DIABETES COMPLICATIONS

Vision damage- Diabetes can lead to serious vision conditions such as glaucoma or cataracts. Chronically high blood sugar can damage the blood vessels of the retina and potentially lead to blindness. If the retina does not function properly, then light is unable to be detected and converted to a signal sent to the brain. Symptoms of diabetic retinopathy will not appear early on, but they include seeing floating spots due to blood fluid leakage in the eye and increasing vision loss.

Metabolic Syndrome- A pre-diabetes condition that can significantly increase the risk of developing type II diabetes or even heart disease. Metabolic Syndrome is defined as a combination of conditions such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol levels, and increased body fat around the waist. Some symptoms may include feeling severely tired, inability to focus properly, and browning of the folds of the skin

Atherosclerosis-  Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes can accelerate the progression of atherosclerosis or hardening of the arteries. This condition can often lead to heart attacks or strokes because the artery suddenly becomes blocked by fat buildup and blood flow becomes impaired. Another symptom of atherosclerosis may be displayed as nerve damage or numbness of the feet, since high blood sugar is causing poor circulation and blood flow.

Kidney disease– High levels of blood sugar from having Diabetes can damage the filtering system of the kidneys. The kidneys function to filter out waste in the blood using tiny blood vessels. When these blood vessels are damaged, the kidneys fail to work properly and there becomes a build up of waste in the blood, ultimately leading to kidney disease. Aside from the unfiltered waste, the body will retain an increased amount of salt and water as well, resulting in symptoms such as weight gain and ankle swelling.

Heart disease- High blood glucose levels from Diabetes can damage blood vessels and nerves that ultimately control the heart. Fatty material can build up on the inside of crucial blood vessels and eventually block blood flow to the heart. This is why individuals with diabetes is more at risk of developing cardiovascular disease at a young age. Some common symptoms may be chest pain, shortness of breath, nausea, and fatigue.

Peripheral Artery Disease- PAD is a condition defined by the blockage of arteries that lead to areas away from the brain and heart, such as the neck, arms, legs, and feet. Fat deposits clog and make arteries narrower, ultimately hindering blood flow to parts of the body completely. Individuals with diabetes drastically increase the risk of developing this condition. The most common symptoms of PAD are consistent leg cramping and painful muscle in the lower extremities. The cramping pain is the body’s signal that the area is not receiving enough blood flow.

Stroke- Overtime, when there is too much glucose in the bloodstream and clots are formed in the vessels, this can cause blockages in the vessels of the brain and neck. These clots can cut off the blood supply and stop the oxygen from getting to the brain, ultimately resulting in a stroke. Some of the warning signs of stroke include facial droop, arm drift, and slurred speech

Nerve damage- Numbness or tingling in the tips of the hands or feet may be experienced in Diabetics with nerve damage. Excess sugar can be detrimental to the capillaries that nourish your nerves, especially in the legs. [3] The high amount of sugar interferes with the nerves’ ability to transmit signals.