What Are The Complications Of Diabetes Mellitus?
Whatever type or category of diabetes one may have, the complications of diabetes mellitus are the same across the board.
However, complications of diabetes mellitus tend to be less severe in people who certainly have managed their condition well with regards to blood sugar levels. The prevailing wisdom among experts and survivors who lead very productive lives is that complications of diabetes mellitus are certainly much lowered when there is better control and management. Patients and sufferers who have been assiduous in educating themselves about the disease and strictly following the lifestyle guidelines promoted by doctors and diabetes experts (quitting smoking, diet and exercise) have enjoyed lives free or less restricted from the complications of diabetes mellitus.
What is Ketoacidosis?
For those who have failed to exercise caution and adequate care, the complications of diabetes mellitus have been said to be worse than the diseases itself. Among its many acute complications include hypoglycemia, ketoacidosis or nonketotic hyperosmolar coma which occurs when blood sugar levels run rampant. Ketoacidosis is a serious condition wherein the liver causes fat to become ketone bodies at such levels that one goes into hypotension, shock and eventual death. In nonketotic hyperosmolar coma, the osmolality of the blood is compromised which means that there is an abnormal drawing out of water from the body’s cells into the bloodstream, leading to extreme lethargy or an eventual coma.
There is also danger from hypoglycemia or low blood glucose. When a person goes into hypoglycemic shock, he can go into seizures which can lead to a coma, permanent brain damage and death. The inability of the diabetic body to heal wounds and small cuts can also become a major complication. The lack of proper tissue circulation can let tissue rot, leading to gangrene and amputation.
Risks for cardiovascular
Other long term complications of diabetes mellitus include heightened risks for cardiovascular disease, diabetic nephropathy, retinal damage and microvascular damage. Risks for cardiovascular damage occur when the elevation of glucose levels damages blood vessels leading to angiopathy. When small blood vessels are damaged, the term is microvasculat disease while damage to big arteries is called macro vascular disease.
The implications of microangiopathy (damage to small blood vessels) can lead to diabetic retinopathy which swells the macula, blurring the vision. It also promotes weak blood vessels in the retina further damaging eye-sight. In diabetic neuropathy nerves are blunted and sensations are decreased. Diabetic nephropathy targets the kidney, leading to chronic renal failure and actually making diabetes the leading cause of kidney failure.
Sudden heart attack or a myocardial infarction
Complications of diabetes mellitus arising from macrovascular disease (and accelerated by atherosclerosis include coronary artery disease which can lead to a sudden heart attack or a myocardial infarction and angina. Most strokes (the ischemic category) can also happen as a result or complication of diabetes mellitus. Then there is also peripheral vascular disease which can lead to exertion related leg and foot pain and even diabetic foot. One of the common complications of diabetes mellitus is muscle wastage or diabetic myonecrosis.
Grim as it may seem, it can never be emphasized often enough that complications of diabetes mellitus can be minimized and in some cases, be completely avoided with a clear and forthright understanding of what it takes to conquering the disease. While incurable, diabetes mellitus can be conquered with proper medical intervention and management that puts the focus on the choices we make- choosing wisely may well be the cure than will give sufferers long and productive lives.