Diabetes is far too serious a condition to ignore. And yet, countless American adults are doing just that. Living with undiagnosed and uncontrolled diabetes can lead to serious health problems that will handicap your lifestyle and irreparably damage your long-term health. There are ways to prevent painful and disfiguring complications, but your awareness is critical.
You must pay attention to your overall health, and talk to your doctor about potential early signs of adult-onset diabetes. And once you have the diagnosis, it is your responsibility to live mindfully with the condition, to treat yourself as you can, to monitor your sugar, eat a balanced diet, and prevent the complications all diabetics fear. Knowing what you’re up against is a good first step toward prevention and proactive attention.
Dangers of Diabetes
When your blood sugar has been consistently too high, unchecked and unmitigated for months and even years, many systems and organs of your body will begin to suffer. You will be affected in ways you might not understand.
- Vision Problems
Eye problems are one of the more well-known consequences of improperly managed diabetes. Night blindness and sensitivity to light are sometimes the first signs your eyes are affected. Ultimately, you can descend into blindness, as a result of diabetes that was never diagnosed or treated.
- Skin Infection
Infection on your skin, particularly your feet, is another well-known yet not entirely understood result of diabetes taken to the extreme. Are you suffering from pain, itching, or oozing in your extremities? This could mean that diabetes has become late-stage, and you are in danger of having your feet amputated. Sores on your legs and feet are not to be ignored.
- Nerve Damage
Another common complaint of the diabetic is nerve damage. You may experience tingling, pain or burning, or a loss of sensation altogether in your extremities.
- Digestion Problems
Diabetes can affect your digestive system. You may feel weak, frequently sick to your stomach, or constipated. Your kidneys could become damaged, and in some cases will stop working properly, and you could end up on dialysis for the rest of your life.
- Mental Issues
Diabetes has been linked to dementia and depression. Your mind and body function are interrelated.
The Good News
Fortunately, if you have not yet experienced this host of horrible outcomes, there are steps you can take to prevent painful, uncomfortable, and compromising medical conditions. Maintain your blood sugar, and keep your blood pressure and cholesterol within a healthy range. Talk frequently with your physician or healthcare practitioner about drugs and other modalities to keep your diabetes in control.
In addition to modifying your diet and incorporating low-impact cardiovascular exercise into your life, you must take the medications your doctor has prescribed – as prescribed – and be on the lookout for early warning signs. Check the feeling in your feet, see an optometrist regularly, and of course, test your sugar often.
Your doctor may advise blood and urine tests, and it is wise to always submit to whatever assessment he or she thinks is necessary. Being proactive and taking preventive action are the best methods to keeping your feet, your eyesight, and all your organs intact. You can live a long and healthy life with diabetes if you take your health seriously, act quickly, and know when something has changed.
Abella Health is your health advocate, whether you are living with diabetes or another chronic condition. We are here to listen, to treat, and guide you on your journey.