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Long-Term Complications of Diabetes - Essay
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Long-Term Complications of Diabetes – Essay

Long Term Complications of Diabetes

Complications associated with diabetes are apparently the result of excessive levels of glucose in the blood for several years. High amount of blood sugar over a long period gradually affects the normal functioning of certain parts of the body, such as the eyes, kidneys, and skin. High blood sugar slowly destructs the healthy functioning of blood vessels and the nervous system. Diabetes harmfully affects the sexual functions also. Vascular problems or damage to blood vessels and problems with the feet, eyes, nerves, and skin, as well as kidney, urinary, and sexual functions are the possible long term complications of diabetes.

Vascular Complications

Diabetes harmfully affects both the micro or small and macro or large blood vessels. Heart attack is the major cause of death in patients with Type 2 diabetes. Middle aged patients with Type 2 diabetes have fatality rates two to four times higher than those of middle-aged people without diabetes. The excessive quantity of glucose and fats in the blood adversely affects the cardiovascular system. Macrovascular or large blood vessel complications normally affect the brain, heart, legs, and feet in people with diabetes. Microvascular complications or small-blood-vessel can cause problems with the eyes, skin, kidneys, and nerves and can slow down healing.

Almost all vascular problems are connected to atherosclerosis. The hardening or stiffening of the arteries owing to the elevated deposits along blood vessel walls can trigger a heart attack heart attack. This kind of heart attack results from the hardening or stiffening of the arteries is clinically known as myocardial infarction. The blockage in the arteries which supply oxygen to heart muscle leads to sharp chest pain clinically known as angina. The blockage of blood vessels occurs in brain causes stroke as well. A blood clot developed in the brain is called thrombosis whereas a blood clot in the body that breaks off and moves to the brain is called an embolus. Heavy bleeding of blood vessels into surrounding tissues also occurs. Hyperlipidemia results from the excessive quantity of fat in the blood. Fatclogged blood vessels cause atherosclerotic heart disease. The amalgamation of insulin resistance, high blood sugar, high blood pressure, and elevated levels of fats such as HDL cholesterol in the blood is called metabolic syndrome. It is also called syndrome X. Metabolic syndrome enhances the risks of atherosclerotic heart disease. High levels of homocysteine, an amino acid, are also act as catalysts to the rising of heart disease.

Constant checking of blood pressure is very significant since it acts as the primary indicator of the health of the heart. Elevated quantity of glucose and fats are compress blood vessels. Smoking is extremely dangerous since nicotine causes your blood vessels to constrict, including those leading to the heart, brain, hands, feet, and skin.

Foot Complications

Patients with diabetes spend more days in the hospital with foot infections than with any other complications. Foot ulcer usually develops among 15 percent of diabetic patients. Untreated foot infections are harmful because they can turn into gangrene. Gangrene is marked by the decaying of soft tissue that can necessitate the amputation of a toe, foot, or leg. The possibility of having complication associated with gangrene is higher among diabetic patients than the general population. The complications or risk factors of amputation include peripheral neuropathy, insufficient blood flow to the extremities, foot deformities, stiff joints, calluses on the feet, and a history of ulcers on the feet or a previous amputation. Proper control of blood sugar reduces the severity of complications associated with amputation. New treatment methods such as grafting blood vessels onto clogged blood vessels that carry blood to the feet can prevent amputation. Hyperbaric oxygen therapy can sometimes help stubborn foot ulcers heal, by exposing bacteria to pressurized oxygen. Hyperbaric oxygen therapy aids stubborn foot ulcers cure by exposing bacteria to pressurized oxygen.

Foot complications are mainly occurring because of deficient blood circulation to the feet. Poor circulation is an outcome of atherosclerosis which is marked with arteries in the legs and feet becoming clogged with plaque. Arteries become somewhat less flexible in patients of diabetes caused by partially high blood pressure and excess weight. Arteries enhance triglyceride levels. Claudication is another complication of the reduced blood circulation. it develops in the calf or another part of the leg when muscles don’t get sufficient blood. Claudication generates pain or cramps during walking. It also create ache when the foot is at rest. Diabetes patients have a declined ability to feel sensations in the foot. This complication caused by the death of the nerve is clinically known as neuropathy. The death of the nerve reduces the sensation of pain. Neuropathy is a cause of alarm for diabetic patients to examine their feet on a regular basic even if they exhibit any symptom of pain. Foot complications require instant care because many patients with diabetes have a diminished resistance to infections. It usually takes time to heal fractures and surgery in diabetic patients than the normal population. Foot problems include ingrown or fungus toenails, athlete’s foot, dry and cracked skin, calluses, ulcers, warts, deformities such as bunions and hammertoes, night cramps, and pain. Charcot’s foot occurs most frequently in patients who are overweight and had the history of some loss of feeling or neuropathy in their feet. Charcot break may happen in any bone in the foot or ankle. The bones in the arch become soft and gradually crumble. The change in the weight-bearing dynamics of the foot causes skin breakdowns or infections. The inexplicable swelling of the foot without apparent break in the skin and the unusual feeling of warm in the foot are the primary symptoms of charcot break.

The Nerves-Neuropathy

Neuropathy is a common disease of the nerves or nervous system marked by symptoms such as numbness in hands and feet, or cold, tingling, burning feelings. Neuropathy patients usually felt a slight numbness that starts at the tips of the toes or fingers and then moves back. This slight numbness known as stocking and glove effect is typical at the onset of neuropathy. The feeling of pain caused by neuropathy is frequently severe at night and during very hot or cold weather. Sensory neuropathy is the most common form of neuropathy associated with diabetes. Peripheral neuropathy, a part of sensory neuropathy affects the areas of the body farthest from the heart, such as the legs, feet, arms, or hands, and often the skeletal muscles. Numbness, coldness, or the feeling of walking on pins and needles is the main symptoms of peripheral neuropathy, The common human experience of foot drop which occurs after wake up is a normal effect of neuropathy. Neuropathy exhibit as tight feeling in the chest known as truncal neuropathy. which is often mistaken as heart attack. Sensory neuropathy causes charcot’s joint and a muscle-wasting situation called amyotrophy. Radiculopathy and mononeuropathy are diseases of the cranial nerves or spinal nerves. Autonomic neuropathy affects the nerves that control the stomach, sweat glands, digestive tract, intestinal system, bladder, penis, and circulatory system. Gastroparesis is a neuropathy-related digestive disorder. Nausea, diarrhea and constipation are the primary symptoms of gastroparesis.

Eye Complications

The most complicated eye diseases associated with diabetes are forms of retinopathy. The enlargement, breakage, or spill of tiny blood vessels in the eye causes leakage of blood into the eyeball and leads to the loss of eye sight. Background retinopathy is a common harmless complication of diabetes. Macular edema occurs in the early stages of retinopathy is more severe. The condition of break and bleed of the bulges associated with background retinopathy onto the retina is called proliferative retinopathy. The clouding of vision caused by the leakage of blood from vessels near the retina into the fluid inside the eyeball is known as vitreous hemorrhage. Cataracts cloud the lens of the eye and obstruct the entering light. Glaucoma is caused by the elevated pressure inside the eye.

Kidney Complications

Nephropathy is the most severe complication of diabetes involving the kidney and the urinary tract. Nephropathy usually occurs in patients with the diabetes history for a long time. Swelling of the ankles, hands, face, or other body parts; loss of appetite, perhaps accompanied by a metallic taste in the mouth; skin irritations; difficulty thinking clearly; fatigue; and extreme difficulty managing blood sugar are the main symptoms of nephropathy. Hyperfiltration in which larger amounts of blood than normal move through the kidneys to compensate for damaged nephrons, is the first stage of malfunctioning kidney. The kidney releases small quantities of protein into the blood in the primary stages of kidney disease is called microalbuminuria and proteinuria. More complicated diseases generates when the body retains waste products that are normally excreted. A swelling called edema can occur at the later stages of kidney disease because excess fluid is retained in the body. Advanced kidney disease causes elevated levels of the muscle waste product creatinine.

Urinary Tract Complications

Excessive glucose in the bloodstream causes urological complications. Painful urination, frequent urination, and cloudy or bloody urine are symptoms of urinary tract infections. Bladder infections occur more frequently in patients with diabetes. Urological tract infections are more common in women than in men. Infections of the urological tract start bladder or ureters and spread to the kidneys and create additional problems. Kidney stone also causes infections. Bladder infections caused by incomplete emptying of the bladder often develops without painful symptoms. A non functioning bladder occurs because of nerve damage in the bladder area associated with diabetes.

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