Yes, Blindness! You read right.
Diabetes is a condition that affects the body’s ability to regulate sugar levels in the blood inevitably leading to high blood sugar levels and it can lead to very serious complications if not well controlled.Some complications include:
– Blindness: Diabetes can cause a condition known as diabetic retinopathy in which blood vessels in the retina (a light sensitive layer at the back of the eye that is necessary for vision) are blocked or grow irregularly, if this condition is not treated it may lead to blindness.
– Kidney disease: Diabetes can cause small blood vessels in the kidney to get blocked or narrowed causing the kidneys not to work properly,kidney failure may occur in severe cases.
– Stroke: Diabetes can cause blood vessels supplying various organs in the body to be narrowed or obstructed by fatty deposits(a condition called atherosclerosis), if this occurs in blood vessels supplying the brain, it can lead to a stroke.
– Myocardial Infarction (heart attack): Atherosclerosis caused by diabetes occurring in blood vessels supplying the heart can lead to a heart attack.
– Nerve damage: Diabetes can cause damage to nerves in the body causing tingling sensation, burning pain or numbness in affected areas.
– Foot ulcers: Damage to the nerves supplying the feet caused by diabetes can lead to loss of sensation in the feet causing the person to be unaware when he steps on harmful sharp or hot objects,this may eventually lead to injuries on the sole of the feet which don’t heal properly(because of poor blood supply to the feet that occurs in diabetes) causing foot ulcers.
– Erectile dysfunction: Diabetes can cause damage to nerves supplying the penis or cause blockage or narrowing of blood vessels in the penis preventing an erection from occurring.
As discussed previously in MYTH BUSTER: Diabetes is not caused by excessive sugar intake , there are a variety of factors that can increase your risk for diabetes.
If you are diabetic, you can prevent these complications from occurring by:
-Taking your medications as prescribed.
-Eating healthy (diabetic diet), avoid foods high in carbohydrates and fats.
– Checking your blood sugar regularly.
– Regular eye checks to ensure detection of diabetic retinopathy at an early stage.
– If you are already experiencing loss of sensation in the feet:
i. Wear socks to protect your feet
ii. Avoid wearing tight shoes
iii. Examine your feet regularly in front of a mirror for cuts, sores or any other injuries and go to the hospital for treatment if you notice any.