In this report I will talk all about the complications of having Diabetes and prevention of these complications.
Complications of diabetes
High blood sugar levels can seriously damage parts of your body, including your feet and your eyes. These are called the complications of diabetes. Do you know how to reduce your risk of developing them?
We don’t need to tell you that diabetes is complicated. It can cause all sorts of problems. From having a hypo, when your blood sugars are too low, to lots of different types of diabetes complications
But did you know that you can prevent or delay lots of these problems? They’re not inevitable. Keeping blood sugar, blood pressure, and blood fats under control will hugely help to reduce your risk of developing complications. This means going to your diabetes health checks and knowing how to look after yourself between appointments.
We’ll help you arm yourself with the information and support you need to take action today and live well with diabetes.
You might hear your healthcare team talk about two types of diabetes complications – chronic and acute. Chronic complications are long-term problems that can develop gradually, and can lead to serious damage if they go unchecked. Acute complications can happen at any time, and they can lead to other complications too.
Below are the main complications:
- Eye problems (retinopathy)
- Foot problems
- Heart attack and stroke
- Kidney problems (nephropathy)
- Nerve Damage (neuropathy)
- Gum Disease and other mouth problems
- Related conditions, like cancer
- Sexual problems in women
- Sexual problems in men
- Hypers – when your blood sugars are too high
- Hyperosmolar Hyperglycaemic State (HHS) – a life-threatening emergency that only happens in people with type 2 diabetes. It’s brought on by severe dehydration and very high blood sugars.
- Diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) – a life-threatening emergency where the lack of insulin and high blood sugars leads to a build-up of ketone.
What is diabetic ketoacidosis?
Diabetic ketoacidosis occurs in people with diabetes when the body begins to run out of insulin and starts to break down fat for energy instead of glucose.
While diabetic ketoacidosis usually occurs in people with Type 1 diabetes, it can occasionally happen to people with Type 2 diabetes. When this happens, harmful substances known as ketones build up in the body as a result of fat breakdown. This can be life-threatening if you don’t seek medical attention straight away.
Symptoms of diabetic ketoacidosis include:
- needing to pee more than usual
- being sick
- pain in the stomach
- feeling very thirsty
- breath that smells fruity (people say it smells like pear drops sweets)
- feeling very tired
- deep or fast breathing
You can buy home testing kits for diabetic ketoacidosis, which will test your blood or urine for ketones. It’s important to call 999 or go to A&E if you are diabetic and worried about the above symptoms.
If you have diabetes, it’s important to know you’re not alone. Find support from healthcare professionals and the people around you.
One Way To Help Prevent Diabetes Is Exercise
The benefits of exercise with Diabetes 2 are:
- helps the body use insulin better
- helps you look after your blood pressure, because high blood pressure means you’re more at risk of diabetes complications.
- helps to improve cholesterol (blood fats) to help protect against problems like heart disease
- helps you lose weight if you need to, and keep the weight off after you’ve lost it – there are so many more benefits to losing extra weight
- gives you energy and helps you sleep
- helps your joints and flexibility
- benefits your mind as well as your body – exercise releases endorphins, which you could think of as happy hormones. Being active is proven to reduce stress levels and improve low mood.
- and for people with Type 2 Diabetes, being active helps improve your HbA1c
Being active is even more beneficial if you do things like make healthier food choices, don’t smoke and get enough sleep.
Now you know the complications of type 2 diabetes, you are in a better position to know how to prevent them by keeping blood sugar, blood pressure, and blood fats under control.
That’s it for now. More about Type 2 Diabetes in coming reports.