Blood glucose

Glucose is needed by cells for respiration. It is important that the concentration of glucose in the blood is maintained at a constant level and controlled carefully.

Chronic elevated blood glucose levels can lead the epithelial cells lining blood vessels to absorb far more glucose than normal. This can cause atherosclerosis and blood vessel damage.

Macrovascular disease

Macrovascular disease refers to damage to large blood vessels. Atherosclerosis can lead to:

  • cardiovascular disease, including heart attacks
  • stroke
  • peripheral vascular disease - reduced blood flow to the legs, arms or other parts of the body

Microvascular disease

Microvascular disease refers to damage to small blood vessels. This can lead to:

  • haemorrhaging of blood flow vessels in the retina, which can result in blindness
  • renal failure
  • peripheral nerve dysfunction - this can cause numbness or pain, and slow or stop the healing of injuries in the hands and feet.