Because diabetes is a disease that affects the blood, many people are unaware that its complications are not limited to such blood-related issues as hypoglycemia (low blood sugar). The blood nourishes every cell of the body, and therefore diabetes can disrupt the proper functioning of virtually
In honor of World Diabetes Day, which takes place every November 14, let’s take a look at the most common complications associated with this disease.
1. Heart disease and stroke
An adult diabetic is nearly twice as likely to die of heart disease or stroke as a nondiabetic. The reason for this is that over time, the excessively high blood sugar levels associated with diabetes damage blood vessels and nerves, including the blood vessels of the heart and the nerves that control it. The longer person has diabetes — and the longer the diabetes is out of control — the higher the chances of heart disease.
2. Foot problems
In addition to causing nerve damage (known as diabetic neuropathy), diabetes also reduces circulation. Reduced blood flow, particularly to the feet, means that infections take longer to heal. In some cases, infections do not heal it all, leading to gangrene. This can have severe consequences: Diabetes is the leading cause of lower limb amputation.
3. Kidney disease
Diabetes is the leading cause of kidney disease, and accounts for approximately 60% of all cases of kidney failure. Kidney disease affects approximately 24% of adult diabetics.
4. Eye problems
If blood sugar levels are too high, they can cause swelling in the eyes, causing blurred vision. Although frightening, this issue resolves itself as soon as blood sugar levels return to normal. If blood sugar levels remain high, however, it can lead to more serious, long-term complications, such as glaucoma, cataracts, and diabetic retinopathy, the most common cause of vision loss in diabetics.
While these complications are frightening, there is good reason for hope. By keeping blood sugar levels under control, much of the damage associated with diabetes can be avoided. In addition, since both smoking and diabetes affects circulation, diabetics who smoke can improve their health dramatically if they quit smoking.
Diabetes affects 25% of the over-65 population. At Tower Lodge Care Center, in Wall, NJ, we specialize in geriatric care, and specialize in managing — and even preventing — this dangerous disease. We pride ourselves in our restorative approach to care, maximizing each resident’s ability to maintain function and enjoy life.
Better yet, contact us, at 732-681-1400, or by clicking here to schedule a tour.