Information is power and it is about time that diabetes patients learn exactly why they should work hard at keeping this disease at bay.
Most online resources are quick to equip their readers with actionable advice. But before you jump into trying different management approaches, you need to know the worst of that can happen due to diabetes. Being well – informed, and alert about the warning signs of complications, can motivate you to be more compliant to your doctor’s advice and give your treatment plan the dedication it deserves.
Whether your doctor recommends consistent self-tracking, dietary changes, physical activity, or a combination of all these, the following are the complications that you are working towards preventing:
With 26.1% of diabetic Indians experiencing neuropathy, this is the most common and dreaded diabetes complication. Neuropathy or peripheral neuropathy is a condition where the patient experiences weakness, pain and numbness in the body, due to nerve damage.
The presence of excess glucose in the capillaries throughout the body can affect the nerves, especially in the legs and hands. This can lead to tingling, numbness, pain, and loss of feeling in the affected limbs and eventually serious infections. This could potentially lead to amputation of the affected limb.
The presence of high glucose in the body, without proper management, can negatively affect the cardiovascular system. This can lead to chest pain, heart attack, and narrowing of arteries.
Too much of LDL, or bad cholesterol and high triglycerides in the blood can cause plaque formation, and lead to artery wall damage that can cause damage to the heart tissues, and eventually even lead to heart failure.
Diabetes is a well-established risk factor for stroke as it can fundamentally affect blood vessels, and create clots in the brain. Those with poorly managed diabetes also tend to suffer higher mortalities and poorer recovery if they suffer strokes.
Diabetic retinopathy is one of the most commonly observed and worrisome complication. Excessive glucose in the body can potentially affect your optic nerve, which can lead to bleeding into the eye, which can disrupt vision. This condition accounts for 5% of blindness, worldwide.
High glucose levels can damage the kidneys in the long run and lead to chronic kidney disease. If this is not treated in time, it can lead to kidney failure, and the patient will need regular dialysis to lead a relatively normal life. Nephropathy is one of the most common diabetes complications, with 1 in 3 diabetic adults suffering from it.
Diabetes and the resultant high blood pressure from it can lead to hypertension, in addition to other conditions. The excessive glucose int he body can damage the arteries, and cause it to harden. Over a long period, this hypertension can further lead to heart problems, such as cardiovascular issues and diabetic retinopathy.
The relationship between diabetes and depression is complicated since it has a two-sided relationship. If you already have diabetes, disease management can interfere with your earlier life routine, and lead to stress and symptoms of depression. Your blood sugar fluctuations can also lead to rapid mood swings, which can cause emotional stress, strained relationships and depression.
On the other hand, if you are depressed, poor lifestyle choices, and lethargy, can cause habits like binge eating, less exercise, weight gain, alcoholism and more, which can eventually lead to diabetes.
When we talk about different forms of complications caused by the vessel damaged due to diabetes, vascular dementia also needs to be discussed. The brain damage caused by poor or blocked blood flow to the brain can cause this condition. A large number of people who live with unmanaged diabetes tend to experience symptoms of Alzheimer’s and vascular dementia.
There are further research going on, which is aimed at understanding exactly how Alzheimer’s and diabetes affect each other, and how it can be prevented. Currently, the only way to prevent it is by being proactive about disease management approaches such as lifestyle change, medication adherence and consistent self-monitoring.
Learning and understanding about these conditions are a great first step in preventing them. Following a wholesome diet, being physically active, listening to your doctor’s advice are all the most basic yet foolproof things you can do, for preventive care.
Utilising the digital health options at your disposal – such as healthcare devices, remote consultation services, and even consistent self-monitoring are the next best things you can do to ensure that your health remains at it’s prime, even if you are diabetic.