Complications of uncontrolled diabetes you need to know

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Diabetes is a chronic condition where the body either can’t produce enough insulin or can’t effectively use the insulin it does produce.

Insulin is a hormone needed to regulate blood sugar levels. Uncontrolled diabetes can lead to a variety of serious health complications over time.

Understanding these risks can empower individuals to take proactive steps in managing their diabetes.

One of the most serious complications of uncontrolled diabetes is cardiovascular disease. High blood sugar levels over time can damage blood vessels and the nerves that control the heart.

People with diabetes are nearly twice as likely to have heart disease or experience a stroke as those who do not have diabetes.

Research published in the Journal of the American Heart Association emphasizes that the risk of cardiovascular disease significantly increases with poor glycemic control, highlighting the importance of maintaining stable blood sugar levels.

Another major concern is diabetic neuropathy, a type of nerve damage that can occur with diabetes. High blood sugar levels can injure the walls of the tiny blood vessels that nourish your nerves, especially in the legs.

This can cause tingling, numbness, burning, or pain that usually begins at the tips of the toes or fingers and gradually spreads upward.

According to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, more than half of people with diabetes will develop some type of neuropathy.

Kidney damage, or diabetic nephropathy, is also a common complication. The kidneys contain millions of tiny blood vessel clusters that filter waste from your blood.

Diabetes can damage this delicate filtering system, leading to severe kidney damage or even kidney failure.

Data from the Diabetes Care journal shows that up to 40% of people with diabetes may develop kidney disease, further stressing the need for good diabetes management.

Diabetic retinopathy, which can lead to blindness, is another significant risk. It occurs when high blood sugar levels cause damage to the blood vessels in the retina.

The American Journal of Ophthalmology reports that diabetic retinopathy is the leading cause of blindness in adults aged 20–74. Early detection and treatment of eye problems can prevent severe vision loss.

Foot damage is another complication that can be particularly serious. Nerve damage in the feet or poor blood flow to the feet increases the risk of various foot complications.

Left untreated, cuts and blisters can develop serious infections, which often heal poorly and may ultimately require toe, foot, or leg amputation.

The Journal of Diabetic Complications underscores that regular foot examinations and simple care measures can reduce the risk of amputation by up to 85%.

Uncontrolled diabetes also increases the risk of skin conditions, including bacterial and fungal infections. High glucose levels can make the skin more susceptible to infection and slow the healing process when the skin is injured.

Moreover, people with uncontrolled diabetes are also at higher risk for dental problems, like gum infections, due to poor blood sugar control, as noted in research from the Journal of Periodontology.

This can lead to an increased risk of periodontal disease, which can lead to tooth loss if left untreated.

In conclusion, while diabetes is a manageable disease, it requires careful and consistent control of blood sugar levels.

Uncontrolled diabetes can lead to a host of serious health issues, but with the right management strategies, including medication, lifestyle changes, and regular check-ups, these complications can often be prevented or their impact minimized.

Awareness and education about these risks are crucial for anyone diagnosed with diabetes, as they are key to avoiding severe complications and maintaining a high quality of life.

If you care about diabetes, please read studies about Vitamin D and type 2 diabetes, and what you need to know about avocado and type 2 diabetes.

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