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Last Updated: May 31, 2022

Complications Associated With Type 1 Diabetes

Dr. GarimaGeneral Physician • 2 Years Exp.MNAMS (Membership of the National Academy) (Ophthalmology)
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Type 1 diabetes occurs when your pancreas is unable to produce enough insulin to keep the blood sugar levels under control. The condition, if not managed properly, can lead to related health disorders and complications, both long-term and short-term.

Health Problems Arising from Type 1 Diabetes

Type 1 diabetes can have severe effects on your eyes, kidney, nervous system, and heart health. The most common ailments associated with Type 1 diabetes may include the following-

1. Diabetic Retinopathy

Diabetic retinopathy is a disease of the eyes, which occurs when the blood vessels in the retina (tissue present at the back of your eyes) are damaged. The walls of the retina gradually weaken from increasing blood pressure and blood sugar levels, and this leads to leakage of blood or fluid into the nearby tissues.

Early symptoms of diabetic retinopathy include-

  • Blurred vision

  • Floaters

  • Difficulty perceiving colors

2. Diabetic Neuropathy

Diabetic neuropathy unfolds when the nerves are damaged due to Type 1 Diabetes. The condition mostly affects your feet and legs. Reduced blood circulation due to high blood glucose impedes normal wound healing in the extremities, hence, even a minor bruise can develop into a permanent injury.

Symptoms of diabetic neuropathy are-

  • Numbness

  • Reduced sensation

  • Severe, debilitating pain in the extremities

3. Diabetic Nephropathy

Also known as diabetic kidney disease, the condition is a slow deterioration of the kidney and its ability to function properly. In severe cases, where the levels of blood glucose are extremely high due to Type 1 diabetes, diabetic nephropathy can ultimately result in kidney failure or End-Stage Renal Disease (ESRD).

The following are the symptoms of diabetic nephropathy-

  • Dark urine

  • Swollen ankles, feet, eyes, or hands

  • Shortness of breath

4. Cardiovascular Diseases

Cardiovascular diseases refer to a range of heart conditions including blood clots and diseased blood vessels. High blood glucose levels resulting from Type 1 diabetes can contribute to the deposition of fat in the walls of the blood vessel. Over time, this may restrict the flow of blood and put you at risk of cardiovascular disorders such as coronary artery disease, stroke, or even heart attack.

Symptoms of cardiovascular diseases widely vary, ranging from palpitations to chest pain. Sometimes, such a condition may not exhibit any symptoms at all.

Type 1 diabetes complications are related to poor management of blood glucose. The best way to monitor the condition and control the symptoms is to get in touch with your doctor. A specialist in this field can prescribe the correct treatment and help prevent the onset the related health disorders.


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