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Diabetic Complications: Awareness & Prevention

Diabetes can lead to various complications that affect different parts of the body due to prolonged high blood sugar levels. Diabetic complications can be broadly categorized into two types: macrovascular (affecting large blood vessels) and microvascular (affecting small blood vessels). These include conditions like heart disease, stroke, and peripheral artery disease, which increase the risk of cardiovascular events in people with diabetes. These complications affect small blood vessels and can lead to diabetic retinopathy (eye damage), nephropathy (kidney damage), and neuropathy (nerve damage). Nerve damage can cause tingling, numbness, pain, and loss of sensation, often starting in the feet and hands. High blood sugar can damage the blood vessels in the eyes, potentially leading to vision impairment and blindness. Prolonged high blood sugar can damage the kidneys and impair their ability to filter waste from the blood. Diabetes significantly increases the risk of heart disease and stroke, making heart health monitoring and management crucial. Poor circulation and nerve damage can lead to foot ulcers and infections, potentially requiring amputation in severe cases. While not a long-term complication, severe low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) can lead to unconsciousness and requires immediate treatment.

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Dr. Ramya Bevoor 
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Dr. Ramya Bevoor

Consultant Physician, Diabetologist , Faculty at CMC, Vellore

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Diabetes can lead to various complications that affect different parts of the body due to prolonged high blood sugar levels. Diabetic complications can be broadly categorized into two types: macrovascular (affecting large blood vessels) and microvascular (affecting small blood vessels). These include conditions like heart disease, stroke, and peripheral artery disease, which increase the risk of cardiovascular events in people with diabetes. These complications affect small blood vessels and can lead to diabetic retinopathy (eye damage), nephropathy (kidney damage), and neuropathy (nerve damage). Nerve damage can cause tingling, numbness, pain, and loss of sensation, often starting in the feet and hands. High blood sugar can damage the blood vessels in the eyes, potentially leading to vision impairment and blindness. Prolonged high blood sugar can damage the kidneys and impair their ability to filter waste from the blood. Diabetes significantly increases the risk of heart disease and stroke, making heart health monitoring and management crucial. Poor circulation and nerve damage can lead to foot ulcers and infections, potentially requiring amputation in severe cases. While not a long-term complication, severe low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) can lead to unconsciousness and requires immediate treatment.