The illness diabetes will not exactly be the root of your demise but the complications that come along with it. As of 2015, The American Diabetes Association states that diabetes is the 7th leading cause of death in the US.
But despite these statistics, many people are still neglecting their health and do not take diabetes seriously. There are also other patients who perceive this disease as a nuisance instead of an illness that causes major health problems or death.
Diabetes is one of the most dangerous diseases today. The sad truth is there are many people who do not pour enough efforts in managing their health. For some, they rely on their insulin pumps or injections without properly educating themselves on healthy eating and lifestyle choices.
What makes diabetes deadly? If not managed well, it can basically target any major organ in your body and risk you with difficult complications. Below are the different ways on how diabetes can kill you.
This is a serious complication when the body produces high amounts of blood acids typically known as ketones. This condition occurs when your body ultimately stops producing or does not produce enough insulin.
Normally, insulin plays the role of “sugar importer”. It helps sugar enter your cells so that it can be utilized as energy. Without insulin, your body will look for a different source of energy and it begins to break down your fat stores as fuel.
This process produces acid buildup (also called as ketones) in your bloodstream, causing diabetic acidosis, fainting spells and even death.
By the 1950s, it was clearly recognized that one common complication of diabetes is kidney diseases with as many as 50% of patients with diabetes of more than 2 decades. Diabetes is responsible for 30% to 40% of all end stage renal diseases (ESRD) cases in the USA.
Diabetic nephropathy is a clinical syndrome characterized by the presence of proteins (albumin) in your urine, progressive decline of the patient’s glomerular filtration rate (GFR) and elevated blood pressure in the arteries. Patients who suffer from this eventually develop end stage renal disease.
People with diabetes or insulin resistance often develop eye complications like iris neovascularization, glaucoma, cataracts, corneal abnormalities and neuropathies. The most common and most devastating would be diabetic retinopathy.
Diabetic retinopathy can cause blindness to a diabetic patient within the age range of 25 to 70. Although this retinopathy does not exactly kill you, it can leave you completely blind and disabled for life.
Heart Attacks and Stroke
When diabetic patients can no longer maintain the delicate balance that insulin plays, they suffer from the complications caused by high amounts of sugar in their bloodstream. Overtime, the excess glucose can lead to clot buildup or fat deposits inside the blood vessels.
This problem cause the vessel wall to narrow creating a complete blockage. When the blood flow to your brain stops, this is when stroke occurs. Stroke is a condition in which the blood vessels located in the brain are destroyed.
Complications with Feet
Uncontrolled diabetes can cause nerve damage usually occurring in your legs and feet. When the nerves are damaged, your feet might not feel any temperature or even pain. This lack of sensation can cause cuts or sores in the feet that can easily become infected.
And because the healing process of a diabetic patient’s body is impaired, treating cuts and wounds become difficult. If not properly taken care of, the patient can potentially die from infection or sepsis.
Gastroparesis is a disorder in which the stomach takes too long to empty and it affects people with type 1 and type 2 diabetes. The fluctuations of blood sugar levels can damage the vagus nerve – a nerve that is responsible for moving food through the digestive system.
When the vagus nerve stops functioning properly, gastroparesis can cause food to harden into solid masses, causing blockages and infection from the natural bacteria found in the gut. When the stomach stops working properly, it also affects the absorption of sugar and controlling the
When the stomach does not work properly, the absorption of blood glucose is also affected, and controlling blood sugar will become more difficult.
Diabetes does not need to be a death sentence even if you are already experiencing multiple complications. As long as you manage your blood glucose levels well and incorporate a healthy diet and lifestyle in your program, you can reverse this metabolic condition.
If you are suffering from diabetes, start becoming more proactive and take actions now to stop the progression of your illness and prevent these deadly complications from ever occurring.