Diabetes complications: signs, classifications, and ways to avoid them?
Diabetes most frequently results in complications when untreated or improperly treated. They are separated into acute and chronic conditions. Hyperglycemia is the causal agent in the emergence of these issues (constantly elevated blood glucose levels). What kinds of diabetes complications exist and how can they be avoided?
Diabetes complications: types
Diabetes complications are broken down into acute (early) and chronic (late) complications. Diabetes complications are categorized as either acute or chronic, depending on when they first appear. Long-term hyperglycemia leads to chronic complications.
Acute complications of diabetes include:
- Hyperglycemia: When the blood glucose concentration rises above 100 mg/dl on an empty stomach and above 140 mg/dl after a meal, it is considered to be above generally accepted standards. When diabetes is treated improperly, such as with a poorly chosen diet, the wrong insulin dose, taking medications that interact with antidiabetic medications, skipping a dose of insulin, or not taking medications that lower blood sugar levels, diabetics frequently experience hyperglycemia.
- Hypoglycemia – a condition where blood sugar levels fall below normal – when the blood glucose level is below 70 mg/dl. It can be caused by skipping meals or taking too much insulin.
- ketoacidosis—most often, it is a consequence of poorly treated diabetes. Type 1 diabetics are most at risk. Untreated ketoacidosis leads to a diabetic coma and even death. DKA occurs when the body doesn’t have enough insulin to allow blood sugar into the cells for use as energy. Instead, the body breaks down fat for fuel, a process that produces acids called ketones. When too many ketones are produced too fast, they can build up to dangerous levels in the body.
- Lactic acidosis: excessive accumulation of lactate in the body It is most often the result of the use of antidiabetic drugs from the biguanide group in patients suffering from atherosclerotic lesions or renal failure.
The chronic complications of diabetes include:
- diabetic retinopathy –persistently high blood glucose levels lead to changes in the blood vessels of the retina. It is very dangerous, because in the initial phase it does not cause any symptoms and leads to blindness.
- diabetic nephropathy –chronic hyperglycemia leads to increased blood flow through the glomeruli and the accumulation of many substances in them and blood vessels, leading to kidney damage or failure. Initially, the disease is asymptomatic, and symptoms appear only in the advanced stage of the disease.
- Diabetic neuropathy –this is nerve damage caused by persistently high levels of glucose in the blood. In type 2 diabetics, the course of neuropathy is gradual and slowly manifests itself, while in the case of type 1 diabetes, symptoms appear very quickly.
- stroke and myocardial infarction –atherosclerotic changes in the coronary vessels in diabetics significantly increase the risk of cardiovascular diseases.
- diabetic foot –damage to the nerves of the lower limb and its ischemia leads to diabetic foot syndrome. The consequence of neglecting the diabetic foot may be its amputation.
- frequentinfections– high blood glucose promotes the development of fungal diseases, mainly candidiasis.
- tooth and gum diseases– diabetics are more susceptible to inflammation of the gums and teeth caused by infections (higher concentration of glucose in saliva is a good breeding ground for fungi and bacteria).
- complications in pregnancy– unregulated diabetes in pregnancy poses a risk to both mother and baby. The child is at risk of developing a syndrome of malformations, while the mother is at risk of miscarriage or premature birth.
- cancer– this may be due to the accumulation of more free radicals in the body or the fact that diabetes is tested more often.