Type 2 diabetes complications develop gradually over a period of years. Chronic high blood sugar levels harm many of your body’s important organs like the heart, brain, and kidneys. This damage can become disabling or fatal. Keeping blood sugar levels within the normal range can prevent many of these type 2 diabetes complications.
High blood sugar damages the tiny capillaries that carry blood to your nerves. This causes a reduction in blood supply to your nerve endings. Damage to nerves that is caused by diabetes is called diabetic neuropathy; it is one of the most common type 2 diabetes complications. When the nerves in your toes or fingers are affected, you may experience a burning sensation, numbness and tingling. You may eventually lose all sensation in your feet or hands.
People with type 2 diabetes commonly have problems with their feet due to poor circulation and loss of sensation. A cut or injury becomes easily infected if it does not receive adequate blood supply. Infections can quickly become serious in diabetics; amputation of the toe or foot may become necessary.
Type 2 diabetes complications include the risk of cardiac disease. People with high blood sugar have a higher rate of heart attack, stroke, high blood pressure, chest pain, and vessel disease. Diabetics experience a higher rate of kidney disease as well. Your kidneys are comprised of many tiny vessels that filter blood. High blood sugar damages these vessels and disrupts the filtration process. This might cause kidney failure that requires dialysis.
Type 2 diabetes damages the eyes and increases the risk of eye diseases like glaucoma and cataracts. Diabetes can also cause blindness. The tiny capillaries that nourish the retina become damaged. Extensive damage can occur before any symptoms are noticed. People with type 2 diabetes should have regular eye examinations to detect early damage while it is still treatable.
Type 2 diabetes complications include an increased susceptibility to bacterial and fungal skin infections. Diabetes can also cause skin itching and discoloration. Skin conditions may develop where the skin becomes thicker, looks waxy, takes on a dark pigment in spots, or develops blisters. Toenails may get thicker and become discolored. Gum infections may develop.
Doctors have recently established a link between type 2 diabetes and Alzheimer’s disease. Although It is not yet understood why people with high blood sugar have a higher incidence of dementia. It might be adverse effects of damage done to the cardiovascular system that reduces the flow of blood to the brain. On the other hand, it may be related to an excess amount of insulin in the blood that causes swelling in the brain.
There are many serious type 2 diabetes complications. Luckily, they can be avoided, or their progression can be slowed, by managing your diabetes properly, so your blood sugar levels stay constant and remain within normal limits.