A asked in HealthDiseases & ConditionsDiabetes · 1 decade ago

What happens to a person's RBC cells when a person becomes diabetic?

What organ has to work overtime to remove the excess that is places into the blood stream because of this condition?

4 Answers

  • Gary B
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    RBC - Red Blood Cell???

    The red blood cells pick up sugar. This is called GLYCATING. This is absolutely normal, and happens all the time.

    When red blood cells are severely glycated, their ability to transfer oxygen is reduced. so you feel generally tired and listless.

    When you are diabetic, the cells become severely glycated. The sugar molecules act like little crystaline knives, slicing and dicing anything they come in contact with.

    This is most important in the capillaries. Capillaries are only just a little bit larger than red blood cells, so these little sugared knives slice the capillaries all to h-ll.

    Sometimes the capillaries break open, causing "bleeds". This is most important in the retinas (back of the eyes). When the capillaries bleed than can cause blindess or separate the retina from the eye.

    If a capillary "bleeds" in the brain, this is called a minor stroke. It may not be noticeable, but too many little strokes is the same as one big one . . . . .

    Your kidneys are FULL of capillaries. Broken capillaries here cause the kidneys to malfunction. Many diabetics die from kidney failure.

    Otherwise, broken capillaries cause micro-clots and scar tissue. This clogs the capillaries, thus raising the blood pressure.

    The glycated RBCs continue to function until they die normally - about 90-120 days. RBC are destroyed by your liver. Therefore ONE episode of high blood sugar has an effect for 90-120 days!

    So the KEY is to keep your blood sugar as close to normal at all times, thus avoiding severe glycation.

    The A1C test reads the amount of glycation on the RBC, giving a reading in percent. a NORMAL A1C reading is between 5 and 6. This shows that 5-6 PERCENT of your RBCs are glycated, and this corresponds to an average blood sugar reading of between 90 and 120.

    An A1C reading above 7 shows that your average blood sugar has been above 150 -- and that indicates diabetes.

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  • 4 years ago


    Source(s): My Diabetes Gone Completely - http://DiabetesGoFar.com/?sjSD
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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Hemoglobin is found inside red blood cells. Its job is to carry oxygen from the lungs to all the cells of the body. Hemoglobin, like all proteins, links up with sugars such as glucose.

    You know that when you have uncontrolled diabetes you have too much sugar in your bloodstream. This extra glucose enters your red blood cells and links up (or glycates) with molecules of hemoglobin. The more excess glucose in your blood, the more hemoglobin gets glycated

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  • 1 decade ago

    I believe RBCs are not able to use the hormone insulin thoroughly to absorb glucose. Thus, glucose accumulates in the blood, raising blood sugar. The pancreas produces insulin, and I'm sure the liver would have to work harder to filter out excess glucose (sugar).

    Source(s): Taught by a Biology Professor
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