Diabetes is a serious disease that can lead to many other health problems if not treated properly. People with diabetes need to be aware of the risks and other related conditions associated with the disease. You want to ensure that you are taking care of your diabetes to avoid these other conditions. Learn more about the risks and other related diseases of diabetes so that you can be sure to stay healthy.
1. People with diabetes are at a higher risk for heart disease.
Because diabetes can cause damage to your blood vessels, it can lead to a condition called atherosclerosis. This is when your arteries become blocked or narrowed, leading to a heart attack or stroke. If you have diabetes, you must control your blood sugar levels and get regular checkups so your doctor can check for signs of heart disease.
Some other conditions that are related to heart disease and diabetes include:
- High blood pressure
- High cholesterol
- Coronary artery disease
Ask your doctor about what you can do to lower your risk for heart disease if you have diabetes. They can recommend lifestyle changes, such as eating a healthy diet and getting regular exercise, as well as medications that can help lower your risk.
2. Diabetes can also cause damage to your kidneys.
Because diabetes can damage the blood vessels in your kidneys, it can lead to a condition called diabetic nephropathy. This can eventually lead to kidney failure. If you have diabetes, you must get regular checkups so your doctor can check for signs of kidney disease. You can also reduce your risk of kidney disease by maintaining your blood sugar levels and a healthy weight.
A kidney condition can also lead to other problems, such as high blood pressure, anemia, and bone disease. These are all conditions that you want to avoid. They can make your diabetes worse and lead to other health problems.
3. Diabetes can affect your eyesight.
A common complication of diabetes is diabetic retinopathy when the blood vessels in your eye are damaged. This can lead to vision problems and even blindness. Glaucoma is also a condition that can also be caused by diabetes. This is when the pressure in your eye becomes too high and can damage your optic nerve.
If you have diabetes, you must get regular eye exams. Treatments are available for both of these conditions, but your doctor must catch them early to be effective. A glaucoma eye surgery can help to treat glaucoma and prevent further damage to your eyesight, while your doctor can treat diabetic retinopathy with laser surgery.
4. Diabetes can also cause problems with your feet.
Most diabetic foot problems are caused by nerve damage, which can lead to numbness or tingling in your feet. This can make it difficult to feel cuts, blisters, or other injuries on your feet. You may also lose feeling in your feet over time. This can lead to severe problems, such as ulcers, infections, and even amputation.
If you have diabetes, you must check your feet regularly for cuts, blisters, or other injuries. You should also see your doctor for regular foot exams. They can check for signs of nerve damage and ulcers. Look for shoes that fit well and provide support to help prevent foot problems.
5. Diabetes can also lead to skin problems.
Diabetes can cause diabetic dermopathy when the skin on your legs starts to thin and get scaly. This can lead to wounds or ulcers that are slow to heal. You may also develop necrobiosis lipoidica diabeticorum when fatty lesions form on your legs.
You should check your skin regularly for any changes, such as new growths, redness, or slow healing wounds. This can help to catch skin problems early. Treatment for diabetic dermopathy includes keeping the area clean and moisturized and using corticosteroid creams or ointments. Necrobiosis lipoidica diabeticorum can be treated with a laser or other light therapy.
6. Diabetes can also increase your risk for some types of cancer.
People with diabetes have an increased risk for certain types of cancer, such as pancreatic cancer, endometrial cancer, and liver cancer. This is thought to be due to the high blood sugar levels in the body. If you have diabetes, it’s essential to get regular cancer screenings.
For example, women who have diabetes should get a pap smear to screen for cervical cancer. Men and women with diabetes should also get regular colonoscopies to screen for colorectal cancer. Pancreatic cancer is more challenging to screen for, but your doctor may recommend specific tests if you are at high risk.
Diabetes is a severe condition that can lead to several health problems. It’s essential to be aware of the risks and to get regular checkups to help catch any problems early. There are treatments available for many of the complications of diabetes, so it’s crucial to get the care you need to manage your condition.