Diabetes Complications: The Silent Killer

 


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The complications from diabetes can have devastating effects on your health, if proper care of your health is not maintained.

Heart Disease

Diabetes is well known for being the cause of heart related problems. Large amounts of sugar in the blood can cause a significant amount of damage to a body’s systems- especially blood vessels.

Unhealthy lifestyles coupled with diabetes can up the chances of complications and lead to other health problems such as coronary heart disease and stroke.

Middle aged persons with Type 2 diabetes have been shown to have as much chance of having a heart attack as the person who does not have diabetes at all but has had at least one heart attack. Hardening of the arteries, or atherosclerosis, is always a prescription for a possible heart attack.

Take a diabetic with high cholesterol and the risk becomes that much greater. Even further, diabetics who have had one heart attack are very much at risk for another.

Women with diabetes are much more likely to develop some sort of heart disease than women without the disease.

Warning signs of a heart attack are:

- Chest pain spreading to shoulders, neck or arms
- Chest pressure, tightness, burning or a heavy feeling in the chest
- Irregular heart rate
- Impending doom feeling
- Lightheadedness
- Fainting, nausea, sweating or shortness of breath
- Sweaty skin
- Paleness
- Anxiety or nervousness

Stroke

The brain is very much dependent on oxygen to keep it alive. The brain needs a network of blood vessels in which to pump oxygen rich blood. Through this network of vessels will the vital parts of the brain been feed. Without that the brain tissues will die.

Diabetics are three times more likely to have a stroke than those who does not have the disease. As diabetes is more common in the African American community, this accounts for the reason that they suffer a sizeable amount of the population’s strokes every year.

Ischemic stroke is characterized by an insufficient flow of blood and oxygen to the brain tissues and is the most prevalent type of stroke for those with diabetes. The risk for this type of stroke is peaking for younger men and older women.

A stroke is an emergency situation that requires immediate medical intervention and warrants a trip to the emergency room of a hospital. The sooner the stroke victim receives medical care, the sooner any damage can be assessed and the condition stabilized.

Warning signs of stroke include the following:

  • Numbness or weakness in a person’s face, arm or leg- especially on one side of the body
  • Sudden nausea, fever or vomiting
  • Inability to speak or understand words and/or simple sentences
  • Blurred vision in one or both eyes
  • The in ability to swallow
  • Dizziness
  • A sudden imbalance or lack of coordination
  • Loss of consciousness
  • The inability to move part of the body, i. e. paralysis
  • Unexplainable, intense headache

    Vascular Problems of the Legs

    Diabetes can also cause poor circulation to the legs and feet. Vascular disease is very much a concern with diabetics. These circulatory problems can cause blood to pool in the lower parts of the body and is called peripheral vascular disease.

    Arteriosclerosis is also a concern because it causes the blood vessels to narrow, reducing the flow of healthy oxygen rich blood to muscles in the legs.

    Claudication is the name for pain that results from a lack of good blood supply to calf muscles.

    Leg and foot problems often land diabetics in the hospital and are the leading cause for amputations in these regions. Poor circulation makes it hard to fight infection. This is why regular check ups from doctors, and properly managing diabetes is so incredibly important.

    This content is provided by Dr Pieter de Wet a general practitioner and in practice for 20 years. It may be used only in its entirety with all links included. Get your diabetes, diabetes symptoms and diabetes treatment advice at http://www.thediabetesdoc.com

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