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Diabetes - Possible Complications From Diabetes

Jul 18, 2008
One of the possible tragic consequences of diabetes is the effects the disease has on various organs and body functions. They cover a wide range of systems and conditions. Fortunately, most are treatable and/or manageable.


Hypoglycemia, for example, is a common side effect of diabetes medications. Since diabetes is characterized by too much glucose in the blood (hyperglycemia), treating it can produce too low a level (hypoglycemia). It can be mild and adjustable by changing diet or medications. But careful monitoring of blood glucose levels is essential to proper management.

Heart Disease and Stroke

Diabetics are more prone to cardiovascular problems than non-diabetics are. Over time high glucose levels lead to increased fatty deposits on the blood vessel walls. This constricts blood flow and can cause atherosclerosis (hardening or clogging of the arteries). Atherosclerosis increases the risk of strokes or heart attacks. Diabetics have twice the risk for stroke or heart disease than the average person does; these problems may occur at a younger age than usual.

Here again, though, the condition can be managed to minimize the odds of heart disease or stroke. An appropriate exercise regimen can help keep your cardiovascular in optimal condition. A heart healthy diet will reduce the odds of atherosclerosis. A good diet also reduces the chances of a stroke. In some cases, simple aspirin treatments may be helpful.

Eye Problems

Numerous eye conditions can occur due to diabetes. Blurry vision is a common symptom of diabetes. Fluid is drawn out of the tissues, including the eyes, when an excess of glucose builds up in the blood. Drier lenses make it difficult to focus. Other parts of the eye many also be affected by diabetes.

The function of the retina, at the back of the eye, can be impaired. Diabetes causes high blood pressure which in turn may damage the eye's blood vessels. The retina is damaged by this. Blurry vision can result, as can dark spots in your visual field or halos around lights.

Eye health can be protected through monitoring of the blood pressure and glucose levels. A proper diet, which lowers cholesterol and an appropriate exercise program, will help reduce the blood pressure.

Nervous System

Chronic high blood pressure can also damage the nervous system. Impaired blood vessels cannot optimally perform essential functions, like carrying oxygen to nerve cells. Deprived of sufficient oxygen the nerve cells will be damaged.

Controlling blood pressure will help reduce the odds of nervous system problems.


The kidneys play a vital role by filtering the blood, eliminating wastes and toxins. They can be impaired by diabetes. Protein can then be excessively excreted in the urine, rather than being utilized by the body. Waste products may not be properly eliminated from the blood.

The chances of kidney trouble are also reduced by keeping the blood pressure and the blood glucose level within normal limits. A medication (like an ACE, angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitor or an ARB, angiotensin receptor blocker) may be needed to reduce the blood pressure and help prevent protein from leaking into the urine.

In all cases, the best course is to seek professional guidance for diagnosis and the appropriate treatments.
About the Author
Julia Hanf author of the book How To Play the Diabetes Diet Game and Win Through a real life crisis Julia figured out how to live diabetes free. Visit http://www.yourdiabetescure.com and learn more about your solution for diabetes.
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