The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that 11.3% of the US population (a total of 37.3 million people) are diabetic, and 38% of the US adult population (96 million people) suffer from prediabetes.
Diabetes is of two types: type 1 and type 2. Both types of diabetes are severe medical conditions that affect the body’s ability to produce and utilize insulin – a hormone that regulates the amount of glucose in the blood. The excessive amount of glucose in the blood can lead to elevated sugar levels, which, if left untreated over time, can cause severe health complications. The number of diabetes patients is growing rapidly in New York State. People in the state are experiencing various consequences, such as leg pain due to diabetes. Luckily, diabetes leg pain specialists in NY are readily available to help the patients.
In this article, we will discuss four of the major health complications caused by untreated diabetes.
4 common Health complications caused by untreated Diabetes
- Diabetic Neuropathy
Diabetic neuropathy happens when the nerves (usually of the legs and feet) get damaged because a high level of sugar is present in the blood. Diabetic neuropathy can lead to a range of symptoms, from urinary incontinence to numbness, pain, and tingling in the limbs.
The treatment usually comprises a combination of insulin and nerve pain medication. In severe cases, amputation of the affected limb may be necessary.
- Cardiovascular Disease
Statistics from the National Heart Association in 2012 put the mortality rate of cardiovascular disease patients with diabetes at 65%. Cardiovascular disease is quite common among people living with diabetes because the presence of high amounts of sugar in the blood can damage the vessels and nerves around the heart. The nerve damage can trigger conditions like high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and stroke.
- Diabetic Retinopathy:
Similar to the heart and limbs, diabetes can also affect your eyes. The underlying cause of this condition is damage to the blood vessels that support the function of the retina. Mild cases may be treated with modifications to diet and regular shots of insulin. However, more complicated cases may require surgery or laser treatment.
Diabetic retinopathy is the leading cause of blindness among adults with diabetes, and symptoms include color blindness, blurred vision, and seeing floaters. If left untreated, diabetic retinopathy can cause a permanent loss of vision. (1)
- Kidney Disease:
Diabetes may also damage the blood vessels in the kidneys. This is a condition called diabetic nephropathy, and it can have serious consequences if left untreated. Since the kidneys of an individual with diabetic nephropathy do not filter waste from the blood, the condition can lead to a buildup of toxins in the bloodstream, high blood pressure, kidney failure, and death.
There is no cause for alarm if you have been diagnosed with diabetes. These conditions usually occur in cases where a patient’s health is frequently neglected, and fortunately, there are steps you can take to reduce your risk of developing them.
The first step is to keep a close eye on your blood sugar levels through regular tests. Making lifestyle changes through your diet and exercise routine can also help to keep your blood sugar in check.
In addition to monitoring your blood sugar and making important lifestyle changes, it is crucial to schedule regular appointments with your healthcare provider. Regular medical checkups can detect health abnormalities early on before they get too advanced to treat. Quitting smoking and limiting alcohol consumption are also crucial in the management of diabetes; you should also take your medications exactly as prescribed by your healthcare provider.
Diabetes is a serious medical condition that can have far-reaching consequences if left untreated. Nevertheless, people living with diabetes can still enjoy a happy life and reduce their risk of developing complications by prioritizing their health and making a few lifestyle choices. (2)
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