Health Topics

Healthy Living

The Sugar Bug

M M Sharma
Overlook proper care, diet and exercise, and diabetes spreads its deadly tentacles and stops smooth functioning of other parts of the human body.
As a diabetic, you are likely to have:
  • 20 times more chances of developing kidney disease
  • 4 times more chances of becoming blind
  • 4 times more chances of getting a stroke
  • 2 to 4 times more chances of having a heart
1. Kidney damage
  • Kidneys are remarkable organs. Inside them are millions of tiny blood vessels that act as filters. Their job is to remove waste products from the blood. Diabetes sometimes causes this filtering system to break down and cause kidney failure. Failing kidneys lose their ability to filter out waste products, resulting in kidney disease
  • High level blood sugar makes kidneys filter too much blood. All this extra work is hard on the filters. After many years, they start to leak. Useful protein is lost in the urine.
  • The better a person controls diabetes, the lower are one’s chances of getting kidney disease. The early symptoms of kidney disease are:

      1. Swelling of the ankles, feet and hands
      2. hortness of breath
      3. High BP
      4. Confusion or difficulty in concentration
      5. Poor appetite
      6. Nausea and vomiting
      7. Dry, itchy skin
      8. Fatigue or loss of sleep
2. Eyesight
  • Diabetes causes many eye problems and may lead to blindness. People with diabetes do have a higher risk of blindness than people without diabetes.
  • People with diabetes are 40 per cent more likely to suffer from glaucoma (damage to the optic nerve that causes blindness). The longer someone has had diabetes, the more common glaucoma is. Risk also increases with age. Vision is gradually lost because the retina (the black part of the eye) and the optic nerve are damaged.
  • Many people without diabetes also get cataracts, but people with diabetes are 60 per cent more likely to develop this eye condition. Diabetics also tend to get cataracts at a younger age.
  • The retina is nourished by many tiny vessels. These blood vessels are often among the first to be damaged by diabetes. Sixty per cent of people with diabetes type 2 develop some eye damage by the time they have had diabetes for 20 years.
  • Diabetes is the leading cause of blindness in adults. Each year nearly 24,000 people lose their sight due to diabetes. People who keep their blood sugar levels closer to normal are less likely to have retinopathy (damage to the retina caused by diabetes) or to have milder forms of it.
Signs and symptoms:
      1. Spiders, cobwebs, or tiny specks floating in any eye
      2. A gray shadow in field of vision
      3. Blurred letters while reading
      4. A dark or empty spot in the centre of vision
      5. Dark streaks or a red film that blocks vision
      6. Eye pain
      7. Flashes of light or rings around objects
      8. Straight lines that appear distorted
      9. Vision loss
      10. An annual eye examination by the doctor can identify problems early, before any permanent damage occurs
  • The information on this site does not constitute medical advice and is not intended to be a substitute for medical care provided by a physician.
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