Type 2 diabetes, can lead to short and long term complications. But, if effectively managed with focus on diet, exercise, medication and other lifestyle changes then these complications can be prevented.
Long-term complications of type 2 diabetes are categorized into micro vascular vs macro vascular complications.
Microvascular complications result from consistent high blood glucose levels that damage small blood vessels. This specifically affects the eyes (diabetic retinopathy), kidneys (nephropathy) and nerves (neuropathy).
Diabetic retinopathy occurs when the retina becomes damaged. Blood vessels may become blocked, leaky or can grow haphazardly in the retina. This prohibits light from completely passing through to the retina. If neglected, it can affect your vision and also cause blindness. Diabetics could also suffer from other severe vision impairments like cataracts and glaucoma.
Kidney damage (nephropathy). When the tiny blood vessels of the kidney become choked and leaky, kidneys are found to work less efficiently. This is usually linked with high blood pressure. In rare cases severe damage can result in kidney failure or irreversible end-stage kidney disease, which would eventually require dialysis or a kidney transplant.
Nerve damage caused by diabetes is referred to as diabetic neuropathy. There are different types of diabetic neuropathy: peripheral, autonomic, proximal and focal.
Diabetic peripheral neuropathy is the most commonly seen form of nerve damage and it primarily affects the nerves going to the hands and feet. Excessive sugar can damage the walls of the capillaries that nurture the nerves, especially in the legs. This can cause tingling, numbness, burning or pain that typically starts at the tips of the toes or fingers and slowly spreads upward. Eventually such patients may lose sensation in their feet.
Damage to the nerves that regulate digestion can cause difficulties with nausea, vomiting, diarrhea or constipation. For men, erectile dysfunction could also be an issue.
E135 – Diabetes and Microvascular Complications – www.diabetic.today