Complications of diabetes
Diabetes is a serious condition. It increases the risk for many serious health problems. Furthermore, the longer you have diabetes, the higher the risk of complications. When not handled properly, the complications can do serious harm to your body, like to your blood vessels, eyes, kidneys, nerves and teeth. Possible complications include the following conditions.
Diabetes increases the risk of various cardiovascular problems. This includes coronary artery disease, narrowing of the arteries and even a heart attack and stroke. High blood pressure, high cholesterol, high blood glucose contribute to the increased risk of cardiovascular complications.
Excess glucose levels can injure the tiny blood vessels in your nerves, especially in the extremities like your hands and feet. This can cause tingling, numbness or pain. This starts in toes and fingers and can gradually spread upward. If left untreated, this can even lead to serious infections and the loss of limbs.
Diabetes can cause damage to small blood vessels in the kidneys. The tiny blood vessels filter waste from your blood. If damaged, it can lead to kidney failure or severe kidney disease which may lead to dialysis or a kidney transplant.
The tiny blood vessels of the retina can become affected by diabetes. This could eventually lead to blindness. Apart from reduced vision, diabetes can also increase the risk of other eye conditions such as cataracts and glaucoma. People with diabetes should check their eyes regularly to prevent conditions from getting worse.
Skin problems are often the first sign that a person has diabetes. The first signs are itching, bacterial infections and fungal infections. Proper skin care is therefore very important. A minor scratch or cut can turn into a serious problem. It is advised to check your skin regularly and keep it moist and supple with proper products.
The complications of diabetes can be severe but with correct treatment and a healthy lifestyle, many people with diabetes can live the life they want to.