Zee Media Bureau
New Delhi: Your risk of developing many serious health problems increases if you have diabetes. But the good news is that with correct treatment and recommended lifestyle changes, many people with the condition can prevent or delay the onset of complications.
Diabetes, often referred to by doctors as diabetes mellitus, is a chronic condition in which your blood glucose, or blood sugar, levels are too high.
Diabetes complications can be disabling or even life-threatening. This is because complications of diabetes often share the same risk factors. Following are some health complications caused by diabetes:
Heart disease and stroke
People with diabetes have higher risk of various cardiovascular problems, including coronary artery disease with chest pain (angina), heart attack, stroke and narrowing of arteries (atherosclerosis).
Nerve damage (neuropathy)
Nerve damage is one of most common diabetes complications and can cause numbness and pain in the body. Damage to the nerves may lead to erectile dysfunction in men.
High blood sugar levels can damage the kidneys and lead to kidney failure, which may require dialysis or a kidney transplant.
Diabetes can cause damage to the blood vessels in the retina (diabetic retinopathy) and may lead to blindness. People with diabetes also have higher risk of other serious vision conditions, such as cataracts and glaucoma.
Diabetes can damage blood vessels and nerves in the feet, leading to serious hard-to-treat infections. In this case, patients may require foot or leg amputation to prevent the spread of infection.