The Complications of Diabetes

Complications of diabetes can be serious and may include neuropathy, nephropathy, retinopathy, and increased risk for stroke, heart disease, and hypertension. Those with diabetes often suffer from infections, depression and obesity.

Diabetic neuropathy is a nerve disorder caused by diabetes. It affects all the nerves of the body including those in the feet and legs. Neuropathies can occur in individuals who have type 1 diabetes or type 2 diabetes. Neuropathies occur especially in those individuals who do not manage their diabetes well. There are several different types of neuropathies that are classified according to the nerves that are affected. The different types of neuropathy are peripheral (limbs), autonomic (digestion, heart rate, and blood pressure, bladder and bowel control, and erectile function in males), focal neuropathy (non-central nervous system) and also proximal neuropathy (thighs, hips, and buttocks).

Certain factors may increase a diabetic’s risk for neuropathy such as smoking or alcohol consumption, cholesterol levels and duration of diabetes, autoimmune factors, genetic traits, and nerve injury such as having carpal tunnel syndrome.

It is important for individuals with diabetes to control their glucose levels so that they may minimize their risk for neuropathy.

Diabetic nephropathy, or kidney disease, is a condition where the kidneys no longer function properly. Two other health issues along with having diabetes often trigger it. The other health issues are typically high blood pressure and high blood sugar (hyperglycemia). As many as 50% of individuals with diabetes will suffer some damage to their kidneys.

Diabetic nephropathy is usually diagnosed by testing for protein in the urine.

Typically in the early stages of nephropathy there are no symptoms it is not until the individual is in the advanced stage of kidney disease that the symptoms of unusual fatigue, reduced urination, confusion, and high blood potassium levels are detected.

Individuals who are type 1 diabetic should be screened for diabetic nephropathy within five years of receiving the diagnosis for type 1 diabetes. Those who have been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes should be screened for diabetic nephropathy starting within one year of receiving the diabetic diagnosis. Diabetic nephropathy is detected by using a urine sample.

Diabetic retinopathy occurs in individuals who have type 1 or type 2 diabetes. An individual may notice strange blotches or dark spots in their vision, blurriness or flashes of light. If retinopathy is not treated it can lead to blindness.

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Originally posted 2008-10-15 10:21:05. We hope you have enjoyed this Post From the Past!

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