Complications Of Diabetes – The Risks You Can Face

The complications of diabetes are many, as it is a complex disease that affects different organs of the body when uncontrolled. Diabetes is caused due to high levels of sugar in the bloodstream, and there are some mild complications that might manifest initially, followed by major ones.

Complications Of Diabetes – The Initial Ones

The primary complications association with the disease are:

  • Excessive thirst
  • Excessive hunger
  • Frequent urination
  • Loss of weight

These problems manifest in all diabetes patients, and lead on to further problems.

Complications Of Diabetes – Long Term Damage

The major problems that arise due to uncontrolled diabetes include:

Cardiovascular Problems

Diabetic individuals face an increased risk of suffering from cardiovascular diseases, which are associated with the blood vessels and the heart.

According to studies, when the blood glucose levels in the body are higher than normal and not controlled with enough insulin, the lining of the body’s arterial walls get affected. This increases the risk of atherosclerosis, the medical term for blocking of arteries.

Fatty substances get deposited in the arteries under this condition, and this increases the blood pressure in the arteries, causing hypertension. These deposits can also cause a heart attack. Diabetes also causes the blood to thicken, and this is one of the prime causes behind heart attacks.

Complications Of Diabetes

Cardiovascular problems feature among the many complications of diabetes

Problems With The Kidneys

Kidney problems are also common among the overall complications of diabetes.

Patients who have elevated glucose levels in their blood over a long period of time face the risk of developing kidney failure or nephropathy. This is a condition in which both the kidneys stop functioning to their maximum capacity. This leads to the accumulation of toxins in the body, which are otherwise normally excreted out through urine.

The earliest clinical evidence of nephropathy is the appearance of low but abnormal levels (>30mg/day) of the protein albumin in the urine.

In addition to its status as the earliest manifestation of nephropathy, the excretion of albumin greatly increases the risk of cardiovascular illnesses.

Problems With The Eyes

A substance called sorbitol accumulates in the retina of all diabetics, due to their blood sugar levels. The retina is the part of the eye which helps us form images of what we see around us.

This accumulated sorbitol causes damage to the retinal cells, interrupting the function of a normal eye and thereby affecting vision. Patients might face problems ranging from blurred vision to the complete loss of vision in rare cases.

Problems With The Brain                     

Diabetes is associated with cerebrovascular diseases that affect the brain or its surrounding structures.

Due to the thickening of lumen in the blood vessels, major blood vessels that run to the brain are blocked in diabetics. This condition might lead to sudden strokes. In bad cases, the affected individual might face the paralysis of one or more limbs or parts of the body.

Other Chronic Infections

Diabetics are more dangerously prone to any infection that affects the general population. This is because the high level of glucose in their blood gradually weakens the immune system, making them more susceptible to common infections.

Common complications of diabetes include yeast infections, foot infections, surgical infections, and urinary tract infections.

The above are the most common health concerns that people with uncontrolled sugar levels should watch out for. It is essential to keep the blood sugar levels under check through the right diet, exercise, and medication.


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This entry was posted in Diabetes and tagged by Dr. Kiran Kishore. Bookmark the permalink.

About Dr. Kiran Kishore

Dr. Kiran Kishore (M.D., MBBS) is a Consulting Physician and Diabetologist at Srinivasa Clinic & Diabetes Care Center, Hyderabad. He also serves as the Assistant Professor at Bhaskar Medical College. Dr. Kishore specializes in Pharmacology and Diabetology, and has over six years of experience as a Diabetologist.

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