Healthy Living

What Are the Long-Term Effects of Type 2 Diabetes?

What Are the Long-Term Effects of Type 2 Diabetes?

Introduction of Diabetes

Diabetes is a condition where the insulin hormone is either not produced properly or not absorbed well, and as a result, there is too much sugar or glucose in the blood. High blood sugar levels can cause damage to the body’s organs over time. There are a lot of possible problems that can come from high blood sugar. It causes damage to blood vessels which can lead to a heart attack, stroke, and problems with the kidneys, eyes, gums, feet, and nerves. So, it is best to try to avoid diabetes in the first place.

Avoiding Diabetes

Fortunately, diabetes can be avoided and type 2 diabetes is typically developed. If you keep your blood pressure and blood sugar levels at a normal level it is possible to avoid diabetes. Keeping a healthy weight by exercising every day, and eating healthy and nutritious meals at different times of the day are good habits to develop and follow to avoid diabetes. You can even consider consulting a dietician who can help you devise a meal plan according to your everyday lifestyle. Drinking plenty of water, while avoiding sugary food and food loaded with cholesterol can keep a check on your sugar levels. Eating fibrous fruits and vegetables along with cereals can be a healthy option. One should also observe their salt intake if facing diabetes. So, keeping the previously mentioned things in mind and making wise eating choices can help you battle diabetes. Avoiding both smoking and drinking alcohol can help control the blood pressure and sugar levels.

Getting yourself regularly checked and screened for diabetes can help you avoid the disease and its future complications. Your A1c levels indicate your three-month average glucose level. Therefore, monitoring this once every 3 months and getting normal health checkups done once a year can help you detect problems earlier. The next thing is to get some exercise as it will help lower your blood sugar levels. Exercise will also make it easier to move around as your body will become more flexible. These are some of the ways to avoid diabetes through exercise and healthy eating.

Long-Term Effects

People who monitor their activities and regularly control their blood sugar levels usually live longer and stay healthy. But if individuals with type 2 diabetes begin to ignore the disease and fail to seek the appropriate treatment at the proper time, the other parts of the body can start to feel the effects of this neglect. Problems that arise as a result of type 2 diabetes can sometimes be solved but can also potentially become long-term issues. Here are some of the side-effects which can become long-term if diabetes is neglected or not properly treated.

Damage to Heart and Blood Vessels - People with diabetes are under a high risk of getting heart attacks and strokes when their sugar levels are elevated and not controlled. The blood vessels may also get damaged. This causes the foot to decay slowly and can even lead to amputation if not taken care of. Initial signs of numbness, cramps, or change in the color of skin if observed in time can help maintain sugar levels and avoiding complications.

Problem to Kidney - More fluid can get accumulated in the body either due to excess salt intake or improper functioning of the kidney. This leads to kidney failure in many diabetic cases. Getting a uric acid test done regularly, while also keeping an eye out for signs such as urine infections and swelling of legs and hands can help take preventive measures.

Eye-Related Problems - Cataracts, glaucoma, and diabetic neuropathy can affect people and can also cause blindness in some cases. Always get your eyes checked. If you feel your eyes are burning or you can see redness, you need to take care of your sugar levels.

Skin Problems - Dry skin may be an indication of a developing diabetic complication. As the nerves are very narrow and blood vessels are small during diabetes, skin problems start appearing. If proper care is not taken, it can lead to wounds, cracks, and infections.

Problems in the Mouth - Due to the same reason as the skin, the gums and teeth might get infected or decayed when one has diabetes for a long time. Using a soft tooth brush and maintaining oral hygiene is important.

Damage to Sexual Organs - Erectile dysfunction is a common problem for men fighting diabetes.

Damage to Digestive System - Your body fails to digest food normally when you have diabetes. Eating food rich in fiber and controlling sugar levels can ease the digestion process.

Damage to Immune System - People with diabetes are more prone to get infected by other diseases easily and feel tired quickly as their immunity is poor.

Foot Infections - Long-term diabetes can make your foot less sensitive and even numb due to decreased blood flow. Therefore, getting a podiascan regularly can help to understand the real problem in the foot.

These are some of the long-term side effects of diabetes if not managed correctly. Diabetes can also lead to cardiovascular diseases. An example of some cardiovascular diseases includes blood vessel disease, heart attack, and stroke. The risk increases because people who have diabetes have increased cholesterol and blood pressure levels. People who smoke also have an increased risk of cardiovascular disease. It is best to have your blood pressure checked at least every six months. Make sure to also have both your cholesterol and blood sugar levels checked at least yearly. There is also an increased risk of eye diseases for those with diabetes. An example of such eye diseases would be Retinopathy, which is a condition where the blood vessels in the retina become damaged and can affect vision.

The Bottom Line

There are some long-term side effects to diabetes. However, this is not something to be concerned about if you keep your diabetes under control with medicines, proper diet, and exercise. It is important to remember that diabetes can be prevented. Take measures at an early stage and avoid all these complications.