Diabetes: Types and Complications It Can Lead To

Diabetes is a metabolic disease in which the body’s inability to produce any or enough insulin causes elevated levels of sugar or glucose in the blood. People with high blood sugar will typically experience polyuria (frequent urination), become increasingly thirsty (polydipsia) and hungry (polyphagia).

What and when you eat can affect your blood sugar level. It is carbohydrate foods like breads, cereals, rice, pasta, fruits, milk, and desserts that can cause the rise.

There’re three types of diabetes:

  1. Type 1 Diabetes: The body does not produce insulin. Some people may refer to this type as insulin-dependent diabetes, juvenile diabetes, or early-onset diabetes. People usually develop type 1 diabetes before their 40th year, often in early adulthood or teenage years. People with type 1 diabetes will need to take insulin injections for the rest of their life.
  2. Type 2 Diabetes: The body does not produce enough insulin for proper function, or the cells in the body do not react to insulin (insulin resistance). Approximately 90% of all cases of diabetes worldwide are type 2. Some people may be able to control their type 2 diabetes symptoms by losing weight, following a healthy diet, doing plenty of exercise, and monitoring their blood glucose levels.
  3. Gestational Diabetes: This type affects females during pregnancy. Some women have very high levels of glucose in their blood, and their bodies are unable to produce enough insulin to transport all of the glucose into their cells, resulting in progressively rising levels of glucose. The majority of gestational diabetes people can control their diabetes with exercise and diet.

If diabetes is not adequately controlled, you will have a significantly higher risk of developing complications like:

  • Eye complications: glaucoma, cataracts, diabetic retinopathy, and some others.
  • Foot complications: neuropathy, ulcers, and sometimes gangrene which may require that the foot be amputated.
  • Skin complications: people with diabetes are more susceptible to skin infections and skin disorders.
  • Heart problems: such as ischemic heart disease, when the blood supply to the heart muscle is diminished.
  • Hypertension: common in people with diabetes, which can raise the risk of kidney disease, eye problems, heart attack and stroke.
  • Mental health: uncontrolled diabetes raises the risk of suffering from depression, anxiety and some other mental disorders.
  • Hearing loss: diabetes people have a higher risk of developing hearing problems.
  • Gum disease: there is a much higher prevalence of gum disease among diabetes people.
  • Gastroparesis: the muscles of the stomach stop working properly.
  • Ketoacidosis: a combination of ketosis and acidosis; accumulation of ketone bodies and acidity in the blood.
  • Neuropathy: diabetic neuropathy is a type of nerve damage which can lead to several different problems.
  • HHNS (Hyperosmolar Hyperglycemic Nonketotic Syndrome): blood glucose levels shoot up too high, and there are no ketones present in the blood or urine. It is an emergency condition.
  • Nephropathy: uncontrolled blood pressure can lead to kidney disease
  • PAD (peripheral arterial disease): symptoms may include pain in the leg, tingling and sometimes problems walking properly.
  • Stroke: if blood pressure, cholesterol levels, and blood glucose levels are not controlled, the risk of stroke increases significantly.
  • Erectile dysfunction: male impotence.
  • Infections: people with badly controlled diabetes are much more susceptible to infections.
  • Healing of wounds: cuts and lesions take much longer to heal.

Diabetes type 1 and 2 usually lasts a lifetime; but however, some people have managed to get rid of their symptoms through a combination of exercise, diet and body weight control.

photo: mymedspricelist.com

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