Type 2 diabetes is a disease in which either the body does not produce enough insulin or the cells ignore the insulin. Type 2 diabetes is the more common form of diabetes. Although there is no cure for diabetes, there are many means like diet control and exercises, by which the blood sugar levels can be kept in check. If diabetes is not kept in control, it can lead to different complications. Most of these complications are a result of the effect of diabetes on the nerves and arteries. Here are some of the health problems that Type 2 diabetes can cause.
Cardiovascular disease and stroke.
Type 2 diabetics have two to four times the risk of suffering a heart attack or a stroke. People with diabetes are more likely to have high blood pressure, obesity and high cholesterol. These together with the artery damage caused by diabetes can lead to heart diseases.
Diabetes is the most common cause of kidney failure. Type 2 diabetes can take away the ability of the kidneys to filter waste products. Kidney failure is the last stage of chronic kidney disease and it may require dialysis, artificial blood-cleaning process or kidney transplantation from a healthy donor. 40 % of those who need dialysis have kidney failure from diabetes.
The nerve damage caused by diabetes results in a loss of feeling in the feet. This is called neuropathy. The feet become numb and are not able to feel pain, heat or cold and you may not notice injury until the skin becomes infected. Diabetes also causes the skin at the feet to become very dry. Foot ulcers and calluses may form at the feet and if neglected, these could lead to infection. Poor blood circulation to the feet makes infections difficult to heal. In severe cases, this may lead to amputation.
Diabetes causes many eye disorders by damaging the blood vessels in the retina. The major eye disorders are glaucoma, cataracts and retinopathy. Non-proliferative retinopathy is common and does not require much treatment but in proliferative retinopathy, the blood vessels are so damaged that there is leakage of blood. This condition may lead to blindness if not treated properly.
Diabetics have a higher risk of gum problems. People get gum disease when plaque destroys the gums and bone around the teeth. People with diabetes can get gum disease from having high blood glucose levels for a long time.
Other health problems that Type 2 diabetics risk facing are stomach and bowel problems, where the nerves that trigger normal functioning can become less active causing constipation or diarrhea, and sexual function problems. The nerve and artery damage could lead to impotence. It is very important that diabetics be aware of the health issues that they face. There is nothing to worry, as taking steps to keep diabetes in control will take care of most of these health issues. If you are a Type 2 diabetic, make sure that you take those precautionary measures to keep these health problems at bay