Are You Aware Of Long-term Complications Of Diabetes?

Diabetes mellitus is one of the most common endocrine disorder that affects people of all age group. It is caused by inadequate insulin secretion, impaired insulin action or both. Risk of the complications of diabetes increases with the duration of the disease, family history, high blood pressure and some lifestyle factors as well such as smoking.  It is a chronic disease and over time it can lead to serious problems with the blood vessels, heart, nerves, kidneys, eyes, and feet. Diabetes and its complications impose significant consequences on the individual and the family.

1. Retinopathy

Retinopathy is one of the major complications of diabetes which affects the vision. The tiny blood vessels that supply blood to the retina are affected by the high sugar level and causes vision impairment. The retina is the light sensitive tissue, it detects light and converts it into a signal to send it to the brain. The duration of diabetes is the strongest factor that predicts the development and progression of retinopathy. The risk of retinopathy increases with an increased duration. Diabetic retinopathy can also lead to diabetic edema macula which is a serious disease in which the macula which is the area in the retina swells up. In the most advanced stage, new abnormal blood vessels grow on the surface of the retina and can lead to the loss of retina.

Also Read: 5 Diseases Associated With The Circulatory System

2. Vascular damage

Diabetes and vascular diseases are closely linked and people who are diabetic are at a higher risk of suffering from coronary heart disease, stroke, atherosclerosis and many more. The high glucose level in the body causes the arteries to narrow and it also causes blockages in the blood vessels and increases the chances of heart attack and stroke. Diabetes can also lead to large vessel narrowing in the penis which causes impotence or erectile dysfunction. If the narrowing occurs in the legs, it leads to the development of problems related to blood circulation. A diabetic patient also experiences fluctuations in the blood pressure.

3. Thyroid disorder

An increased amount of research has shown that diabetes and thyroid disorder influence each other and there is an association between the two. Thyroid hormones contribute to regulates the carbohydrates metabolism and the functioning of the pancreas and diabetes affects the thyroid function to the great extent. Uncontrolled glucose level throws a major impact on the functioning of the thyroid gland. The thyroid gland is located in the neck and it secretes thyroid hormones that influence the metabolic rate.

4. Skin disorders

Diabetes affects every part of the body and its effects can also be seen on the skin. Diabetes is a major cause of many skin diseases. Though not not skin diseases occur due to diabetes but too much sugar in the body is said to be the main causes of some skin problems such as bullosis diabeticorum, necrobiosis lipoidica, acanthosis nigricans etc.. Bullosis diabeticorum is also known as diabetic bulla and it is one of the most common skin diseases that occur in diabetic patients. It causes non-inflammatory blisters on the skin which are usually painless and contains clear fluid. Necrobiosis lipoidica is another skin disease that occurs in people suffering from diabetes. It is also known as necrobiosis lipoidica diabeticorum and it is characterized as a yellowish color at the center of an affected area and the area surrounded by it is the dark pink in color.

5. Neuropathy

Diabetes can cause an adverse effect on the nervous system and when the parts of the nervous system are affected due to diabetes, it is known as diabetic neuropathy. It can affect both the somatic and the autonomic nervous system. It has been noticed that the quality of life is impaired in those who suffer from sensorimotor diabetic neuropathy. Sensory diabetic neuropathy includes all the neuropathic manifestations except diabetic autonomic neuropathy. It also increases the risk of diabetic foot syndrome. Diabetic neuropathy is of four types and the symptoms of this disease depend on the type of diabetic neuropathy.

6. Nephropathy

Diabetes is a most frequent cause of kidney failure and when the kidneys are affected due to the high sugar level in the blood, it is known as diabetic nephropathy. Diabetic nephropathy is increasing every year and it is one of the most common complications in the diabetic patients. It is characterized by the thickening of the glomerular basement membrane. Thickening starts after the renal damage and it leads to the pathogenic modifications in the mesangial and vascular cells. It also interrupts with the functioning of many functions of the body such as it can affect the nerve that signals the brain about the occurrence of some events and when the message fails, it affects the kidney.


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