How does sugar affect your heart rate?

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How does sugar affect your heart rate?
Sugar can affect you heart rate (Image by Flickr.com, courtesy of D. Sharon Pruitt)

Your body uses the foods you eat as fuel. This food is converted to fuel in the form of glucose, which is a form of sugar.

While sugar provides you with energy, high blood sugar levels accompanied with high cholesterol can lead to heart disease. Excess sugar stored in the body turns into fat and excess weight, which adversely affects your body's ability to process fuel properly. This problem affects your cardiac and pulmonary system.

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Effects

Blood sugar levels affect the heart when the levels are at extremes, either very high or very low. A higher level of blood sugar raises the blood pressure and heart rate. This leads to heart diseases. If you have low blood sugar levels you will experience a rapid heart rate and a drowsy, irritable weak feeling. Hormonal imbalances, fatigue, depression, panic attacks and hallucinations are results of erratic blood sugar levels. In infants, low blood sugar levels can cause an abnormal heart rate

Glycemic Disregulation

Hypoglycaemia (low blood sugar) and hyperglycaemia (high blood sugar) are the two extreme conditions of glucose levels in our body. Modern, sedentary lifestyles and the consumption of fibre-deficient foods lead to a hypoglycaemic condition. Your pancreas reacts to the consumption of refined food. The result can be an excess production of insulin, which can cause your blood glucose level to drop quickly. This can lead to brain damage, depression or just a feeling of being unwell, along with changes in heart rate.

Prevention/Solution

The yoga practice of pranayam, which involves the systematic exercise of respiration, can normalise blood sugar levels and improves blood circulation, according to KnowYoga.org. Cinnamon also aids in stabilising blood sugar, lowering fasting serum glucose, blood fats and total cholesterol in patients with type-2 diabetes, according to FoodProcessing.com. Cinnamon reduces postprandial blood sugar and gastric problems.

In general, you can modify your diet to overcome blood sugar related problems. Eliminate or reduce foods with high sugar and salt content. Eat a variety of fruits and vegetables. Control your calories and serving sizes.

Considerations

There are certain physiological and psychological factors responsible for the proper functioning of the heart. Sugar, or glucose, is one of these factors. Your body produces glucose not only from dietary sugar but from carbohydrates. This is the source of your body's energy. Sugar in a balanced diet does not pose any threat to the heart. In its absence, the body becomes hypoglycaemic. You cannot survive very long with a sugar level that's too low.

Identification

If blood sugar regulation is a problem for you, check your blood sugar levels with a blood glucose monitor early in the morning. Exercise to help control your blood sugar, blood pressure and cholesterol, lowering your risk of cardiovascular disease.

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