Complications of Diabetes
Diabetes management can be a pain in every sense of the word, but failing to manage your disease properly can make things much, much worse. Uncontrolled high blood glucose is toxic to your body. Eventually, blood vessels weaken, organs and tissues will start to suffer, and nerves might start to misfire.
The symptoms could be minimal at first, but as your body tries to defend against and deal with the extra sugar, it will begin to malfunction in predictable ways. From skin infections to nerve damage and organ failure, learn about diabetes-specific complications, how they manifest, and what you can do to prevent them.
1. Diabetic Retinopathy
As diabetes advances, the blood vessels in the retina (at the back of the eye) can begin to thicken and grow abnormally. This is the most common eye complication that diabetes brings, and it typically starts with few or no symptoms, then gradually begins to interfere with vision. Any diabetic who fails to control their blood sugar over a long period of time – usually more than 20 years – could develop retinopathy, but those who also have high blood pressure or smoke are at a greater risk.
Include regular eye exams in your diabetes management plan, and don’t ignore any pain in your eyes or blurred vision. The good news is that if it’s caught early, retinopathy could be reversed; unfortunately, it can lead to hemorrhage and blindness if left untreated.