When you have diabetes, you are living with too much glucose in your blood. This condition can lead to serious health problems. Not all diabetics will develop health complications, and most of the long-term complications do develop gradually. Nevertheless, the longer you live with diabetes, and the less time you spend working to get your blood sugar under control, the greater the risk that you will develop serious obstacles to good health. Here are just seven of the most common complications of diabetes.
Heart disease is a major health issue that is dramatically increased for diabetes sufferers. Cardiovascular health problems for diabetics can include heart attack, stroke, narrowing of the arteries, and coronary artery disease.
A chronic condition caused by a decreased blood supply to the nerves, neuropathy is a common side effect of diabetes. Excess sugar in the blood can injure your blood vessels, leading to the telltale signs of neuropathy: numbness, tingling, pain, burning, and, in the most serious cases, total loss of feeling.
Neuropathy contributes to nerve damage in the feet, and the inflammation in the blood vessels contributes to poor blood flow. These issues increase the possibility of diabetics developing foot complications. The smallest cuts or blisters can turn into serious infections if left untreated. Even when properly tended to, foot problems may not heal well, can become chronic, and could lead to amputation of the toes, foot, or leg.
Also known as diabetic retinopathy, eye damage caused by diabetes occurs because the blood vessels of the retina become damaged. This condition could develop into blindness. Other serious eye conditions can also occur, including glaucoma and cataracts.
Diabetes can damage your kidneys, the organs that are home to millions of clusters of blood vessels. These clusters filter waste from your blood, but diabetes is capable of negatively impacting this fragile filtering system. If the damage is severe enough, diabetics can go into kidney failure or experience end-stage kidney disease. Both conditions could require dialysis or even a kidney transplant.
Many people mistakenly believe that excess weight is what causes diabetes. Certainly, being overweight does not help with the prevention of diabetes, but the development of diabetes can actually make you gain weight. Because diabetes is, essentially, a skewed hormone issue, your body has trained itself to store fat rather than burn it.
An often-overlooked but incredibly serious complication of diabetes are the side effects that develop from diabetes medications. Some diabetes meds create more health problems, and the things that are supposed to be “helping” you end up doing you no good. Diabetes meds can lead to a greater resistance to insulin, weight gain, gastrointestinal problems, high cholesterol, swelling, Alzheimer’s disease, and all the above-listed complications.
Don’t Just Live with Diabetes: Reverse It
Diabetes travels through your body and can damage everything it touches along the way. Some diabetes complications can be disabling or life-threatening. Diabetes therapy focuses on altering the things you can truly control to help reverse your diabetes diagnosis. You can change your environment, lifestyle, and habits. Understanding how your hormones work and how your body processes the fuel you feed it are the first steps to conquering your diabetes diagnosis.
Don’t live with diabetes. Destroy your diagnosis with the support of the functional medicine team at the Restorative Wellness Center in Ann Arbor. Contact us today to schedule your consultation. Say goodbye to all the pain and discomfort – get on the road to a healthier, happier life.