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What Is A Complication Of Diabetes?

About Diabetes

About Diabetes

Complications of diabetes Diabetes complications are divided into microvascular (due to damage to small blood vessels) and macrovascular (due to damage to larger blood vessels). Microvascular complications include damage to eyes (retinopathy) leading to blindness, to kidneys (nephropathy) leading to renal failure and to nerves (neuropathy) leading to impotence and diabetic foot disorders (which include severe infections leading to amputation). Macrovascular complications include cardiovascular diseases such as heart attacks, strokes and insufficiency in blood flow to legs. There is evidence from large randomized-controlled trials that good metabolic control in both type 1 and 2 diabetes can delay the onset and progression of these complications. Diabetic retinopathy (eye disease) Etiology Diabetic retinopathy is a leading cause of blindness and visual disability. It is caused by small blood vessel damage to the back layer of the eye, the retina, leading to progressive loss of vision, even blindness. Symptoms Usually the patient complains of blurred vision, although other visual symptoms may also be present. Diagnosis Diagnosis of early changes in the blood vessels of the retina can be made through regular eye examinations. Treatment Good metabolic control can delay the onset and progression of diabetic retinopathy. As well, early detection and treatment of vision-threatening retinopathy can prevent or delay blindness. This involves regular eye examinations and timely intervention Nephropathy (kidney disease) Etiology Diabetic kidney disease is also caused by damage to small blood vessels in the kidneys. This can cause kidney failure, and eventually lead to death. In developed countries, this is a leading cause of dialysis and kidney transplant. Symptoms Patients usually Continue reading >>

Symptoms

Symptoms

Print Overview Diabetes mellitus refers to a group of diseases that affect how your body uses blood sugar (glucose). Glucose is vital to your health because it's an important source of energy for the cells that make up your muscles and tissues. It's also your brain's main source of fuel. If you have diabetes, no matter what type, it means you have too much glucose in your blood, although the causes may differ. Too much glucose can lead to serious health problems. Chronic diabetes conditions include type 1 diabetes and type 2 diabetes. Potentially reversible diabetes conditions include prediabetes — when your blood sugar levels are higher than normal, but not high enough to be classified as diabetes — and gestational diabetes, which occurs during pregnancy but may resolve after the baby is delivered. Diabetes symptoms vary depending on how much your blood sugar is elevated. Some people, especially those with prediabetes or type 2 diabetes, may not experience symptoms initially. In type 1 diabetes, symptoms tend to come on quickly and be more severe. Some of the signs and symptoms of type 1 and type 2 diabetes are: Increased thirst Frequent urination Extreme hunger Unexplained weight loss Presence of ketones in the urine (ketones are a byproduct of the breakdown of muscle and fat that happens when there's not enough available insulin) Fatigue Irritability Blurred vision Slow-healing sores Frequent infections, such as gums or skin infections and vaginal infections Although type 1 diabetes can develop at any age, it typically appears during childhood or adolescence. Type 2 diabetes, the more common type, can develop at any age, though it's more common in people older than 40. When to see a doctor If you suspect you or your child may have diabetes. If you notice any poss Continue reading >>

Putting The Brakes On Diabetes Complications

Putting The Brakes On Diabetes Complications

Encouraging news: People with diabetes are living longer, healthier lives with fewer complications. What’s the driving force? Greater awareness and better control of risk factors are moving the needle. We’ve come a long way in reducing the impact of diabetes on people’s lives. In the last 20 years, rates of several major complications have decreased among US adults with diabetes. The greatest declines were for two leading causes of death: heart attack and stroke. (People with diabetes are at higher risk for heart disease, and they may get it more severely and at a younger age than people who don’t have diabetes.) This is meaningful progress. It’s important to note that during that same 20 years, the number of adults diagnosed with diabetes has more than tripled as the American population has aged. Diabetes complications still take a heavy toll on the health of millions of people and on our health care system. Why Complications Are So … Complicated Diabetes complications often share the same risk factors, and one complication can make other complications worse. For example, many people with diabetes also have high blood pressure, which in turn worsens eye and kidney diseases. Diabetes tends to lower HDL (“good”) cholesterol and raise triglycerides and LDL (“bad”) cholesterol, which increases the risk for heart disease and stroke. Smoking doubles the risk of heart disease in people with diabetes. Take a closer look at these major diabetes complications: Heart disease and stroke: People with diabetes are twice as likely to have heart disease or a stroke as people without diabetes. Blindness and other eye problems: Diabetic retinopathy[327 KB] (damage to blood vessels in the retina), cataract (clouding of the lens), and glaucoma (increase in fluid pressu Continue reading >>

Diabetes Complications

Diabetes Complications

Complications caused by diabetes People with diabetes must routinely monitor and regulate their blood sugar. No matter how careful you may be, there’s still a possibility that a problem might arise. There are two types of complications you may experience: acute and chronic. Acute complications require emergency care. Examples include hypoglycemia and ketoacidosis. If left untreated, these conditions can cause: seizures loss of consciousness death Chronic complications occur when diabetes isn’t managed properly. Diabetes causes high blood sugar levels. If not controlled well over time, high blood sugar levels can damage various organs, including the: eyes kidneys heart skin Unmanaged diabetes can also cause nerve damage. People with diabetes can experience sudden drops in their blood sugar. Skipping a meal or taking too much insulin or other medications that increase insulin levels in the body are common causes. People who are on other diabetes medications that do not increase insulin levels are not at risk for hypoglycemia. Symptoms can include: blurry vision rapid heartbeat headache shaking dizziness If your blood sugar gets too low, you can experience fainting, seizures, or coma. This is a complication of diabetes that occurs when your body cannot use sugar, or glucose, as a fuel source because your body has no insulin or not enough insulin. If your cells are starved for energy, your body begins to break down fat. Potentially toxic acids called ketone bodies, which are byproducts of fat breakdown, build up in the body. This can lead to: dehydration abdominal pain breathing problems Diabetes can damage blood vessels in the eyes and cause various problems. Possible eye conditions may include: Cataracts Cataracts are two to five times more likely to develop in people 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 >>

Complications Of Diabetes Mellitus

Complications Of Diabetes Mellitus

The complications of diabetes mellitus are far less common and less severe in people who have well-controlled blood sugar levels. Acute complications include hypoglycemia and hyperglycemia, diabetic coma and nonketotic hyperosmolar coma. Chronic complications occur due to a mix of microangiopathy, macrovascular disease and immune dysfunction in the form of autoimmune disease or poor immune response, most of which are difficult to manage. Microangiopathy can affect all vital organs, kidneys, heart and brain, as well as eyes, nerves, lungs and locally gums and feet. Macrovascular problems can lead to cardiovascular disease including erectile dysfunction. Female infertility may be due to endocrine dysfunction with impaired signalling on a molecular level. Other health problems compound the chronic complications of diabetes such as smoking, obesity, high blood pressure, elevated cholesterol levels, and lack of regular exercise which are accessible to management as they are modifiable. Non-modifiable risk factors of diabetic complications are type of diabetes, age of onset, and genetic factors, both protective and predisposing have been found. Overview[edit] Complications of diabetes mellitus are acute and chronic. Risk factors for them can be modifiable or not modifiable. Overall, complications are far less common and less severe in people with well-controlled blood sugar levels.[1][2][3] However, (non-modifiable) risk factors such as age at diabetes onset, type of diabetes, gender and genetics play a role. Some genes appear to provide protection against diabetic complications, as seen in a subset of long-term diabetes type 1 survivors without complications .[4][5] Statistics[edit] As of 2010, there were about 675,000 diabetes-related emergency department (ED) visits in the Continue reading >>

Diabetes Complications

Diabetes Complications

If you have diabetes, your blood glucose, or blood sugar, levels are too high. Over time, this can cause problems with other body functions, such as your kidneys, nerves, feet, and eyes. Having diabetes can also put you at a higher risk for heart disease and bone and joint disorders. Other long-term complications of diabetes include skin problems, digestive problems, sexual dysfunction, and problems with your teeth and gums. Very high or very low blood sugar levels can also lead to emergencies in people with diabetes. The cause can be an underlying infection, certain medicines, or even the medicines you take to control your diabetes. If you feel nauseated, sluggish or shaky, seek emergency care. NIH: National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases Continue reading >>

Diabetes: Preventing Complications

Diabetes: Preventing Complications

Diabetes complications can be divided into two types: acute (sudden) and chronic (long-term). This article discusses these complications and strategies to prevent the complications from occurring in the first place. Acute complications Diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) Hyperglycemic hyperosmolar non-ketotic syndrome (HHNS) Acute complications of diabetes can occur at any time in the course of the disease. Chronic complications Cardiovascular: Heart disease, peripheral vascular disease, stroke Eye: Diabetic retinopathy, cataracts, glaucoma Nerve damage: Neuropathy Kidney damage: Nephropathy Chronic complications are responsible for most illness and death associated with diabetes. Chronic complications usually appear after several years of elevated blood sugars (hyperglycemia). Since patients with Type 2 diabetes may have elevated blood sugars for several years before being diagnosed, these patients may have signs of complications at the time of diagnosis. Basic principles of prevention of diabetes complications: Take your medications (pills and/or insulin) as prescribed by your doctor. Monitor your blood sugars closely. Follow a sensible diet. Do not skip meals. Exercise regularly. See your doctor regularly to monitor for complications. Results from untreated hyperglycemia. Blood sugars typically range from 300 to 600. Occurs mostly in patients with Type 1 diabetes (uncommon in Type 2). Occurs due to a lack of insulin. Body breaks down its own fat for energy, and ketones appear in the urine and blood. Develops over several hours. Can cause coma and even death. Typically requires hospitalization. Nausea, vomiting Abdominal pain Drowsiness, lethargy (fatigue) Deep, rapid breathing Increased thirst Fruity-smelling breath Dehydration Inadequate insulin administration (not getting Continue reading >>

Complications Of Diabetes

Complications Of Diabetes

Over time persistent high blood glucose levels (BGLs) can damage the body's organs. This damage is referred to as 'diabetes-related complications'. While these complications are serious and can be life-threatening, with appropriate lifestyle changes and attention to blood glucose control, people with diabetes can greatly reduce the risk of these complications. Heart disease and stroke People with diabetes are at increased risk of heart disease and stroke due to raised BGLs, in association with high blood pressure and cholesterol. You should discuss your individual risk factors and how to reduce them with your doctor or diabetes educator. In general terms, the risk of heart disease in diabetes can be reduced by: losing weight if you are overweight managing blood fats managing high blood pressure taking medication as prescribed. For more information speak to your doctor or specialist or contact the Australian Diabetes Council Customer Care Line on 1300 DIABETES or 1300 342 238 and ask to speak to a Diabetes Educator. High Blood Pressure As well as being a risk factor for developing diabetes, high blood pressure can also be a complication of diabetes. Diabetes changes the body chemistry to increase the risk of high blood pressure. As having high blood pressure in diabetes further increases the risk of other complications of diabetes, it is important that it is adequately monitored and, if necessary, controlled. You should get your blood pressure checked every time you go to the doctor, and at least: every 6 months for people with normal blood pressure 3 months for people with high blood pressure every 4-8 weeks if your blood pressure medication is being changed. Skin Damage to the small blood vessels and nerves common in people with diabetes can cause very dry skin. This c 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

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 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 >>

International Diabetes Federation - Complications

International Diabetes Federation - Complications

People with diabetes have an increased risk of developing a number of serious health problems. Consistently high blood glucose levels can lead to serious diseases affecting the heart and blood vessels, eyes, kidneys, nerves and teeth. In addition, people with diabetes also have a higher risk of developing infections. In almost all high-income countries, diabetes is a leading cause of cardiovascular disease, blindness, kidney failure, and lower limb amputation. Maintaining blood glucose levels, blood pressure, and cholesterol at or close to normal can help delay or prevent diabetes complications. Therefore people with diabetes need regular monitoring. Cardiovascular disease: affects the heart and blood vessels and may cause fatal complications such as coronary artery disease (leading to heart attack) and stroke. Cardiovascular disease is the most common cause of death in people with diabetes. High blood pressure, high cholesterol, high blood glucose and other risk factors contribute to increasing the risk of cardiovascular complications. Learn more about diabetes and CVD . Kidney disease (diabetic nephropathy): caused by damage to small blood vessels in the kidneys leading to the kidneys becoming less efficient or to fail altogether. Kidney disease is much more common in people with diabetes than in those without diabetes. Maintaining near normal levels of blood glucose and blood pressure can greatly reduce the risk of kidney disease. Nerve disease (diabetic neuropathy): diabetes can cause damage to the nerves throughout the body when blood glucose and blood pressure are too high. This can lead to problems with digestion, erectile dysfunction, and many other functions. Among the most commonly affected areas are the extremities, in particular the feet. Nerve damage in th Continue reading >>

Avoiding Complications Of Diabetes

Avoiding Complications Of Diabetes

It can take work to get your diabetes under control, but the results are worth it. If you don't make the effort to get a handle on it, you could set yourself up for a host of complications. Diabetes can take a toll on nearly every organ in your body, including the: Heart and blood vessels Eyes Kidneys Nerves Gastrointestinal tract Gums and teeth Heart and Blood Vessels Heart disease and blood vessel disease are common problems for many people who don’t have their diabetes under control. You're at least twice as likely to have heart problems and strokes as people who don’t have the condition. Blood vessel damage or nerve damage may also cause foot problems that, in rare cases, can lead to amputations. People with diabetes are ten times likelier to have their toes and feet removed than those without the disease. Symptoms: You might not notice warning signs until you have a heart attack or stroke. Problems with large blood vessels in your legs can cause leg cramps, changes in skin color, and less sensation. The good news: Many studies show that controlling your diabetes can help you avoid these problems, or stop them from getting worse if you have them. Diabetes is the leading cause of new vision loss among adults ages 20 to 74 in the U.S. It can lead to eye problems, some of which can cause blindness if not treated: Glaucoma Cataracts Diabetic retinopathy, which involves the small blood vessels in your eyes Symptoms: Vision problems or sudden vision loss. The good news: Studies show that regular eye exams and timely treatment of these kinds of problems could prevent up to 90% of diabetes-related blindness. *CGM-based treatment requires fingersticks for calibration, if patient is taking acetaminophen, or if symptoms/expectations do not match CGM readings, and if not pe Continue reading >>

Patient Education: Preventing Complications In Diabetes Mellitus (beyond The Basics)

Patient Education: Preventing Complications In Diabetes Mellitus (beyond The Basics)

DIABETES OVERVIEW Diabetes mellitus is a chronic condition that can lead to complications over time. These complications can include: Coronary heart disease, which can lead to a heart attack Cerebrovascular disease, which can lead to stroke Retinopathy (disease of the eye), which can lead to blindness Nephropathy (disease of the kidney), which can lead to kidney failure and the need for dialysis Neuropathy (disease of the nerves), which can lead to, among other things, ulceration of the foot requiring amputation (see "Patient education: Diabetic neuropathy (Beyond the Basics)") Many of these complications produce no symptoms in the early stages, and most can be prevented or minimized with a combination of regular medical care and blood sugar monitoring. CARDIOVASCULAR COMPLICATIONS IN DIABETES A number of measures are important to reduce the risk of cardiovascular (heart and blood vessel) disease. Quit smoking. Manage high blood pressure with lifestyle modifications and/or medication(s). Have a blood test to measure cholesterol and triglyceride levels, and modify the diet if needed. Some people will also need a medication to lower their low-density lipoprotein (LDL) ("bad cholesterol") or triglycerides. If medication is needed, a statin drug should be included whenever possible. The statin drugs have been shown to decrease the future risk of heart attacks, strokes, and death in people with diabetes who are over age 40 years, even when cholesterol levels are normal. The initiation of statins should be based upon cardiovascular risk rather than an LDL cholesterol level. Statins are recommended for anyone with clinical cardiovascular disease or over age 40 years, regardless of baseline lipid levels. For patients without clinical cardiovascular disease and under age 40 year Continue reading >>

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