Article by Renata GelmanPartners in Care, AgingCare

“Staying healthy is a challenge for everyone, but for those managing diabetes, staying on top of changes to health status is crucial. According to the CDC, diabetes is the seventh leading cause of death and can lead to permanent disability.

Even if a diabetic is doing everything right— managing and testing blood glucose levels, exercising, eating healthy etc.—a host of complications can surface, such as heart problems, nerve damage or blindness. It is important for these individuals to be aware of diabetes-related issues and know what signs and symptoms to watch out for.

Here are five common complications from diabetes:

  1. Heart disease: According to the American Diabetes Association (ADA), approximately two out of three people living with diabetes dies due to heart disease. Diabetes affects cholesterol levels; raising a person’s bad cholesterol while lowering their good cholesterol. When this happens, arteries are narrowed by a build-up of fatty materials and the chances of having a heart attack or stroke double. If a diabetic experiences chest pain, shortness of breath, sweating, pain or discomfort in the arms, back, jaw or neck, or have nausea with exertion, call that individual’s doctor or 911.
  2. Neuropathy: It is likely that almost half of people with diabetes have nerve damage, says the ADA. This condition causes loss of sensation and makes it easier for a person to injure themselves without noticing. Additionally, poor circulation and neuropathy often leads to a compromised immune system, as the body can’t fight off infection or heal from wounds quickly. Although not everyone will suffer from neuropathy, it’s essential to control blood glucose levels and report any symptoms to a doctor.”

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