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What Are Some Of The Long Term Complications Of Diabetes?

Diabetes Complications

Diabetes Complications

Search the A-Z of complications: Uncontrolled diabetes can lead to a number of short and long-term health complications, including hypoglycemia, heart disease, nerve damage and amputation, and vision problems. The majority of these diabetes-related conditions occur as a result of uncontrolled blood glucose levels, particularly elevated blood sugar over a prolonged period of time. It is essential that diabetics are aware of the complications that can occur as a result of diabetes to ensure that the first symptoms of any possible illness are spotted before they develop. In this section, you'll find information on all of the diseases, illnesses and disorders that are linked to diabetes, including the different causes, symptoms and treatments for each condition. How common are complications of diabetes? It is common for most people with diabetes to begin to develop complications after having diabetes for a number of years. With good diabetes control and living a healthy, active lifestyle, it is possible for people to go a number of decades complication free. However, if you have had less well controlled diabetes, have led a less healthy lifestyle, or had undiagnosed diabetes for a number of years, the complications of diabetes are more likely to develop earlier. Why do complications occur? Scientists still do not fully understand how complications develop. What is known, however, is that high blood glucose levels cause damage to the blood vessels and nerves which supply our organs and therefore result in impaired functioning of any affected organs. How do I prevent complications? The risk of developing complications can be reduced by following a number of healthy lifestyle steps: Reducing your HbA1c Large scale research studies have shown that the chances of developing the Continue reading >>

The Major Long-term Complications Of Uncontrolled Diabetes Mellitus

The Major Long-term Complications Of Uncontrolled Diabetes Mellitus

The Major Long-Term Complications of Uncontrolled Diabetes Mellitus Diabetes mellitus (sometimes called sugar diabetes) is a medical condition that occurs when the body cannot use glucose (a type of sugar) appropriately. Glucose is the main source of energy for the bodys cells. The levels of glucose in the blood are controlled by a hormone called insulin, which is made by an organ called the pancreas. Insulin is secreted in the blood and acts as a vehicle to allow for glucose to enter from the blood stream into the cells.The latter in turn, convert glucose into energy to complete their essential functions. Statistics indicate that some 25.8 million children and adults in the United Statescomprising about 8.3% of the U.S. population have been diagnosed with Diabetes. Diabetes occurs either when the pancreas does not make enough insulin (Type I Diabetes) or, when the body cant respond normally to the insulin that is available (Type II Diabetes). This causes glucose levels in the blood to rise, leading to symptoms such as increased urination, extreme thirst, persistent sensation of hunger and unexplained weight loss. All forms of diabetes increase the risk of long-term health complications as the unutilized glucose molecules circulate in the blood stream and eventually start to interfere with the normal physiology and function of different tissues. The major long-term complications of Diabetes are by and large related to damage caused in the circulatory system. In fact, Diabetes irreversibly damages the large blood vessels, doubling the risk of cardiovascular disease in the form of ischemic heart disease (angina and myocardial infarctions), cerebrovascular disease (stroke and transient ischemic attacks) and peripheral vascular disease (atherosclerosis of the blood vessels Continue reading >>

Long-term Complications Of Diabetes Mellitus

Long-term Complications Of Diabetes Mellitus

This article has no abstract; the first 100 words appear below. Diabetes mellitus is a disease of metabolic dysregulation, most notably abnormal glucose metabolism, accompanied by characteristic long-term complications. The complications that are specific to diabetes include retinopathy, nephropathy, and neuropathy. Patients with all forms of diabetes of sufficient duration, including insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (IDDM) and non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (NIDDM), are vulnerable to these complications, which cause serious morbidity (Table 1 and Table 2). Retinopathy is so characteristic of diabetes that its presence has been incorporated into the nosologic definition of NIDDM. Only hyperglycemia of sufficient magnitude to be associated with retinopathy is classified as NIDDM, while lower levels of hyperglycemia that are . . . Supported in part by the Diabetes Control and Complications Trial (grant 5UO1 DK30643 from the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases) and the Patient Outcome Research Team study “Variations in Management and Outcome of Diabetes” (grant 1-R01 HSO6665 from the Agency for Health Care Policy Research). I am indebted to Drs. Daniel Singer and Saul Genuth for their advice during the preparation of the manuscript. From the Diabetes Unit and Department of Medicine, Massachusetts General Hospital, and Harvard Medical School, both in Boston. Address reprint requests to Dr. Nathan at the Diabetes Unit, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, MA 02114. Continue reading >>

Diabetes: Short Term Problems

Diabetes: Short Term Problems

Complications Diabetes can cause other health problems. Sometimes these problems are referred to as complications (COM-pli-KAY-shuns). Short-term problems can happen at any time when you have diabetes. Long-term problems may develop when you have diabetes for a long time. In case of emergency, you should always wear a form of medical identification (ID). Examples are ID bracelets and necklaces. To reduce your risk of getting other health problems from diabetes, you need good control of your blood glucose (sugar). Good control means keeping blood glucose at certain levels. To learn more about good control and healthy blood glucose numbers, see the UPMC patient education page Diabetes: Your Management Plan. This patient education sheet tells you about short-term problems, what to do for them, and how to prevent them: Low blood glucose High blood glucose with ketones High blood glucose without ketones Low Blood Glucose Low blood glucose is also called hypoglycemia (HI-po-glice-EE-me-uh). Blood glucose numbers under 70 mean you have low blood glucose. Several things can cause low blood glucose: Too much insulin Too much sulfonylurea (SULL-fon-ilyour-EE-uh) medicine Not enough food Too much exercise Symptoms of low blood glucose include: Hunger Feeling nervous Heavy sweating Weakness Shaking (tremors) Confusion Seizures Coma If you get low blood glucose If you get low blood glucose and you are awake and able to swallow, eat or drink something with sugar. Here is a list of some suggested foods: 4 ounces of fruit juice 4 to 6 ounces of sugary (non-diet) soft drink 3 to 4 glucose tablets (or 1 tube of glucose gel) 1 cup of skim milk 6 to 7 hard candies (not sugar-free), such as Lifesavers Wait for 10 to 15 minutes. Test your blood glucose again. If your blood glucose is above 7 Continue reading >>

What Are The Complications Of Diabetes?

What Are The Complications Of Diabetes?

This section is meant to familiarize you with some of the most common diabetes-related complications and other problems. Keeping blood glucose levels as near normal as possible, along with getting regular check-ups and blood tests may help delay or prevent complications of diabetes. Eye disease* Many people with diabetes develop some form of eye disease (retinopathy), caused by damage to the network of blood vessels that supply the retina. This can damage vision or cause blindness. Retinopathy can be quite advanced before it affects vision, so it is important that people with diabetes have regular eye screenings. If caught early, treatment can prevent blindness. Oral health* There is an increased risk of inflammation of the tissue surrounding the teeth (periodontitis) in people with poor glucose control. Periodontitis is a major cause of tooth loss and is associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease. Management of periodontitis is very important in people with diabetes because good oral hygiene can prevent tooth loss and improve glucose control. Cardiovascular disease* Cardiovascular disease is the most common cause of death and disability among people with diabetes. The types that accompany diabetes include: angina (chest pain or discomfort); myocardial infarction (heart attack); stroke; peripheral artery disease (reduced blood flow to limbs); and congestive heart failure (heart weakness that leads to a build-up of fluid in the lungs and surrounding body tissues). High blood pressure, high cholesterol, and high blood glucose (all common in diabetes) are some of the factors that increase the risk of cardiovascular disease. Kidney disease* Kidney disease (nephropathy) is more common in people with diabetes. Diabetes is one of the leading causes of chronic Continue reading >>

Long-term Complications Of Diabetes

Long-term Complications Of Diabetes

The long-term or chronic effects of diabetes include significant and permanent damage to a variety of organs and tissue, but most directly the kidneys and the nerves and blood vessels that feed the eyes, limbs and gastro-intestinal tract . These effects are known as microvascular complications because the injury to these organs stems from damage to the tiny blood vessels that feed these tissues and nerves. These complications can begin to develop early in the diagnosis of diabetes but generally take years to become clinically significant. There are also non-sugar related effects of diabetes mellitus which include heart disease, stroke, and peripheral vascular disease. Having diabetes increases the risks of these medical problems substantially. These are called macrovascular complications. The likelihood that these microvascular complications will arise seem to increase with the duration and severity of the diabetes- those with very high blood sugars for many years have a much higher chance of already having or developing microvascular complications than those with mild, new-onset diabetes. Even more importantly, studies have shown that controlling high-blood sugars with diet, exercise and medication over the long-term can drastically reduce the chances of developing these complications. Kidney damage from diabetes (known as Diabetic Nephropathy) is one of the most common and worrisome microvascular complications and is the most common cause of chronic kidney failure and the need for life-long dialysis in the United States . Generally it takes up to 10-15 years for clinically significant diabetic nephropathy to occur but . By the time damage to the kidneys from diabetes is detected (usually by way of testing the protein content of the urine), there has already been some Continue reading >>

Long-term Complications Of Diabetes

Long-term Complications Of Diabetes

Reviewed by Michael Dansinger on May 02, 2012 C. Ronald Kahn, MD - President / Director, Joslin Diabetes Center; Mary K Iacocca Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School. His discoveries in insulin signals/receptors revolutionized diabetes research. Narrator: What are the long-term complications of diabetes? C. Ronald Kahn, M.D. President and Director, Joslin Diabetes Center: Well, the major long term complications of diabetes are those that involve the vascular system, particularly the small blood vessels of the eye, the kidney, and the nervous system. C. Ronald Kahn, M.D. (cont.): So you get retinopathy, that is changes in vision due to blood supply to the eye. You get changes in kidney function, and sometimes even kidney failure due to blood supply to the kidney. And you get changes in nerve function due the changes in blood supply to the nerve. As well as the large blood vessels that supply the major arteries that go to the heart, that go to the blood vessels of the limbs and so people are at risk for more heart attacks, for more amputations and for other problems like ulcers because their skin doesn't get good blood flow. C. Ronald Kahn, M.D. (cont.): These long term complications occur in both types of diabetes, both type one and type two and so we have to be attentive to both types of diabetes. Continue reading >>

Diabetes: Complications

Diabetes: Complications

People with diabetes are at risk for long-term problems affecting the eyes, kidneys, heart, brain, feet, and nerves. The best way to prevent or delay these problems is to control your blood sugar and take good care of yourself. Eyes It is recommended that people with diabetes see an eye doctor every year for a dilated eye exam. Eye problems that can occur with diabetes include: Cataracts: a clouding of the lens of the eyes. Glaucoma: increased pressure in the eye. Retinopathy: eye changes with the retina in the back of the eye. Symptoms of eye problems include Blurred vision. Spots or lines in your vision. Watery eyes. Eye discomfort. Loss of vision. If you have any changes in your vision, call your healthcare provider. Have your urine checked for protein at least once a year. Protein in the urine is a sign of kidney disease. High blood pressure might also lead to kidney disease. Your blood pressure should be checked when you see your healthcare provider. Symptoms of a kidney problem include: Swelling of the hands, feet, and face. Weight gain from edema. Itching and/or drowsiness. (This can occur with end stage kidney disease.) Prompt treatment may slow the changes with kidney disease. All people with diabetes have an increased chance for heart disease and strokes. Heart disease is the major cause of death in people with diabetes. It is important to control other risks such as high blood pressure and high fats (cholesterol), as well as blood sugar. Symptoms of a heart attack include: Feeling faint. Feeling dizzy. Sweating. Chest pain or pressure. Pain in the shoulders, jaw, and left arm. Warning signs of a stroke include: Sudden numbness or weakness in the face, arm, or leg, usually on one side of the body. Sudden nausea. Vomiting. Difficulty speaking or understanding w Continue reading >>

Diabetes: Long Term Problems

Diabetes: Long Term Problems

Complications Diabetes can cause other health problems. Sometimes these problems are referred to as complications (COM-pli-KAY-shuns). Long-term problems may develop when you have diabetes for a long time, especially when diabetes is not in good control. You can reduce your chances of developing long term problems when you keep your blood glucose, blood pressure and cholesterol levels in a good range. In case of emergency, you should always wear a form of medical identification (ID). Examples are ID bracelets and necklaces. To reduce your risk of getting other health problems from diabetes, you need good control of your blood glucose (sugar). Good control means keeping blood glucose at certain levels. To learn more about good control and healthy blood glucose numbers, see the UPMC patient education sheet Diabetes: Your Management Plan. This patient education sheet tells you about long-term problems, what to do for them, and how to prevent them. High blood glucose over a long time can lead to: Kidney damage Eye damage Nerve damage Hardening of the arteries Kidney Problems The name for kidney damage is nephropathy (nef-RAW-pith-ee). High blood glucose can damage the blood vessels in the kidneys. The damaged blood vessels cannot filter all the waste products from your blood. So some waste remains in your blood. And protein that should stay in your body leaks into the urine and leaves your body. If kidney damage continues, in time your kidneys will fail to work at all. If this happens, you will need to have dialysis (dye-AL-ih-sis). Dialysis is a process that removes the waste products from your blood. Some people may need to have a kidney transplant. Good control of blood glucose helps reduce your chance of getting kidney disease. To see if you have early kidney disease, y Continue reading >>

Long-term Complications Of Diabetes

Long-term Complications Of Diabetes

en espaolComplicaciones a largo plazo de la diabetes Many of the complications of diabetes don't show up until after many years even decades of having the disease. They usually develop silently and gradually over time, so even if people with diabetes aren't having any signs of complications, they may still eventually develop them. Talking or thinking about long-term complications can be scary. And it can be hard for anyone to make changes in how they live today to decrease the risk of health problems that may not show up for decades. But it's important to start now. Managing your diabetes by eating right, getting regular exercise, and taking your medicine as directed by your diabetes health care team is the best way to reduce the risk of developing complications. You may have wondered why doctors talk so much about keeping blood sugar levels in a healthy range. Here's why: Long-term diabetes problems or complications are often linked to higher blood sugar levels over a long period of time. These complications can affect several different parts of the body. But blood sugar control isn't the only thing that determines a person's risk for diabetes complications. Other factors, like genes, can also play a role. Parts of the body that can be most affected by diabetes complications are the: People with diabetes have a greater risk of developing eye problems, including: Cataracts: A cataract is a thickening and clouding of the lens of the eye. The lens is the part of the eye that helps you focus on what you see. Cataracts can make a person's vision blurry or make it hard to see at night. Doctors think that people with diabetes are more likely to develop cataracts if they have high blood sugar levels over a long period of time. If cataracts get in the way of seeing properly, a Continue reading >>

Diabetes - Long-term Effects

Diabetes - Long-term Effects

On this page: Diabetes is a condition in which there is too much glucose (a type of sugar) in the blood. Over time, high blood glucose levels can damage the body's organs. Possible complications include damage to large (macrovascular) and small (microvascular) blood vessels, which can lead to heart attack, stroke, and problems with the kidneys, eyes, gums, feet and nerves. Reducing risk of diabetes complications The good news is that the risk of most diabetes-related complications can be reduced by keeping blood pressure, blood glucose and cholesterol levels within recommended range. Also, being a healthy weight, eating healthily, reducing alcohol intake, and not smoking will help reduce your risk. Regular check-ups and screening are important to pick up any problems early Diabetes and healthy eating If you have diabetes it’s important to include a wide variety of nutritious and healthy foods in your diet, and to avoid snacking on sugary foods. Eating healthy foods can help control your blood glucose and cholesterol levels, and your blood pressure. Enjoy a variety of foods from each food group – be sure to include foods high in fibre and low in fat, and reduce your salt intake. It’s helpful to consult with a dietitian to review your current eating plan and provide a guide about food choices and food quantities. Alcohol intake and diabetes Limit alcohol intake. If you drink alcohol, have no more than two standard drinks per day. If you are pregnant or considering pregnancy or are breastfeeding, then zero alcohol intake is recommended. Diabetes and healthy weight If you are overweight, even losing a small amount of weight, especially round the abdomen, helps lower your blood pressure, blood glucose and cholesterol levels. It can be daunting trying to lose weight, so Continue reading >>

Long-term Complications Of Diabetes

Long-term Complications Of Diabetes

It is important to keep your blood sugar, blood pressure, and cholesterol in a healthy range. You should learn these basic steps for managing diabetes and staying as healthy as possible. Steps may include: A healthy diet Exercise Medicines You may need to check your blood sugar daily or more often. Your health care provider will also help you by ordering blood tests and other tests. All these may help you keep complications of diabetes away. You will need to check your blood sugar level at home. You will use a special device called a glucose meter to test your blood sugar. Your provider will let you know if you need to check it every day and how many times each day. Your provider will also tell you what blood sugar numbers you are trying to achieve. This is called managing your blood sugar. These goals will be set for different times during the day. To prevent heart disease and stroke, you may be asked to take medicine and change your diet and activity: Your provider may ask you to take a medicine called an ACE inhibitor or a different medicine called an ARB, for high blood pressure or kidney problems. Your provider may ask you to take a medicine called a statin to keep your cholesterol down. Your provider may ask you to take aspirin to prevent heart attacks. Ask your provider if aspirin is right for you. Regular exercise is good for people with diabetes. Talk to your provider first about what exercises are best for you and how much exercise you should do every day. DO NOT smoke. Smoking makes diabetes complications worse. If you do smoke, work with your provider to find a way to quit. To keep your feet healthy, you should: Get a foot exam by your provider at least every 6 to 12 months and learn whether you have nerve damage. Make sure you are wearing the right kinds of Continue reading >>

Type 1 Diabetes Complications

Type 1 Diabetes Complications

Type 1 diabetes is complicated—and if you don’t manage it properly, there are complications, both short-term and long-term. “If you don’t manage it properly” is an important if statement: by carefully managing your blood glucose levels, you can stave off or prevent the short- and long-term complications. And if you’ve already developed diabetes complications, controlling your blood glucose levels can help you manage the symptoms and prevent further damage. Diabetes complications are all related to poor blood glucose control, so you must work carefully with your doctor and diabetes team to correctly manage your blood sugar (or your child’s blood sugar). Short-term Diabetes Complications Hypoglycemia: Hypoglycemia is low blood glucose (blood sugar). It develops when there’s too much insulin—meaning that you’ve taken (or given your child) too much insulin or that you haven’t properly planned insulin around meals or exercise. Other possible causes of hypoglycemia include certain medications (aspirin, for example, lowers the blood glucose level if you take a dose of more than 81mg) and alcohol (alcohol keeps the liver from releasing glucose). There are three levels of hypoglycemia, depending on how low the blood glucose level has dropped: mild, moderate, and severe. If you treat hypoglycemia when it’s in the mild or moderate stages, then you can prevent far more serious problems; severe hypoglycemia can cause a coma and even death (although very, very rarely). The signs and symptoms of low blood glucose are usually easy to recognize: Rapid heartbeat Sweating Paleness of skin Anxiety Numbness in fingers, toes, and lips Sleepiness Confusion Headache Slurred speech For more information about hypoglycemia and how to treat it, please read our article on hy Continue reading >>

Type 2 Diabetes Complications

Type 2 Diabetes Complications

With type 2 diabetes (also called type 2 diabetes mellitus), if you don’t work hard to keep your blood glucose level under control, there are short- and long-term complications to contend with. However, by watching the amount and types of food you eat (your meal plan), exercising, and taking any necessary medications, you may be able to prevent these complications. And even if you have some of the long-term, more serious complications discussed below when you’re first diagnosed, getting tight control of your blood glucose will help prevent the complications from becoming worse. (It is possible with type 2 diabetes to already have some of these complications when you’re first diagnosed. That’s because type 2 develops gradually, and you may not realize that you have high blood glucose for quite some time. Over time, high blood glucose can cause serious damage. You can learn more about that in this article on the symptoms of type 2 diabetes.) Short-term Diabetes Complications Hypoglycemia is low blood glucose (blood sugar). It is possible for your blood glucose to drop, especially if you’re taking insulin or a sulfonylurea drug (those make your body produce insulin throughout the day). With these medications, if you eat less than usual or were more active, your blood glucose may dip too much. Other possible causes of hypoglycemia include certain medications (aspirin, for example, lowers the blood glucose level if you take a dose of more than 81mg) and too much alcohol (alcohol keeps the liver from releasing glucose). Rapid heartbeat Sweating Whiteness of skin Anxiety Numbness in fingers, toes, and lips Sleepiness Confusion Headache Slurred speech Mild cases of hypoglycemia can be treated by drinking orange juice or eating a glucose tablet—those will quickly rai Continue reading >>

Short-term Complications Of Diabetes

Short-term Complications Of Diabetes

The short-term or acute effects of high blood sugars (hyperglycemia) vary from mild to severe. Generally sugars that are mildly elevated (<200 ng/dl) may go unnoticed for years. At these levels, symptoms may be very subtle or may not be present at all. Some of the first symptoms that those with diabetes mellitus notice are increased thirst, increased urination and weight loss. This primarily comes from an inability of the kidneys to filter and hold on to the extra sugar that is in the blood. When this happens, the excess sugar is released into the urine where osmosis then draws water from the blood into the urine as well. This can cause mild and occasionally severe dehydration. Additionally, over time the excretion of large amounts of sugars in the urine, which leave the body as unused calories, can cause significant unhealthy weight loss. In addition, high blood sugars may acutely cause fatigue, nausea, blurry vision and headaches. Let the endocrinologists at Houston Thyroid and Endocrine Specialists help guide you through the complications of diabetes mellitus. High blood sugars appear to weaken the immune system and make diabetics predisposed to developing infections. Neutrophils as well as other several other immune responses, which are an important part of the immune system defense against bacterial and fungal infections, have been shown to function poorly when blood sugars are elevated. Several other factors which contribute to higher infection rates in diabetics include poor circulation, skin colonization of pathogens (organisms that causes infections) and a weakened nervous system. Common infections among diabetics are skin/foot infections, fungal infections and urinary tract infections. In addition to making the development of infections more likely, high blood Continue reading >>

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