Type 2 diabetes is a chronic disease affecting blood glucose regulation. It can cause several complications, such as heart disease, stroke, and kidney disease.
Type 2 diabetes affects more than
In this article, we outline the complications of type 2 diabetes and how a person can lower their chances of developing these complications.
Type 2 diabetes is a disease that prevents someone from properly regulating their blood glucose levels.
The pancreas produces a hormone called insulin, which regulates the level of glucose in a person’s blood.
Insulin helps glucose present in the blood enter cells in the body. Cells use this glucose for energy. When a person’s blood glucose levels become too high, their pancreas releases more insulin to lower these levels.
Type 2 diabetes is a disease that occurs when a person’s body does not use insulin effectively. Over time, a person’s body may also
- increased urination, especially at night
- increased thirst
- weight loss
- genital itching or thrush
- slow wound healing
- blurred vision
- increased hunger
Below are some of the complications of type 2 diabetes.
Heart disease and stroke
High levels of blood glucose can damage the blood vessels and nerves that control the heart. This damage can cause a person to develop heart disease and can increase their chances of having a stroke.
According to the
The NIDDK also states that adults with diabetes are almost two times more likely to have heart disease or a stroke than adults without diabetes.
High blood glucose levels can gradually damage a person’s nerves. Doctors refer to this condition as diabetic neuropathy.
Peripheral neuropathy can cause a person to develop blisters and sores on their feet. These wounds may be difficult to heal, which increases the risk of infections and amputations.
High levels of glucose in a person’s blood can damage the blood vessels in their kidneys, leading to kidney disease.
Some factors that increase a person’s chances of developing kidney disease are:
- having high blood pressure
- not following an eating plan to manage diabetes
- being physically inactive
- being overweight
- having heart disease
Diabetes can affect a person’s feet in several ways.
Nerve damage can cause the person to
Diabetes can also lower the amount of blood that flows to the feet. This reduced blood flow can make it more difficult for sores and infections to heal. In some cases, bad infections may never heal. Long-term infections can cause gangrene.
If a person with diabetes has gangrene or foot ulcers that do not respond to treatment, they may require an amputation.
Nerve damage from diabetes may also cause the foot to change shape. This is a rare condition known as Charcot’s foot. It typically begins with redness, warmth, and swelling developing on the foot.
Diabetes may also cause diabetic eye diseases.
Short-term high blood glucose levels
Long-term high blood glucose levels can damage the blood vessels in the back of the eyes. This damage may cause swelling and leaking of fluid from the vessels.
Gum disease and other mouth problems
High blood glucose levels can increase glucose in the saliva and cause harmful bacteria to grow in the mouth. These bacteria
Here are some symptoms of gum disease and other mouth problems that diabetes can cause:
- dark spots or holes in the teeth
- persistent pain in the mouth, jaw, or face
- loose teeth
- pain when chewing
- change of taste
- frequent bad taste in the mouth
- persistent bad breath that does not go away after brushing teeth
Sexual and bladder problems
Nerve damage that diabetes causes can affect a person’s genitals or urinary tract, leading to a variety of bladder and sexual problems.
Males with diabetes are at an
- Erectile dysfunction. A person with erectile dysfunction will find it difficult to attain or keep an erection that is firm enough to have sex.
- Retrograde ejaculation. This occurs when part or all of the semen goes into the bladder instead of out of the penis when a person ejaculates.
- Peyronie’s disease. Peyronie’s disease causes the penis to bend abnormally when erect.
- Low testosterone. Males with diabetes may have lower than average levels of testosterone.
Females with diabetes are at an increased risk of the following sexual problems:
- Low sexual desire. Females with diabetes may experience a lower level of sexual desire.
- Pain during sex. Diabetes can damage the nerves that cause the vagina to lubricate during stimulation. This can cause pain during sex.
- Yeast infections. Yeast grows more easily when a person’s blood glucose levels are higher, which can lead to infections.
If a person closely manages their type 2 diabetes, they can reduce their risk of developing any complications.
- Closely monitor blood glucose levels.
- Try to maintain a moderate body weight.
- Eat a healthy, balanced diet.
- Exercise regularly.
- Avoid smoking or try to quit smoking.
There are many ways to treat type 2 diabetes.
Doctors may prescribe metformin to people with diabetes. Metformin is a drug that can
Other medications for type 2 diabetes
People with type 2 diabetes can typically manage the condition with lifestyle changes and medications. However, some people will require insulin treatment if their diabetes does not respond to these medications.
Type 2 diabetes is a progressive disease. This means it becomes harder to manage over time.
A person may not need to take medication if they monitor their blood glucose levels closely and maintain a healthy lifestyle. These steps can also lower their risk of developing complications such as heart disease, stroke, and kidney disease.
A person may also take diabetes medications or insulin to manage their blood glucose levels and reduce their risk of complications.
Type 2 diabetes is a chronic disease that causes a person’s blood glucose levels to rise too high. A person can manage their diabetes by regularly checking their blood glucose levels, maintaining a healthy lifestyle, and taking medications.
If a person follows these steps, they can reduce their risk of developing certain complications, including heart disease, nerve damage, and mouth problems.