Diabetes in a condition that affects how the body manages blood sugar. When blood sugar levels are not managed well, it can lead to short-term and long-term diabetes complications. These complications can affect various organs and body systems leading to other health problems. Here are some of the most common diabetes complications.
- Heart disease and stroke: Because diabetes can damage blood vessels which increases the risk for heart attack and stroke.
- Diabetic neuropathy (nerve damage): Distinct types of nerve damage exhibits different symptoms, ranging from discomfort and loss of sensation in the feet to problems with organs like the heart and bladder.
- Diabetic nephropathy (kidney disease): Diabetes is the leading cause of this complication which occurs when the kidneys don’t filter blood properly. Diabetes is the leading cause of diabetic nephropathy, a condition where the kidneys fail to effectively filter blood, leading to the accumulation of waste in the body.
- Eye disease: Diabetes complications can result in low vision and blindness.
- Foot problems: Nerve damage due to diabetes can result in tingling, pain, and a loss of sensation in the feet. This lack of feeling may make individuals unaware of cuts and sores, increasing the risk of infections. Additionally, diabetes can reduce blood flow to the feet, making it more challenging for sores to heal.
- Sexual dysfunctions: Loss of interest in sex and erectile dysfunction are both common complication of diabetes.
- Bladder problems: Diabetes complications can cause the retention of urine as well as bladder leaks.
- Dental problems: Diabetes can cause dry mouth, mouth infections and gum disease.
- Hearing Loss: Nerves in the ear can be damaged causing hearing loss when blood sugar levels remain too high or too low over time.
To prevent diabetes complications, you should work closely with your doctor to manage the condition effectively. This includes monitoring blood sugar levels, making necessary diet and physical activity changes, and taking medications as prescribed. Proper management is the key to reducing complications and to improving your overall quality of life.
Reference National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. Preventing Diabetes Problems. Accessed on November 8, 2023. https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/diabetes/overview/preventing-problems