The Risks and Complications of Uncontrolled Diabetes
Diabetes and Your Teeth
People with diabetes are at high risk for gum disease. Keeping your diabetes under control, seeing your dentist regularly, and taking good daily care of your teeth can prevent gum disease and tooth loss.
The Cause of Diabetes Complications
Diabetes complications are caused by damage to the blood vessels, nerves, or both.
Symptoms of Diabetes Complications
Symptoms vary depending on the diabetes complication that you have. You may have:
- No symptoms if you have heart disease or atherosclerosis of a large blood vessel, unless you have a heart attack or stoke; disease of the large blood vessels in your legs may cause problems with blood circulation, leading to leg cramps, changes in skin color, and decreased sensation.
Vision problems, vision loss, or pain in your eye if you have diabetic eye disease
- No symptoms if you have early diabetes-related kidney disease; swelling of the legs and feet occur in more advanced stages of kidney failure.
- Tingling, numbness, burning, or shooting or stabbing pain in the feet, hands, or other parts of your body, if the nerves are affected by diabetes (peripheral diabetic neuropathy); if the nerves that control internal organs are damaged (autonomic neuropathy), you may have sexual problems, digestive problems (a condition called gastroparesis); difficulty sensing when your bladder is full; dizziness, fainting, or difficulty knowing when your blood sugar is low.
Prevention of Diabetes Complications
When diabetes complications are found early, you might only have to take medication to prevent progression of the disease. Only minor lifestyle changes may be necessary. For example, if you have early diabetic nephropathy, you can take medication to prevent further damage. Early treatment for a complication and keeping your blood sugar levels within a safe range can help slow the progression of your complication and may prevent other complications from developing.
Treatment of Diabetes Complications
Treatment of diabetes complications focuses on slowing the progression of the damage. That may include medication, surgery, or other treatment options.
But the most important ways to slow the progression of diabetes complications are to keep your blood sugar levels in control, eat right, exercise, avoid smoking, and to treat high blood pressure and high cholesterol.