Diabetes mellitus is a tricky disease. Indeed except for controlling the blood sugar levels, patients diagnosed with diabetes should be very careful about their health as it can have a negative impact on other systems and cause serious complications. These are the diabetes consequences that may require special attention:
Why and how does it happen? What is the connection of blood glucose level with our cardiovascular system, derma, musculoskeletal system, immune system, organs of vision? It is extremely curious. And what is even more important – what should you do to commit common diabetes risks and further complications? Let’s figure it out!!!
Diabetes mellitus is a group of diseases of the endocrine system associated with impaired absorption of glucose, developing due to a lack (type 2 diabetes- widespread) or absence (type 1 diabetes- less common) of insulin (hormone) in the body, as a result of which the level of glucose (sugar) in the blood increases significantly. This medical condition is called hyperglycemia.
The signs and symptoms that signal the possible risk of developing any type of diabetes are feeling of constant thirst, increased urine output, increased appetite, weakness, dizziness, slow wound healing, etc.
What can cause diabetes? Doctors single out quite a wide range of factors that can become a reason for developing diabetes. If we talk about diabetes type 2, they enlist:
Type I diabetes is more commonly diagnosed in patients under thirty. In most cases, it develops due to a deterioration in the functioning of the pancreas due to a viral disease or exposure to toxins.
This disease is chronic and frequently progressive. Diabetes itself is not that dangerous, but the possible complications and their consequences can be health- and even life-threatening.
So, high blood sugar level has an almost invisible but destructive impact on so many systems of our organism. The point is that a person with diabetes may not even notice the gradual worsening of his/her health until it is too late. We have got a silly stereotype that just elderly people should take care of their health, mind their diet and physical activity. In reality, how many diseases and their consequences we could avoid if started taking care of our health at a young age. For people with diabetes, the question of self-care is as topical as never before. Otherwise, they put themselves under the increased risk of developing one of the above-described conditions.
The buildup of cholesterol in the walls of blood vessels causes the hardening of the arteries and is the most common cause of heart disease and stroke. When blood sugar levels are higher than normal, the situation worsens – blood flow to the heart and brain decreases, and the risk of heart attack and stroke increases. The heart’s ability to pump blood can also be affected, leading to cardiac arrest.
Nerve damage (neuropathy)
Affected by high glucose levels vessels harm not just the work of the heart but also the nerve fibers, which may lack nourishment. Especially this problem is topical for the lower limbs. As a result, if you do not notice and do not take care of the problem, with time, you may experience frequent feelings of numbness, tingling, burning, or pain in your legs with the further risk of losing sensitivity of the toes and up.
Kidney damage (nephropathy)
I will not surprise you that problems with kidneys may also develop as a result of poor blood circulation and nourishment of this fragile system caused by type 2 diabetes or type 1 diabetes. Glomeruli are tiny vessels that form something like a net – a waste filtering mechanism to clean the blood in the kidneys. High blood glucose levels may stopple these tiny vessels and in such a way diabetes can lead to kidney failure or irreversible end-stage kidney disease.
Eye damage (retinopathy)
Unfortunately, patients with diabetes are at higher risk of development of cataracts and glaucoma, not to mention such a medical condition as diabetic retinopathy – damage the vessels of the retina, which may potentially lead to worsening of the sight and even blindness.
Nerve damage, poor blood circulation, or the combination of them both may have an incredibly negative impact on the feet that in a further perspective may lead even to the amputation of the lower limbs: toes, feet, or even entire legs.
Bacterial infections, fungal infections, and itching are common skin problems that can make life difficult for anyone, but they are especially likely to occur in people with type 1 diabetes or type 2 diabetes. Due to poor blood circulation, the body cannot fight the infection at full strength.
Unfortunately, type 2 diabetes and type 1 diabetes increase the risks of hearing problems.
Scientists have multiple theories of how diabetes may be linked to the conditions of dementia. None of them is proven yet, but it does not deny the fact that poor blood sugar control contributes to the development of Alzheimer’s disease.
Patients diagnosed with type 2 diabetes or type 1 diabetes report common depression symptoms caused by high blood glucose levels. It may be a cause of poor blood circulation or some other condition (the doctors still argue about the nature and cause of depression provoked by diabetes), but this is the fact.
If you have type 2 diabetes or type 1 diabetes, you must know that blood sugar control, a balanced diet, regular exercise, and check-ups are vital to your health. Pay extra attention to your body to avoid serious complications that can lead to a critical outcome.
Common foot problems can cause many complications, including athlete’s foot, fungal infections in the nails, calluses, dry skin, ulcers, ingrown toenails, and plantar warts.
Anyone can face these troubles, but for diabetics, these problems are most typical because:
What to do? Take time for daily foot care. Wash, pat dry, and carefully examine your feet. Check for cracked skin, cuts, scrapes, wounds, blisters, redness, calluses. Use antibiotic creams and sterile dressings to protect your cuts. To prevent ingrown toenails, trim them straight without cutting corners. Do not go barefoot and always protect your feet. Always wear the most comfortable and correctly fitting shoes.
Bacterial infections, fungal infections, and itching are common skin problems that can make life difficult for anyone, but they are especially likely to occur in people with diabetes. Due to poor blood circulation, the body cannot fight the infection at full strength.
What to do? Increase the body’s ability to fight infections and prevent dry skin by controlling blood sugar. Using talcum powder or moisturizing lotions in areas prone to infections will be beneficial. But you cannot use lotion in case of fungal disease as additional moisture will only aggravate the situation. And remember, you need to see a doctor for the treatment of skin diseases, especially if it is a fungal infection.
Diabetes can damage the vessels in the eyes, which can lead to cataracts, glaucoma, and retinopathy. What to do? Controlling blood sugar and seeing an ophthalmologist each year can help prevent these problems.
Care of teeth and gums
Diabetes makes your body more vulnerable to bacteria and infections. High blood sugar levels can worsen gum disease, leading to tooth loss.
Other problems that can appear with diabetes mellitus:
What to do? Brush your teeth after every meal, floss daily, and see your dentist twice a year. Be sure to tell your dentist that you have diabetes and bring a list of medications you are taking.
Caring for the heart
People diagnosed with diabetes have a greater load on the cardiovascular system. Poor blood circulation harms the work of the heart and brain. As a result, such people are at greater risks of various cardiovascular problems, including coronary artery disease with chest pain (angina), heart attack, stroke, and narrowing of arteries (atherosclerosis). What to do? Monitor your cholesterol levels and follow your doctor’s recommendations for nutrition.
As you may see, neither type 2 diabetes nor type 1 diabetes is dangerous to the health or life of the patient diagnosed with the disease. However, the complications and their consequences may cause dozens of health problems and even lead to death. In most cases, the risk factor of developing cardiovascular diseases, nerve damages, kidney damage, eye problems, skin diseases, and so on lies in the poor circulation of the blood and damage of the vessels caused by increased and controlled blood glucose level. It is not strange that for most conditions the medical advice is to monitor blood sugar levels. How? Insulin therapy is key. You should constantly consult your doctor and choose a medication that will balance the level of glucose in the blood and do not allow it to harm your bloodstream and vessels.
If you are diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, type 1 diabetes, or gestational diabetes, it is not a sentence. You can live happy, healthy, and full life even with this diagnosis. All you should do is to be more careful and choose an effective insulin medication that will keep your blood glucose in the norm. Hopefully, this article was interesting to you. See you in the next posts!