Are we taking diabetes seriously? No…I don’t think so. The alarming increase in diabetes shows our ignorance towards the major health issues that can crop up. Our vital organs need energy to function, and poor management of diabetes hinders the flow of oxygen and glucose to these organs, leading to failure or cramping of these organs.
Scared! Let me alarm you towards the major health issues associated with diabetes and their precaution.
What could be the long-term impact of diabetes?
Your heart can be impacted by diabetes, leading to stroke, heart attack, blood vessel disease. The effect doubles if you also have high cholesterol and blood pressure. You can save your heart if you follow some golden rules-
- Check your blood pressure every 6 months. If you are under medication to control blood pressure, then you must check it every month.
- Take HbA1c test twice/thrice a year. It will give a clear status of your blood sugar levels.
- Get your cholesterol checked at least once a year. ECG, lipid profile and exercise stress test should also be taken.
Your Eyes can be impacted by diabetes leading to many complications like-
The blood vessels in and around retina gets damaged leading to poor eye sight, blurry visions, etc. Its best to get a complete and regular diabetic eye check- up, since there are no symptoms of retinopathy in early stages.
When the blood vessels in retina get damaged, it leads to swelling in macula, causing accumulation of fluid. Macula is a part of retina, that assist you to see objects clearly. This results in blurry vision. It can be treated but must be detected early.
Cataract is a condition, where the lens of the eye become foggy/cloudy. This can lead to foggy, distorted vision and your eyes will become sensitive to harsh lights. You may develop cataract at an early stage of diabetes.
In Glaucoma, the fluid within the eye develops high pressure level, that slowly damages the eye. However, Glaucoma can occur to people without diabetes also.
You must hence take regular, i.e. once a year eye check- up.
Your kidney is at a high risk with diabetes. Kidney disease like Nephropathy develops, which can be taken care of with the right treatment. Since it is painless, and does not show any symptoms, it can be left unattended, leading to major problems. So, its best to go for screening, where it can be diagnosed by the presence of microalbumin- a protein that disturbs glucose absorption. The doctor can check your kidney function and e-GFR with a blood test. E-GFR is estimated glomerular filtration test.
ACE inhibitor and Angiotensin receptor antagonists’ tablet can cushion kidney from further damage.
Your nerves- the sensory and motor nerves of the arms & hands; legs & feet; chest & stomach and the internal nerves that regulates the actions of body organs can get damaged or fail to perform.
However, you can prevent nerve damage by-
- Keeping your blood sugar levels within the target range.
- Don’t smoke
- Drink alcohol within the recommended guidelines.
- Consult your doctor immediately, if you have any problems with hands, arms, legs or feet, your stomach, bowels or bladder.
Your foot can experience low blood supply and nerve functions, that can lead to
- Delay in healing
- high risk of infection
- reduce feeling or numbness in feet
- ulcer and
- structural foot problems like clawed toes can occur
However, you can take care of your feet by
- visiting a podiatrist yearly once. They can check the health of your feet by examining the nerve function and blood supply and note any change in the structure of your feet.
- Examining your feet everyday for any cuts, calluses, corns, blisters tinea and any structural change. If noticed and treated early can prevent fatal consequences.
- Moisturizing your feet well on regular basis
- Wearing medical or comfortable footwear.
Your skin protects your body from outside environment. Because of diabetes the small nerves and blood vessels near the skin is damaged, causing dryness, patchy skin, and hyper-sensitivity to any infection.
So, you need to prevent your skin from any cut and damage. You must moisturize your skin well and protect it from over exposure from heat, cold etc.
Your teeth and gums become more sensitive and are at a risk of gum infection and tooth decay. Visit the dentist regularly, maintain oral hygiene and brush your teeth twice a day.
You may develop mental stress. You may develop anxiety, depression and poor management of your emotions.
You may face Surgery risk.
Since your body has low glucose absorption you may face problems and additional risk during surgery. Here are the lists of risk that you may face-
- Low blood glucose (hypoglycaemia) or high blood glucose (hyperglycaemia) after surgery.
- Poor or slow healing of wound or cut from surgery.
- Weak tissue and skin around the surgery area.
- Infection in the wound
- Other infections like pneumonia, sepsis, or urinary tract infections.
- HHNK- Hyperglycaemic Hyperosmolar Nonketotic Syndrome
- DKA- Diabetic Ketoacidosis
Electrolyte Imbalance- is a condition in which the electrolyte levels such as potassium or sodium may fall or rise significantly, leading to problems with the body and heart’s fluid levels.
All these can be avoided if you manage your diabetes well.
Diabetes is all about managing your body right. We at Brookfield offer a plan and package complete with all innuendos. We help you to lead a happy and balanced life with diabetes, monitoring your sugar and taking care of your diet and medication.