There are many health problems that are associated with diabetes. This chronic illness can cause high blood sugar levels, which in turn can lead to the damaging of your nerves and your blood vesssels. This side-effect can cause trauma in many parts of your body, and it’s important to know about the risks that you run when your blood sugar level is high.
Nerve damage is one of the common risks associated with high blood sugar levels. Known as diabetic neuropathy, this is a problem that makes it troublesome for your nerves to send the messages it needs to send to your brain and numerous other parts of your body. Prolonged nerve damage can cause a lack of feeling and a general numbness of the affected body part. A feeling of tingling that is painful is also possible from nerve damage. Diabetic neuropathy most often affects the legs and the feet of the afflicted. When this occurs, people can sometimes not realize that they have sores on their feet. This can lead to an infection which, if bad enough, may result in a need to amputate the foot. For this reason, it is important for those that are suffering from nerve damage to regularly ensure that there are no open wounds or sores on their feet or legs.
Eye problems are another issue that may be caused by extended diabetic problems. Since high levels of blood sugar can cause damage to blood vessels, the blood vessels that are found in the retina are susceptible to damage. When this damage occurs, a condition known clinically as diabetic retinopathy is taking place. The weak blood vessels may leak fluid, causing a swelling in the eye that may blur the affected person’s vision. The worse retinopathy gets, the more distended the retina becomes from the rest of the eye, which can eventually lead to full blindness. If the problem is found early, there are laser treatments that can be used to slow down the retinopathy. If you are experiencing blurred vision for over 2 days, have a sudden loss of vision or feel pain in your eye, it is important to check with a doctor for diabetic retinopathy. Early detection is key to containing the problem.
Kidney damage also may be caused by a high level of blood sugar. There are blood vessels in the kidneys which can be damaged by diabetes, resulting in an inability for the kidneys to filter out bodily waste. Known clinically as diabetic nephropathy, this problem can be diagnosed by a detection of protein in your urine. Diabetics are encouraged to go in to a clinic yearly to test for this problem. If diagnosed, health care professionals can give you medications which can help to contain the kidney damage. In advanced cases of nephropathy, a dialysis of the kidneys may need to be regularly performed. Kidney transplants are also used to treat serious nephropathy conditions.
One more complication of diabetes is the increased risk of heart attack and stroke that comes with the condition. This risk is increased when the diabetic is overweight, smokes, has high blood pressure levels, or has a family history of heart problems. Early diagnosis of these problems are key to getting through them, so it is important to check regularly with a doctor to ensure your health.