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Did You Know Diabetes Is Not A Single Disease And Is A Home Of Multiple Diseases?

Written and reviewed by
Dr. Rajesh Kesari 87% (31 ratings)
Diploma In Diabetology, MD - Diabetology
Endocrinologist, Delhi  •  24 years experience
Did You Know Diabetes Is Not A Single Disease And Is A Home Of Multiple Diseases?

Diabetes has been largely identified as a lifestyle disease that not only affects the physical health, but also causes a deterioration of the general well-being of a person. If a person is suffering from diabetes then it is not the only disease that a person should be concerned about. It is a debilitating disease that is linked to a multitude of other problems that affects health. However, even though the condition affects the body in a bad way, all is certainly not lost. Regular monitoring of blood glucose and maintaining it in a normal range reduces the risk of complications. If a person is suffering from diabetes or is in a pre-diabetic stage, then it is necessary to watch out for certain other diseases that can occur simultaneously with diabetes. The following conditions fall under the multitude of diseases associated with diabetes.

Cardiovascular disease

Diseases that affect the heart are one of the leading causes of death for people suffering from diabetes. Rise in the blood sugar levels can cause a building up of deposits of fats inside the blood vessels. This blocking of blood vessels is due to the clog caused by the fat deposit and it hardens the blood vessels. A partial blockage or narrowing of blood vessels can lead to a disruption in the functioning of heart. It leads to a stroke or a heart attack. The risk of developing a cardiovascular disease is high when a person is living with diabetes for a period of more than 12-15 years. Physical activity and diet management plays an important role in reducing the risk factor of developing heart related complications. Major risk factors include smokers, hypertensive patients, increased levels of cholesterol in blood and individuals with a history of heart diseases.

Renal disease

A leading cause of failure of kidneys is diabetes. A large number of people suffering from diabetes also have kidney problems. Chronic kidney disease is seen in people with a family history of increased blood pressure. Hypertensive conditions also tend to increase the rate of development of kidney diseases. Similarly, kidney problems can also lead to cause hypertension. Being linked to diabetes and hypertension, evaluation of kidney at regular intervals is mandatory to ensure a healthy lifestyle.

Neuropathy

Nerve damage is invariably associated with diabetes. The nerve disorders that are caused by diabetes are termed as neuropathies. Damage to the blood vessels due to fat deposits affect the blood supply to the nerves. Lack of a regular blood supply leads to damaging of these nerves. Other causes of nerve damage in a diabetic patient are infection and inflammation. Pain, numbness of the affected area like toes and legs, tingling sensation or sometimes even loss of sensation is observed in diabetic neuropathy. Some may even experience disturbances in the digestive system. Nausea, uneasiness in the stomach, constipation, irregular bowel movements are amongst the common presenting symptoms. Nerve damage can also affect reproductive system and its functions.

Ophthalmic problems

Blood vessels present in the retina can get blocked or there may be development of abnormal growths in the eye of the individuals with diabetes. Image formation in the eye also gets affected. Two major diseases affecting the eye, cataracts and glaucoma, are also more likely to develop in diabetic people. It is essential for diabetics to undergo eye examination regularly. If the blood glucose in maintained in a normal range, eye problems can be largely avoided.

Amputation and other foot problemsAmputation of the foot is most likely to occur in people with diabetes. Diabetics are prone to have peripheral arterial disease, where blood flow to the foot is reduced. Narrowing of blood vessels affects the blood supply and thus delays healing of wounds and cuts. Neuropathic problems further worsen the condition of the foot. Unnoticed sores and ulcers can get infected and may cause an amputation. Poor circulation and high blood glucose levels cause the foot ulcers to remain unhealed.  Calluses are also seen commonly on the foot of the diabetic people. Skin of the foot also becomes dry and tends to peel or crack. Proper care of the feet, with adequate moisture control is necessary to avoid foot problems. In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!

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