Diabetes is a global epidemic that is affecting more and more people each year. While there are many treatments available to help manage the disease, there are also a number of complications that can arise as a result of diabetes. In this article, we will explore some of the factors that contribute to diabetes complications. There are many different types of diabetes, among which the most common are type 2 and type 1 diabetes. Whatever be the type, uncontrolled diabetes can lead to serious or even fatal complications involving various organs such as heart, kidneys, eyes and feet. OnlyMyHealth editorial team spoke to Dr. Ranjit Unnikrishnan, Vice Chairman & Consultant, Dr. Mohan’s Diabetes Specialities Centre, to know about the factors that contribute to diabetic complications.
What are diabetic complications?
There are a number of potential complications associated with diabetes, some of which can be very serious. These include heart disease, stroke, kidney disease, nerve damage, eye problems and foot problems. Heart disease and stroke are two of the most common complications of diabetes. People with diabetes are two to four times more likely to develop heart disease than those without diabetes, and they are also at an increased risk for stroke.
Diabetes can also lead to kidney disease. In fact, kidney disease is one of the leading causes of death in people with diabetes. Diabetes can damage the kidneys and cause them to stop working properly. This can lead to a build-up of waste products in the blood and eventually to kidney failure. Once kidney failure develops, dialysis or kidney transplant are the only treatment options available. Nerve damage is another potential complication of diabetes. High blood sugar levels can damage the nerves, causing pain, numbness, or tingling in the hands, feet, or legs. Diabetes can also lead to eye problems, including diabetic retinopathy, which can cause blindness. Foot problems in diabetes, which can occur due to nerve damage or damage to blood vessels, can lead to ulcer formation and even to loss of limb.
Also read: 5 Tips to Avoid Diabetes Complications
Risk factors for developing diabetes complications
There are a variety of risk factors that can contribute to the development of diabetic complications. Some of the most common ones include:
1. Uncontrolled blood sugar levels: High blood sugar levels can damage various organs and systems in the body, including the nerves, blood vessels, and kidneys.
2. Long duration of diabetes: Individuals who have had diabetes for a long time are at higher risk of developing complications especially if the diabetes control has been poor.
3. Obesity: Obesity is a major risk factor not only for developing diabetes but also for developing complications.
4. Sedentary lifestyle: A sedentary lifestyle can lead to weight gain and obesity, which can in turn increase the risk for developing diabetes complications.
5. Smoking: Smoking is a major risk factor for developing diabetic complications, as it can damage blood vessels and increase the risk for heart disease.
6. High blood pressure and cholesterol: If a person with diabetes also has high blood pressure and cholesterol levels, it adds on to the risk of developing complications.
How to delay the onset of complications?
There are a number of things you can do to prevent or delay the onset of diabetes complications. First, it is important to control your blood sugar levels as much as possible. This means monitoring your blood sugar levels regularly and taking steps to keep them within a target range. Second, it is important to eat a healthy diet and maintain a healthy weight. Eating a diet that is high in fiber and low in sugar can help to control blood sugar levels and prevent weight gain. Third, it is important to exercise regularly. Exercise helps to improve insulin sensitivity and can help to prevent the development of diabetes-related complications.
Finally, it is important to see your doctor regularly for check-up and to monitor your diabetes carefully. This will also help to detect complications at the early stages, at which time it would be possible to reverse the damage or prevent it from progressing to more serious stages. By taking these steps, you can help to prevent or delay the onset of diabetes complications.
There are many factors that contribute to diabetes complications. Some of the most common include poor diet, lack of exercise, irregular intake of medications, irregular follow-up with health care professionals, and high stress levels. Managing these factors can help to reduce the risk of developing complications. It is most important to monitor blood sugar levels closely and to see a doctor regularly to check for any changes. By taking these steps, you can help to keep diabetes under control and reduce your risk of serious complications.
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