Type 1 & 3 Diabetes
Prolonged diabetes can result in long-term complications, which manifest gradually. Also, the less-controlled your blood sugar levels over time, the higher are the chances of developing complications. These can be severely disabling and even life-threatening. Possible complications can be:
Cardiovascular Disorders: Diabetes puts the patient at higher risk of developing various heart diseases like coronary artery ailment and chest pain (angina), atherosclerosis or narrowing of the arteries. Diabetics are more likely to suffer heart disease or stroke.
Nerve Damage: Excess glucose can damage the walls of the blood vessels that feed your nerves, particularly in the legs. This may cause numbness, or a sensation of tingling, burning or pain. Starting at the tips of the toes or fingers, the sensation spreads across the limb. If not treated on time, the patient can lose all sense of feeling. Damage to nerves connected with digestion can cause nausea, vomiting, diarrhea or constipation. It may also lead to erectile dysfunction in men.
Kidney Damage: The kidneys filter waste from the blood through millions of blood vessel clusters, called glomeruli, present in the organ. Diabetes can irreversibly harm this delicate filtering apparatus. Prolonged diabetes can lead to severe kidney damage like end-stage kidney failure, which may require a kidney transplant or long-term dialysis.
Eye Damage: A patient develops diabetic retinopathy when retinal blood vessels are damaged, a condition that can lead to blindness. Diabetes also precipitates the risk of other chronic vision defects like cataracts and the glaucoma.
Foot Damage: Apart from nerve damage in the foot, impeded blood flow in the leg cases can lead to cuts, blisters and chronic infections that take a long time to heal. If the conditions don’t respond to treatment, it may require amputation of the severely affected part.
Skin Ailments: Diabetes can make you more vulnerable to bacterial and fungal infections and other skin problems.
Hearing Impairment: Many diabetics go on to develop hearing problems.
Alzheimer’s: Poor blood sugar control in Type 2 diabetes is directly proportionate to the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease.
Though there are various theories how each complication may be connected to diabetes, none of them have been proved.
Women with gestational diabetes normally deliver healthy babies and the patient is cured of diabetes. However, if left untreated or if sugar levels remain high, it can cause complications in the baby like:
Bigger Baby: Excess glucose can penetrate the placenta trigger the unborn baby’s pancreas to make increase insulin production. This can cause the baby to grow too large (macrosomia) and may require a C-section delivery.
Low Blood Sugar: Babies of mothers with gestational diabetes sometimes develop low blood sugar (hypoglycemia shortly after birth. This is because their insulin production is raised. However, the sugar levels come to normal by feeding the baby on time. Sometimes, intravenous glucose may be given to the baby.
Type 2 Diabetes: Babies born of gestational diabetic mothers are at a higher risk of developing Type 2 diabetes as they grow and even after reaching adulthood.
Death: If the gestational diabetes is not treated and sugar levels remain high, it may result in a stillborn delivery or the baby may die shortly after birth.
The following complications can occur in gestational diabetic women:
Preeclampsia: This is a condition in which the mother may suffer from high protein content in the urine, high blood pressure and swelling of the limbs. If the condition is not reversed, preeclampsia can lead to life-threatening consequences for both mother and child.
Future Diabetes: Women who develop gestational pregnancy are more likely to have it in again in subsequent pregnancies. They’re also more likely to develop Type 2 diabetes in their lifetime.
Prediabetes has all the chances of developing into Type 2 diabetes if left untreated.