Diabetes has taken an epidemic proportion of the world. In India, it is one of the most common diseases. It spares no one—men or women, even children are falling prey to this serious disease.
Diabetes is a disease that brings many other health issues with it. To understand the various health conditions related to diabetes, it is necessary to understand what the disease is all about.
What Is Diabetes?
Most of the food that we eat is broken down into glucose and passes into the bloodstream where it is used by the cells for growth and energy. Insulin, a hormone produced automatically and in the right quantity by the pancreas, helps glucose enter into the cell from the blood. In people with diabetes, the pancreas either produces little or no insulin, or the cells do not respond aptly to the insulin that is produced. This causes the glucose to accumulate in the blood, which overflows into and with the urine, and moves out of the body. Thus, the body loses its main source of fuel even though the blood contains large amounts of glucose.
Types Of Diabetes:
Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes are the most common forms of the disease, but there are also other kinds, such as gestational diabetes, which occurs during pregnancy. A person who has Type 1 diabetes must take insulin daily.
Health Conditions Related To Diabetes:
Diabetes cannot be cured. It can only be controlled with proper diet and medication or by taking insulin regularly. Some complications of diabetes are difficult to control and can even lead to premature death.
Some of the complications that can come with diabetes are:
1. Eye Disease:
Diabetes adversely affects the small blood vessels leading to the retina and optic nerve, which are responsible for receiving light impulses and transmitting it to the brain. Damage to these structures causes glaucoma, which gradually impairs the vision and can lead to blindness. Diabetes can also affect the lens of the eye and cause cataracts.
It means high glucose levels in the blood. For Type I diabetes, it is called diabetic ketoacidosis, which is a state of dehydration with weak and rapid pulse. People who suffer from type II diabetes have hyperosmolar coma. This condition brings various symptoms, such as polyuria, thirst, neurological symptoms. It can even cause stupor. Both of these states require immediate treatment and hospitalization also.
This means low blood sugar. This causes agitation, sweating, weakness or fatigue. If it gets severe, it can affect your consciousness and even sometimes lead to lack of consciousness. Taking glucose immediately can help. But you should also consult a doctor soon.
4. Cardiovascular Problems:
High blood sugar damages blood vessels and can lead to blockage in the heart, which can cause heart attacks. In fact, people with diabetes have high risks of developing heart disease or stroke than the normal human being.
5. Peripheral Arterial Disease:
Clogged blood vessels can cause peripheral arterial disease in which the blood flow to the extremities, especially the legs and feet get restricted. In some cases, loss of blood flow to the toes, fingers and limbs causes tissue to die and leads to gangrene. It makes the amputation necessary.
6. Kidney Problems:
When blood sugar is high, it can cause damage to the blood vessels in the kidney, which may cause them to leak. These leaky vessels allow protein from the blood to be excreted with urine. The damage is reversible, but it may cause kidney failure over the time.
7. Nerve Damage:
Diabetes can affect the nerves of the different parts of the body. If not treated on time, then the nerve damage can cause a number of problems. It can cause numbness or loss of sense. Nerve damage can happen anywhere in the body, including the digestive tract, urinary system, eyes, and heart.
8. Gum Diseases:
Higher blood sugar levels cause tooth-decay and other periodontal diseases. It also causes decreased saliva, which causes more plaque and thus teeth and gum problems. With the interference of sugar in the blood vessels, the circulation of blood is also poor in the gums.
9. Impotence In Men:
Men with Type 1 diabetes are more likely to experience impotence. Men who have Type 2 diabetes (which usually develops in adulthood) may experience the problem in the later part of life. Temporary impotence may also be experienced.
10. Complications In Pregnancy:
Women with diabetes who become pregnant and those who develop, or are first diagnosed with diabetes after becoming pregnant are at risk of severe complications. This condition is known as gestational diabetes.
11.Health Problems In Newborns:
High levels of glucose in the mother’s bloodstream pass through the placenta to the baby. The fetus is unable to use the excess sugar, which gets stored in the baby’s body as fat. Consequently, the baby may be born overweight, a condition known as macrosomia. They are more likely to become obese and develop diabetes as adults.
If diabetes has caused nerve damage, this can lead to nausea, constipation or diarrhea. Diabetes medication can also cause similar symptoms.
Diabetes can lead to dry skin, slow healing of cuts, burns and wounds, fungal and bacterial infections.
14.Risk Of Infection:
People with diabetes may experience numbness in various parts of the body. Due to which they might not realize that they have a cut. And this may lead to infections in the injured part.
Those suffering from diabetes are constantly required to take proper care of their health, take medicines, insulin injections, etc. Those with kidney damage may need dialysis. Diabetes affects the overall health of a person.
But, remember that diabetes is not a life sentence. With proper medical care and food habits, you can control this deadly disease. So, ensure to eat properly and keep consulting your doctor to stay fit and happy!
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