Diabetes is not just a disease about blood glucose. The fact is, the inability to regulate blood glucose initiates a cascade of negative side effects throughout the body.
When blood glucose levels are volatile, this causes serious damage to the blood vessels. They become inflamed and weak, pumping blood less efficiently to the vital organs that we need for basic survival. As a result, most diabetes patients eventually experience a host of secondary ailments that can be quite severe over time.
Here are 5 such complications that arise on account of a diabetes diagnosis:
#1 Heart Disease
Diabetes causes blood vessels all throughout the body to harden and swell. Hardened blood vessels in the heart are particularly dangerous. This can lead to high blood pressure, a build-up of cholesterol, and eventually a heart attack.
#2 Kidney Disease
When there is an excess of glucose in the blood, the kidneys must work to filter the “contaminated” blood. As diabetes proves to be a lifelong disease for many, this means that your kidneys are working overtime for many years. Eventually, this damages the kidneys to the point of disease. When the kidneys stop functioning optimally, waste is not properly filtered from the body. That waste swirls around in the body, causing a rapid and painful decline in health.
#3 Vision Problems
Excess glucose in the blood damages the blood vessels in the eyes (along with the heart, kidneys, brain, etc.). When the blood vessels in the eyes become damaged, technically called diabetic retinopathy, vision becomes seriously compromised. If left untreated, total blindness can be the end result.
Diabetes causes nerve damage in more than 50% of people with diabetes. The symptoms of neuropathy usually begin with a tingling sensation in the extremities, such as the hands and feet. Poor circulation and frayed nerves can be incredibly painful and even lead to amputation. For this reason, amputation is a serious risk for many diabetics.
Excess glucose in the blood can lead to clots or fatty deposits in the walls of the blood vessels. The more cluttered that the blood vessels get, the less blood flow there is. When blood flow is significantly decreased, it can prevent oxygen from reaching the brain. This can cause a stroke and lead to serious brain damage.
US News & World Report. URL Link. Retrieved June 7, 2017.