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Diabetes complications


There is a selection of potential diabetes complications, however, these tend to occur when the disease is not treated properly.

Acute complications

Hypoglycemia - In this medical state, the patient has abnormally low blood sugar. Hypoglycemia most frequently occurs as a result of taking insulin or certain oral medications for the treatment of one's diabetes, although it can also occur for other reasons, including in non-diabetics.

Diabetic ketoacidosis - This is a medical emergency in which the patient's life may be at stake. In this condition, there is an inadequate amount of insulin, and the body starts to burn fatty acids and produce ketone bodies. DKA primarily occurs in individuals with the type 1 form, but it can also take place in those with type 2 diabetes.

Nonketotic hyperosmolar coma - NHC is a form of diabetic coma. It occurs in type 2 diabetics, and is often brought on by something such as an acute illness, infection, stroke, or heart attack. If not treated, the condition is fatal. It has several other names, one of which is hyperosmolar nonketotic state, or HNS for short.

Long-term complications

Diabetic retinopathy - Here, retinal damage is a complication of diabetes. It is estimated that amongst those who have had diabetes for 10 years or longer, 80 percent will have this condition. On the other hand, research seems to indicate that a large majority of new appearances of this form of retinopathy could be avoided by treatment as well as checking of the eyes. If DR is not treated, it can lead to blindness.

Chronic kidney disease (CKD) - This condition is a kind of continued loss of kidney function, and it occurs over the span of months, or even years. While there is no particular treatment to stop CKD from progressing, an underlying cause can be treated in order to attempt to slow down the loss of function.

Heart disease - This group includes various diseases that involve, in some way, the patient's heart or blood vessels. It is also known as cardiovascular disease. This occurs frequently in the general population, however, it is even more common amongst diabetics.

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