In a previous blog, we offered five tips on how to manage type 2 diabetes. Though those tips may prove beneficial to some, others risk complications if they don’t get their symptoms under control more quickly.
In fact, type 2 diabetes has the potential to adversely affect major organs and systems of the body, including the heart, blood vessels, eyes, kidneys and nerves.
Today, we are going to discuss the most common complications that are associated with type 2 diabetes.
Blood vessels – Type 2 diabetes can lead to the build-up of plaque in the large blood vessels. This can in turn lead to a heart attack, stroke, high blood pressure, coronary artery disease and even the narrowing of arteries.
Eye damage – Diabetes, if left untreated, can lead to serious eye damage, namely in the blood vessels of the eye (diabetic retinopathy). Furthermore, these complications can also increase a person’s risk of other forms of eye damage, including cataracts and glaucoma.
Kidneys – Type 2 diabetes can potentially lead to compromised kidney function, dialysis, or in the most severe cases, kidney transplant. Poorly managed diabetes can result in kidney failure, in which the kidneys are unable to clean the blood properly. To prevent this from happening, a type 2 patient should be tested annually for microalbuminuria, a condition that’s an early indicator of kidney issues.
Nerves – Otherwise known as neuropathy, this type of damage can be caused by excess sugar intake that can injure the tiny blood vessels that feed the nerves, especially in the legs. For those who’ve had type 2 diabetes for an extended period of time and haven’t managed their glucose levels properly, they can lose sensation in their feet as well as experience feelings of pain, weakness or tingling.
Perhaps the most extreme complication is what’s known as diabetic peripheral neuropathy in the feet. In these cases, people might not realize that they have a sore on their feet. If left untreated, the sore can become infected and the infection can spread, which could potentially lead to amputation of the infected foot.
These are just four of the complications that are commonly associated with type 2 diabetes. However, if you maintain proper glucose levels, these complications can be avoided.
Talk with your primary care physician to learn more about the treatment options for type 2 diabetes.