Managing Type 2 diabetes is a challenge for many people. Good management involves meal planning, exercising, blood sugar testing, doctor's visits, and sometimes insulin injections and oral diabetes medications. But there are definite benefits to getting in the habit of managing your diabetes well. There are certainly serious complications associated with Type 2 diabetes if the disease is not managed well. Some of the serious complications include cardiovascular disease, amputation, and blindness.
Cardiovascular disease, including stroke and heart attack are the most common complications associated with Type 2 diabetes. Cardiovascular disease is actually the leading cause of death in people who have been diagnosed with this form of diabetes. Type 2 diabetes can contribute to cardiovascular disease through damage to the blood vessels. This takes place when blood sugar is high over a long period of time. Other factors that can put you at risk for cardiovascular disease are …
- high cholesterol, and
- high blood pressure.
Women have higher rates of heart disease than men, and they also have lower heart attack survival rates.
Amputation is another scary complication of uncontrolled blood sugar. If your blood sugar is high over years, the small nerves in your feet can be damaged. Nerve damage can cause …
- numbness, and
in the feet.
Numbness becomes dangerous because it prevails you from feeling feet injuries, like sores and calluses. When sores and other foot injuries go unnoticed, they can become infected and the infection can spread to your bones and other parts of the body. It's these infections that can lead to toes or feet being amputated to prevent the infection spreading even further. Studies have found about 18% of Type 2 diabetes end up having amputations – they are more common in men, older people, and those who have had Type 2 diabetes for a long time.
Uncontrolled blood sugar can also lead to eye problems and blindness . Twenty eight percent of people with Type 2 diabetes end up with diabetic retinopathy – the eye condition that can lead to blindness. High blood sugar damages the small blood vessels of the eyes over time, which causes blood to leak into the eye and results in retinopathy. If retinopathy is done early, it can be treated and blindness can be prevented.
The best way to prevent these dangerous complications is to manage your diabetes well and avoid high blood sugar. Work with your diabetes care team to figure out the best management strategies that will work for you. Managing your blood sugar well will become a habit and you'll be able to avoid the dangerous complications.