8 Major Complications Of Diabetes With Effective Prevention Tips!

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Published on: 22-Feb-2024

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8 Major Complications Of Diabetes With Effective Prevention Tips!

8 Major Complications Of Diabetes With Effective Prevention Tips!

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Living with diabetes involves more than managing blood sugar levels, it requires a patient-centric approach to reduce the complications of diabetes that can impact overall health. Diabetes mellitus, a chronic metabolic disorder, poses a significant risk due to its potential to give rise to both chronic and acute complications. 

Understand that long-term complications of diabetes mellitus are a chronic metabolic disorder caused by elevated blood glucose levels resulting from either insufficient insulin production or the body's inability to effectively utilise insulin. While diabetes management focuses on maintaining blood sugar levels within a target range, people with diabetes face the risk of developing major complications that can significantly impact their health.

This is why these complications are categorised into chronic and acute complications, each presenting unique challenges for patients. Effectively preventing and managing these complications is crucial to enhancing the quality of life for individuals living with diabetes. 

For the same, this blog will discuss the major complications of diabetes, focusing on effective prevention strategies and recognising the symptoms of acute complications of diabetes.

Table Of Contents

1. What Are 8 Major Complications Of Diabetes?

2. Tips To Prevent Diabetes Complications

3. Symptoms Of Acute Complications Of Diabetes Mellitus 

4. The Final Say

5. FAQs

What Are 8 Major Complications Of Diabetes?


Diabetes, a chronic condition characterised by elevated blood sugar levels, can give rise to a spectrum of complications, classified into chronic and acute categories. Chronic complications develop gradually, potentially causing severe harm if left unaddressed. Let’s discuss these eight major complications of diabetes:

1. Eye Problems (Retinopathy)

One prevalent chronic complication is diabetic retinopathy, an eye disease affecting eyesight. Regular eye screening tests enable early detection and intervention, preventing sight loss. Swift diagnosis and treatment are crucial to managing this complication.

Also Read: Reduce Digital Eye Strain: Symptoms And Treatment

2. Foot Problems

Diabetes-related foot problems pose a significant threat, potentially leading to amputation if not promptly addressed. Nerve damage diminishes foot sensation, while impaired circulation slows the healing of sores and cuts. Any observed changes in foot appearance or sensation should be promptly reported to a healthcare professional.

3. Heart Attack And Stroke

Prolonged high blood sugar levels in diabetes can damage blood vessels, elevating the risk of heart attacks and strokes. Managing blood sugar levels becomes pivotal in mitigating these cardiovascular complications.

4. Kidney Problems (Nephropathy)

Diabetes-induced damage to the kidneys, known as nephropathy, hampers the removal of excess fluid and waste from the body. Elevated blood sugar levels and blood pressure contribute to this condition, necessitating proactive management.

Also Read: Renal Diet Plan & Food Avoid For Kidney

5. Nerve Damage (Neuropathy)

Complications arising from high blood sugar levels may result in nerve damage, affecting the transmission of messages between the brain and different body parts. This can impact sensory perception, motor function, and overall mobility.

6. Gum Disease And Other Mouth Problems

Excessive blood sugar can increase sugar levels in saliva, fostering bacteria that produce acid, attacking tooth enamel, and harming gums. Damaged blood vessels in the gums heighten infection risks, underlining the importance of oral hygiene in diabetes management.

Also Read: Mouth Ulcers: Causes And Home Remedies

7. Related Conditions, Like Cancer

Individuals with diabetes, face an elevated risk of developing specific cancers. Additionally, certain cancer treatments may complicate diabetes management, necessitating a comprehensive approach to healthcare for those with both conditions.

8. Sexual Problems In Women And Men

Blood vessels and nerve damage in diabetes can impede blood flow to sexual organs, leading to diminished sensation. Women may face an increased likelihood of thrush and urinary tract infections. In men, restricted blood flow may contribute to erectile dysfunction, also known as impotence, highlighting the multifaceted impact of diabetes on sexual health. Comprehensive care is essential for addressing these complications and maintaining overall well-being in individuals with diabetes.

10 Tips To Prevent Diabetes Complications

Let’s explore these essential tips to prevent complications of diabetes:

1. Monitor Blood Sugar Levels Regularly

Check your blood sugar levels as your healthcare provider recommends, typically several times a day. Understanding your blood sugar patterns can help you adjust your diet, exercise, and medication regimen to keep your levels within the target range.

2. Follow A Healthy Diet

Opt for a balanced diet of various nutrient-rich foods. Emphasise fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins (poultry, fish, tofu, and legumes), and healthy fats (such as avocados, nuts, seeds, and olive oil). Limit intake of sugary foods, sugary beverages, and refined carbohydrates like white bread, pasta, and pastries.

3. Exercise Regularly

Incorporate physical activity into your daily routine. Aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise each week, such as brisk walking, cycling, or swimming. Additionally, exercise muscle-strengthening activities, such as weightlifting or bodyweight exercises, at least twice a week.

Also Read: Top 8 Functional Fitness Training Exercises For Beginners

4. Take Medications As Prescribed

Adhere to your prescribed medication regimen, including insulin injections or oral medications, to help manage blood sugar levels effectively. Follow your healthcare provider's instructions regarding dosage, timing, and potential side effects.

5. Attend Regular Medical Check-ups

Schedule regular appointments with your healthcare team to monitor your diabetes management and assess your overall health. This may include routine check-ups, eye exams, dental visits, blood pressure checks, cholesterol screenings, and tests to evaluate kidney function and nerve health.

6. Quit Smoking

If you smoke, quitting is essential to reduce the risk of cardiovascular complications associated with diabetes, such as heart disease, stroke, and peripheral artery disease. Seek support from healthcare professionals, support groups, or smoking cessation programs to quit successfully.

7. Manage Stress

Practice stress-reducing techniques, such as deep breathing exercises, meditation, yoga, or spending time in nature. Engage in activities that promote relaxation and emotional well-being, such as hobbies, spending time with loved ones, or listening to music.

8. Maintain A Healthy Weight

Aim for a healthy weight based on your height, age, and body composition. Losing excess weight, if necessary, can improve insulin sensitivity and blood sugar control. Focus on gradual, sustainable weight loss through dietary changes, physical activity, and behaviour modification.

9. Limit Alcohol Consumption

If you drink alcohol, do so in moderation. Limit intake to one drink per day for women and two for men. Monitor your blood sugar levels closely when consuming alcohol, as it can affect blood sugar regulation.

10. Take Care Of Your Feet

Inspect your feet daily for any cuts, blisters, sores, or signs of infection. Wash your feet regularly with mild soap and warm water, and dry them thoroughly, especially between the toes. Wear comfortable, well-fitting shoes and socks to prevent friction and pressure injuries. If you notice any foot problems or changes, seek prompt medical attention from your healthcare provider or podiatrist.

Symptoms Of Acute Complications Of Diabetes Mellitus 

Note these given complications of diabetes for acute diabetes mellitus with emergency action tips for reference:

Complication

Symptoms

Emergency Action

Diabetic Ketoacidosis (DKA)

Excessive thirst and urination, Persistent nausea and vomiting, Abdominal pain, Rapid breathing and fruity-scented breath

Seek immediate medical attention, Monitor blood glucose levels, Administer insulin as prescribed

Hyperglycemic Hyperosmolar State (HHS)

Extreme dehydration, Confusion or altered mental status, Weakness and fatigue, Seizures or coma in severe cases

Call emergency services, Rehydrate with fluids (if possible), Administer insulin under medical supervision

Hypoglycemia 

(Low Blood Sugar)

Shakiness or trembling, Sweating and clamminess, Irritability and confusion, Rapid heartbeat

Consume a quick source of sugar (e.g., glucose tablets or juice), Recheck blood sugar after 15 minutes, If symptoms persist, seek medical help

Hyperglycemia (High Blood Sugar)

Increased thirst and frequent urination, Fatigue and weakness, Blurred vision, Headaches

Adjust insulin or oral medication dosage as prescribed, Stay hydrated, Monitor blood glucose levels regularly

The Final Say

This is how managing diabetes extends beyond daily monitoring blood sugar levels and medication adherence. Understanding and addressing the complications of diabetes, whether chronic or acute, is a serious metabolic challenge. Especially, for those struggling with diabetes type 2 or diabetes type 1, the importance of adopting preventative measures cannot be overstated.

This is where the prevention of complications of diabetes mellitus requires a proactive and comprehensive approach. Lifestyle modifications, including a balanced diet and regular exercise, avert chronic complications like cardiovascular, neuropathy, and nephropathy. Also as we read, the timely intervention and awareness of the symptoms of acute complications, like diabetic ketoacidosis and hyperglycemic hyperosmolar state, are equally critical.

So, by prioritising prevention and remaining alert to the signs and symptoms of both complications of type 1 and type 2 diabetes, we can collectively strive towards a future where the impact of complications is minimised, wherein people with diabetes lead healthier lives.

FAQs

1. What are the complications of diabetes?

Complications of diabetes refer to the health issues that can arise due to uncontrolled blood sugar levels over time. These complications can affect various parts of the body and lead to serious health problems if not managed properly.

2. What are the long-term complications of diabetes mellitus?

Long-term complications of diabetes mellitus include issues such as nerve damage (neuropathy), kidney damage (nephropathy), eye problems (retinopathy), and cardiovascular diseases like heart attacks and strokes. These complications can develop gradually and significantly impact overall health and quality of life.

3. What 3 drinks should diabetics avoid?

Diabetics should avoid sugary beverages such as regular soda, sweetened fruit juices, and energy drinks. These drinks can cause rapid spikes in blood sugar levels, contributing to poor diabetes management and increasing the risk of complications.

4. What are the acute complications of diabetes?

Acute complications of diabetes include hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) and hyperglycemia (high blood sugar). Hypoglycemia can occur when blood sugar levels drop too low, leading to symptoms such as shakiness, confusion, and even loss of consciousness. Conversely, hyperglycemia can result in symptoms like increased thirst, frequent urination, and fatigue.

5. What are the 6 unexpected side effects of diabetes?

Six unexpected side effects of diabetes may include an increased risk of gum disease and tooth decay, hearing impairment, skin conditions like fungal infections and diabetic dermopathy, gastroparesis (delayed stomach emptying), bone and joint problems, and increased susceptibility to infections.

6. What are the complications of diabetes and hypothyroidism?

Complications of diabetes and hypothyroidism can overlap and exacerbate each other. Diabetes can worsen symptoms of hypothyroidism and vice versa, leading to complications such as uncontrolled blood sugar levels, increased risk of heart disease, nerve damage, and impaired kidney function. Individuals with both conditions need to work closely with healthcare providers to manage their health effectively.

References

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