attention to this until they get the complications, and even then, may not make enough of an effort to bolster the body's natural response to such things.
Most people though don't have a clue about this and if you asked 100 diabetics what role oxidation and glycation plays in diabetes, or what the best things to take to help this was, few would know. Your doctor probably wouldn't know either, this isn't stuff they are taught.
This is because our system is so focused on drugs, but they have no drugs to prevent this and really don't have much to help you when you get this stuff either, they can give you an anti epileptic drug to dull the pain of neuropathy for instance to provide some relief as the disease ravages on, until even that isn't enough to relieve your suffering much.
So this is dysfunctional medicine after all, so they aren't interested in improving the body's function, and they certainly aren't interested in recommending natural medicines. I'll have much more to say on this in future articles, including some good things you can take to both prevent and treat microvascular complications of diabetes.
It's not just high blood sugar levels we need to be concerned about with microvascular complications, high insulin levels are harmful to this as well. Normal insulin levels are perfectly fine and safe, but the body isn't designed to handle the toxic levels we see in diabetics, and since insulin is pro inflammatory in excess, it can cause quite a bit of oxidative stress itself when too high, as high blood sugar does.
As far as the other type of complication goes, macrovascular complications, high insulin is at the forefront of this and may actually be even worse than high blood sugar in causing this. We know this is the case actually from the ACCORD study alone where people's blood sugar was decreased, and their insulin levels were increased, and they got more macrovascular complications.
We have a lot of evidence to show this, for instance I picked a particular study for you to look at if you like which shows that we can test people's insulin levels and the people with high levels are at more risk for macrovascular complications, as well as other conditions including obesity, and it's probably the obesity that is behind most of the added risk here.
All we have to do is look at what obesity tends to cause, including diabetes, to get an idea of what we're talking about here, and the relationship between obesity and cardiovascular disease is one that is beyond any doubt. The relationship between high insulin and obesity is another link that we can be certain of, and there's lots of evidence showing this as well.
There is more to it than that though as high insulin itself has also been shown to advance cardiovascular disease risk independent of obesity, and it's not hard to imagine how. Once again, excessive insulin causes excess inflammation, and this excess insulin flows around the blood stream, and it's clear that inflammation to the circulatory system plays a big role in cardiovascular disease.
So the bottom line here is that we need to be worrying about a lot more than high blood sugar when we are looking to manage the risks of diabetic complications, I personally am more worried about high insulin than I am about high blood sugar, from everything I've read, and there are others that feel the same way.
The people who just worry about blood sugar on the other hand are the people that haven't really looked into the risks of high insulin, and just assume that if our blood sugar is high, we need more insulin, and blood sugar levels are the only thing that matter, but that's a mistake. We instead need to account for both of these conditions and find a solution that minimizes our risks here overall, which also includes taking things that help this, as we aren't as helpless here as conventional medicine would lead you to believe.