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Some Complications of Diabetes, from the Eye to the Heart

by Melanie Peterson
Diabetes still affects many people in the world. This disease is dangerous because it causes several types of complications which certainly cannot be underestimated.

One type of diabetes is diabetes mellitus. This disease occurs when the body does not produce enough insulin, or the hormone does not work as it should. The hormone insulin plays a role where the sugar will be converted into energy. This condition also results in high blood sugar levels.

Diabetes mellitus can cause several complications which are divided into two kinds. The complications of diabetes mellitus are microvascular complications that damage small blood vessels, and macrovascular complications that attack large blood vessels.

Microvascular Complications of Diabetes Mellitus

Microvascular complications of diabetes mellitus namely damage to the eye (retinopathy), to the kidneys (nephropathy), and to the nerves (neuropathy).

The following are the types of complications for diabetes mellitus which are classified as microvascular.

Diabetic Retinopathy in the Eye

Diabetic retinopathy is a complication of diabetes mellitus that affects small blood vessels in the retina of the eye. Diabetic retinopathy can occur in people who suffer from type 1 or type 2 diabetes mellitus.

Initially, people with diabetic retinopathy may have no symptoms. However, over time, people with complications of diabetes mellitus will see black spots when they are seeing, the difficulties to distinguish colors, and a blurred vision. People who have diabetic retinopathy can also experience vision loss.

Diabetic Nephropathy in the Kidneys

Diabetic nephropathy, which is also called diabetic kidney disease, occurs when type 1 or type 2 diabetes damages blood vessels in the kidney organs. This can occur because high blood sugar levels cause hypertension which also increases pressure on the filtering system in the kidneys.
Just like diabetic retinopathy, people with diabetic nephropathy are often asymptomatic at first. If you go into a more severe phase, you can experience several signs including swelling in some parts of the body (such as feet, eyes and hands), nausea, vomiting, itching continuously, frequent urination, and loss of appetite.

Diabetic Neuropathy of the Nerves

This complication causes damage to nerves throughout the body, and most often occurs in the foot area.

There are several types of diabetic neuropathy. However, the most common is peripheral neuropathy. In this type, diabetic neuropathy affects the foot in its early stages which then radiates to the hands and arms. Some symptoms experienced by people with diabetic neuropathy namely numbness, tingling, and loss of reflexes in the legs and the ability to coordinate the body.

Macrovascular Complications of Diabetes Mellitus

High blood sugar levels in people with diabetes mellitus can accumulate in blood vessels, resulting in a blockage (atherosclerosis). The blockage of blood flow is also obstructed, which leads to several complications such as:

  • Heart attack, because blood flow to the heart is obstructed
  • Stroke, because blood flow to the brain is disrupted
  • Pain and decreased ability to recover from infection

Because the macrovascular complications of diabetes can be different, the symptoms also vary. Some of them are pain in the chest, pain in the legs, confusion, and paralysis (paralysis).

How to Prevent Diabetes Mellitus

The best way to avoid complications of diabetes mellitus is to prevent diabetes mellitus itself. Although some risk factors cannot be changed, you can reduce other risk factors by adopting a healthy lifestyle.

Therefore, you must pay attention to the food you consume. What also important to do as part of a diet is reducing the intake of sugar and simple carbohydrates, not eating excessive portions, reducing processed foods, and increasing fiber intake.

In addition, you also need to optimize the consumption of vitamin D to control blood sugar. You can get this vitamin D from good fatty fish. Make water the main drink and start the routine to consume tea. You can also drink coffee to start the day. However, the consumption must remain within reasonable limits.

If you currently smoke, this is the best time to break the habit. Cigarettes in no way give you anything good. This bad habit even triggers diabetes mellitus. Do not forget also to be more active in sports and lose weight if you are classified as obese.

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