Diabetes is one of the most prevalent health conditions today. In the latest edition of the International Diabetes Federation’s Diabetes Atlas, more than 400 million people worldwide have diabetes.
Diabetes is not just common, but also complicated. A person with diabetes is prone to more complications compared to people suffering from cardiovascular diseases. That is why it is important for diabetes patients to constantly monitor their health and what they eat. Diabetes patients who take care of their health have a high chance of living actively and freely. Those who don’t may find themselves suffering from more than a hundred complications and early death. These complications affect people with type 1 and type 2 diabetes.
Diabetes complications arising from hyperglycemia may affect almost all facets of a patient’s health. Complications may either be ophthalmological, cardiovascular, neurological, nephrological, and oral, just to name a few. Here are the most common ones.
Heart and Cardiovascular System
Patients with diabetes have high glucose and cholesterol levels in the body, which damage their blood vessels and affect their ability to properly circulate blood. Because patients with diabetes are more likely to have high blood pressure, they are at risk for suffering from hypertension, a heart attack, stroke or coronary heart disease.
Coronary Heart Disease
- Coronary Heart Disease is a result of plaque build-up on the artery walls. People who suffer from this disease may first experience a heart attack. Other symptoms include shortness of breath, chest pain and having an abnormal heartbeat.
- A stroke happens when there’s not enough blood flowing to the brain, causing tissue damage. Stroke symptoms manifest on the face, arms, and speech.
- Diabetic retinopathy is a condition that occurs when the retinal blood vessels experience damage such as microaneurysms and blood clots. Symptoms include blurred vision and seeing dark spots.
- Cataracts form when abnormal amounts of protein build up in the eyes’ lens.
- Glaucoma occurs as a result of a fluid build-up in the eye and a damaged optic nerve.
All vision complications may lead to blindness.
People suffering from diabetes experience tingling and burning sensations in the hands, feet, and extremities. These are symptoms of diabetic nerve pain.
- Due to poor blood circulation, diabetes patients may experience foot ulcers and deformations. Those who experience severe pain undergo foot amputation.
- Diabetes patients at advanced ages are at risk for developing Alzheimer’s, which is characterized by memory loss and confusion.
- Parkinson’s Disease occurs as a result of brain damage. This affects a person’s muscle movement, leading him or her to experience muscle stiffness and body tremors. According to research, diabetes patients are twice as likely to develop Parkinson’s than those who don’t have diabetes.
Managing Diabetes The Healthy Way
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