In addition to the challenges that diabetes presents on its own, it can also lead to other serious health complications if left unchecked. If you have diabetes, you should talk to your provider about how to best manage your condition to avoid developing these serious health issues.
Heart disease is one of the most common and most serious diabetes complications, so it’s critical that you monitor your blood pressure, cholesterol, and triglycerides levels. Prevention methods include weight loss, healthy eating, regular exercise, and stress management.
Strokes are two to four times more likely in people with diabetes. And, excess glucose can lead to more clots in the walls of the blood vessels, which could eventually stop the flow of oxygen to the brain and cause a stroke. So, it’s important to make sure you keep your glucose at a healthy level.
Eye diseases like glaucoma, cataracts, and diabetic retinopathy (damage to the blood vessels in the tissue at the back of the eye) all have an association with diabetes. In fact, diabetes is the leading cause of new vision loss. However, regular eye exams and timely treatment of these kinds of problems can decrease the risk of diabetes-related blindness.
Kidney failure occurs when your kidneys can no longer filter out waste products, resulting in kidney disease. And once the kidneys fail completely, dialysis is necessary. But, diabetic kidney disease can be prevented by maintaining blood glucose levels in your target range.
Nerve damage symptoms include tingling, increased sensitivity to touch, pain, numbness, and weakness. In some cases, limb amputation may be necessary due to poor circulation or infections. It’s important to monitor your glucose levels, because longer exposure to high levels can increase your chances of nerve damage.
Gastroparesis occurs when stomach nerves are damaged and stop working properly. This causes the stomach to take too long to empty and makes it difficult to manage blood glucose levels. Maintaining healthy eating habits can help you prevent this complication.
Erectile dysfunction or impotence in men can be a direct result of diabetes. Quitting smoking, exercising regularly, and reducing stress can all help to prevent this issue.
Skin problems can occur because of high levels of glucose in the blood. These issues can provide a breeding ground for bacteria and fungi and can impact your body’s ability to heal itself. It’s important to not only monitor your glucose levels, but also keep an eye out for any skin irregularities.
If you’re concerned about developing any of these complications, or believe you may already be experiencing them, it’s critical that you make an appointment with your primary care provider today.