Diabetes Facts: Know the Risks

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People with diabetes are at risk for long-term problems affecting the eyes, kidneys, heart, brain, feet and nerves. The best way to prevent or delay these problems is to control your blood sugar and take good care of yourself. Want to learn more about your risk? Take the diabetes risk assessment.

Brain

Diabetes increases the risk for stroke.

Warning signs include:
•    Sudden numbness/weakness in the face, arm or leg, usually on one side of the body
•    Sudden nausea/vomiting
•    Difficulty speaking or understanding words or simple sentences
•    Sudden intense headache/blurred or decreased vision in one or both eyes
•    Loss of balance or loss of coordination

Eyes

People with diabetes should see an eye doctor every year for a dilated eye exam. If you have any changes in your vision, call your healthcare provider.

Eye problems that can occur with diabetes include:

•    Cataracts — a clouding of the lens of the eyes
•    Glaucoma — increased pressure in the eye
•    Retinopathy — eye changes with the retina in the back of the eye

Symptoms of eye problems include blurred vision, spots or lines in your vision, eye discomfort and loss of vision.

Heart

All people with diabetes have an increased chance for heart disease and strokes. Heart disease is the major cause of death in people with diabetes. It’s important to control other risks such as high blood pressure and high fats (cholesterol), as well as blood sugar. Call your doctor or go to an ER if any of these signs or symptoms occurs.

Symptoms of a heart attack include:
•    Shortness of breath
•    Feeling faint or dizzy
•    Sweating and nausea
•    Chest pain or pressure
•    Pain in the shoulders, jaw and left arm

Kidneys

Have your urine checked for protein at least once a year. Protein in the urine is a sign of kidney disease. High blood pressure might also lead to kidney disease, so be sure to check your blood pressure when you see your healthcare provider. Prompt treatment may slow the changes with kidney disease.

Symptoms of a kidney problem include:
•    Swelling of the hands, feet, and face
•    Weight gain from edema
•    Itching and/or drowsiness (can occur with end stage kidney disease)

Feet

High blood sugars can lead to poor blood flow and nerve damage, which can lead to slow healing of sores. You can experience severe pain, but you can also lose feeling in your feet. In serious cases this may lead to amputation of your toes, foot or leg.

Nerves

High blood sugars can affect all of the nerve endings in your body. Nerve damage can cause many problems. Symptoms of nerve damage include:
•    Burning pain
•    Numbness
•    Tingling or loss of feeling in the feet or lower legs
•    Problems with sexual function in both men and women

  • Marry

    I was diagnosed with type 2 Diabetes and put on Metformin on June 26th, 2014. I started the ADA diet and followed it 100% for a few weeks and could not get my blood sugar to go below 140. Finally i began to panic and called my doctor, he told me to get used to it. He said I would be on metformin my whole life and eventually insulin. At that point i knew something wasn’t right and began to do a lot of research. On April 13th I found this book on
    w­j­e­5­9­2­.­com/Cure-Diabetes-Naturally.html . I read the book from end to end that night because everything the writer was saying made absolute sense. I started the diet that day and the next morning my blood sugar was down to 100, the next day was in the 90’s and now i have a fasting blood sugar between Mid 70’s and the 80’s. My doctor took me off the metformin after just one week of being on this lifestyle change. I have lost over 30 pounds in a month. I now work out twice a day and still have tons of energy. I have lost 6+ inches around my waist and I am off my high blood pressure medication too. I have about 20 more pounds to go till my body finds its ideal weight. The great news is, this is a lifestyle I can live with, it makes sense and it works. God Bless the writer. I wish the ADA would stop enabling consumers and tell them the truth. You can get off the drugs, you can help yourself, but you have to have a correct lifestyle and diet. No more processed foods.

    • Ez Acosta

      It pays to advocate for our own health. The standards of health in conventional medicine is atrocious. Im glad you found the path out of sickness. So much of this countries ills goes back to nutrition and clean living and food. The truth is out there.

  • Kimberly Ryan

    In 2007, I was diagnosed with severe fibromyalgia, placed on narcotic therapy, extremely active, petite, until three years ago. Cannot take Lyrica or gabapentin due to severe allergies and Cymbalta doesn’t help. I was taken off these medications because of all the studies contraindicated their effectiveness. Now I’m not on anything. I’ve gained almost 50 pounds, due to decreased activity, in severe pain, have increased neuropathy and muscle weakness, all of which are not being addressed. To add fuel to the fire, I had a brain aneurysm in 4/2000 which left me with traumatic brain injury, as well as, physical side effects. I’ve kept these to a minimum by staying physically fit and active. Because my health has deteriorated and by not being as physical, these side effects are becoming more apparent again. There is no one treating fibromyalgia in my area and I also live in NYS with the strict regulations of narcotics. I don’t fit the “normal” treatment for this diagnosis, nor do I have a history of alcohol or drug abuse, yet I cannot get help. It’s unfortunate that someone who goes from being highly active all their life, athletic, loves the outdoors, lives alone, owns their own house, used to be an RN, becomes someone who struggles to get through the day. It’s not right.