Common Complications from Diabetes
Maintaining a healthy lifestyle is a challenge for everyone, but when managing a life with diabetes it’s even more important to stay on top of health changes. Diabetes is the seventh leading cause of death, and it can also lead to permanent disabilities and drastic negative effects on quality of life.
- Heart disease: Approximately two out of three people living with diabetes will die due to heart disease. Diabetes affects levels of blood cholesterol, raising bad blood pressure while lowering good cholesterol. This causes arteries to be narrowed by a buildup of fatty materials, increasing chances of a heart attack or stroke.
- Neuropathy: Almost half of all people with diabetes have at least some nerve damage. This condition causes loss of sensation and raises the likelihood of a person injuring themselves and failing to notice. Poor circulation and neuropathy can lead to a compromised immune system, preventing the body from fighting off infections or healing from wounds.
- Foot problems: The reduced circulation and nerve damage caused by diabetes can lead to infections of the foot that can become serious, spreading to the bone and necessitating amputation. If a diabetic experiences a cut or other injury to their foot, it should be immediately reported to their doctor. Infections can be avoided by engaging in proper foot care, wearing comfortable shoes and having regular checkups with a podiatrist.
- Retinopathy: Eye trouble is common among diabetics. Managing blood sugar levels will help to prevent vision loss.
- Kidney failure: Diabetes is the most common cause of kidney failure. It can take as long as 15 years to develop, but as damage to kidneys cannot be reversed, warning signs need to be watched out for. Fatigue, frequent urination, lack of concentration, sleep trouble, and swollen feet/ankles.