Diabetes puts you at risk for a whole host of health complications, especially if your blood glucose levels are not well managed. From vision problems to impotence, diabetes affects almost every part of the body. Take this quiz and learn about some of the health complications related to diabetes.
Approximately 12,000 to 24,000 Americans are affected by diabetes-related blindness each year. Diabetes blindness is preventable by good diabetes management and regular ophthalmologist visits.
Damage to the nerves and the hardening of arteries due to poorly managed diabetes can lead to a variety of health complications, such as poor blood circulation and sensation in the feet, and digestive problems leading to diarrhea, vomiting and nausea.
Ketoacidosis occurs when your insulin is too low, which results in very high blood glucose levels. This makes your blood acidic. This severe condition can lead to a whole host of serious medical complications.
Nephropathy, or kidney disease, can result as a complication of diabetes. Nephropathy can lead to kidney failure and heart disease.
People with diabetes are at increased risk of depression. Poorly managed diabetes can also mimic symptoms commonly experienced when depressed, such as fatigue and sleep disturbance.
Erectile dysfunction can result from many different health complications. Nerve damage due to diabetes, or diabetic neuropathy, has been shown to lead to erectile dysfunction.
Sildenafil, more commonly known as Viagra, can successfully treat erectile dysfunction due to diabetic neuropathy. People with diabetes, however, should use Viagra with great caution, as it can complicate cardiac issues.
Diabetic neuropathy can be controlled or prevented with tight management of your blood glucose levels. Older men and men who have chronically high blood glucose levels are at increased risk of erectile dysfunction due to diabetic neuropathy.
One of the early signs of nerve damage is decreased sensation in your fingers and toes. The damage, if left untreated, progresses upwards from your extremities.
The autonomic nervous system controls your heart rate, blood pressure, and digestion, to name a few. Symptoms such as dizziness, vomiting and constipation are related to nerve damage of the autonomic nervous system.
Adhesive capsulitis, also known as frozen shoulder, can result when you cease using your shoulder due to injury.
It is generally held that people with diabetes have increased glucose molecules that attach to collagen. This results in abnormal collagen deposits in the cartilage and tendons of the shoulder, leading to a frozen shoulder.
Approximately 20 percent of people with diabetes are affected by frozen shoulder. Only 5 percent of people without diabetes are affected by the same condition.
Women are more likely to experience frozen shoulder. This condition also tends to occur between the ages of 40 and 60.
Frozen shoulder, left untreated, can last for a very long time, between eight and 17 months. In some cases, frozen shoulder can last for years.
Most doctors will prescribe pain relief medication for frozen shoulder that is in the early stage. Some doctors, however, recommend a more aggressive treatment by providing shoulder exercises.
Hyperosmolar hyperglycemic nonketotic syndrome, a serious diabetes health complication, occurs more frequently in older people. It also occurs more frequently in people with type 2 diabetes compared to people with type 1 diabetes.
In the early stages of hyperosmolar hyperglycemic nonketotic syndrome, your blood sugar levels are elevated and your body tries to lower these levels with excessive urination.
This syndrome results in excessive thirst and urination that does not relent. Your urine may turn dark in color. If this syndrome continues without treatment, it can lead to severe dehydration, which can cause seizures, coma and even death.
Seek immediate medical attention if you show any of the signs of this syndrome including: a blood glucose level over 600 mg/dL, extreme thirst, dry skin that does not sweat, high fever, sleepiness, confusion, loss of vision, hallucinations and weakness on one side of the body.