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Complications of type 1 diabetes

Complications of type 1 diabetes

Diabetes type 1 is a serious lifelong condition in which the pancreas doesn’t produce any insulin, causing a person’s blood glucose level to become too high. If the amount of glucose in the blood is too high, it can cause serious damage to the body’s organs over time.

Health problems caused by type 1 diabetes

If diabetes type 1 is monitored, it can lead to a number of serious health problems. The following complications may arise:

  • Heart disease: people with diabetes type 1 are run a higher risk at developing a heart disease including cardiovascular problems, coronary artery disease, angina, narrowing of the arteries and high blood pressure.
  • Nerve damage: high blood glucose levels can damage the tiny blood vessels in the nerves. This can cause a tingling feeling, burning pain or numbness which usually starts at the fingers and toes and gradually spread to the whole limbs. It’s even possible to lose all sense of feeling in the affected limbs. If the nerves in the digestive system are also affected, it can cause nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea or constipation.
  • Kidney disease: diabetes type 1 can cause the tiny blood vessels of the kidneys to become blocked. These blood vessels filter waste from the blood. So if this filtering system is damaged, the kidneys will work less efficiently leading to kidney failure that could lead to dialysis or a kidney transplant.
  • Eye problems: the blood vessels of the retina at the back of the eye can get damaged due to diabetes type 1. High blood glucose level can block the blood vessels in the retina. If untreated, it could lead to blindness.
  • Foot problems: when the nerves in the feet are damaged, it could be more difficult to notice small cuts and blisters. If left untreated, these cuts could lead to a serious infection. In the worst case, infections could lead to toe, foot or leg amputation.
  • Skin and mouth problems: diabetes type 1 affects the flora of the skin and mouth. This could lead to all kinds of problems such as fungal and bacterial infections.
  • Pregnancy complications: pregnant women with diabetes type 1 run a higher risk of miscarriage, birth defects and stillbirth.

Preventing complications

There is no cure for Diabetes type 1 so it’s very important to keep your blood glucose levels balanced and to control symptoms to prevent the development of health problems in the future. Managing blood glucose levels is done by injecting insulin. Furthermore, maintaining a healthy lifestyle with a balanced diet and regular exercise is vital.