What are the chronic complications of diabetes?

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ebaker13 | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Adjunct Educator

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Some common examples of complications of diabetes for the eyes are blood vessels of the retina hemorrhaging and can cause partial or complete blindness, and cataracts can form.  Hemorrhaging and inflammation of the kidneys can cause kidney failure.  Different neural problems which are caused by blood supply to neural tissues.  Early heart attacks usually three to five times more likely in diabetics than in nondiabetics.  Changes in the blood vessels that disrupts normal blood flow to the hands and feet.  For example, infections and loss of toes or a major portion of one or both feet can result from low blood flow and oxygen. 

Many tissues act as they are in an energy crisis because the glucose levels cannot be stabilized.  Tissues would break down lipids and proteins because they cannot absorb glucose from their surroundings.  This leads to all of the above problems that diabetics can face.

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giorgiana1976 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Valedictorian

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A patient with type I or II diabetes  may develop one or more chronic complications.
MACRO VASCULAR COMPLICATIONS Hyperglycaemia can cause to the vessels that irrigate the heart and brain. It also may be affected lower limb peripheral vessels, blood flow is blocked at this level or fall, causing peripheral artery diseases. In terms of deficient irrigation,  patient with diabetes may suffer strokes or heart attacks.
- Diabetic retinopathy cause vision loss - Diabetic nephropathy. Progression of renal lesion of blood vessels, leading to renal failure, dialysis being necessary  or achieveing renal transplantation
- Leads to lowering tactile sensitivity , thermal and painful especially in the feet (foot and legs). Neuropathy can be installed at the level of nerves involved in control of body functions leading to changes of digestion and sexual function.

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krishna-agrawala | College Teacher | (Level 3) Valedictorian

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Diabetes is a disease in which the affected person is unable to use up the glucose released in the blood fast enough, leading to increase in glucose level in the blood. When the glucose levels in the blood become very high it creates emergency health situation requiring immediate treatment. If such problem aggravates and suitable treatment is not received the patient may go in to coma and leading to death.

In addition to such immediate problems, chronic diabetes can lead to other complications also in the long run. These include the following.

  • Cause changes in the blood vessels of retina leading to diabetic retinopathy. When this condition worsens it leads to blindness.
  • Similar changes can take place in kidney blood vessels leading to diabetic naphropathy, and ultimately causing kidney failure.
  • Nerves can also get affected causing loss of sensation and feeling of abnormal sensation.
  • It can cause hardening of arteries that can lead to complications like stroke, heart failure or gangrene.
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violetb | High School Teacher | eNotes Newbie

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Complications include heart disease, stroke, kidney disease, eye complications, neuropathy, nerve damage, foot complications,skin conditions, gastroparesis, and depression.

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hudson23 | Student, Undergraduate | (Level 1) eNoter

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These diabetes complications are related to blood vessel diseases and are generally classified into small vessel disease, such as those involving the eyes, kidneys and nerves (microvascular disease), and large vessel disease involving the heart and blood vessels (macrovascular disease). Diabetes accelerates hardening of the arteries (atherosclerosis) of the larger blood vessels, leading to coronary heart disease and pain in the lower extremities because of lack of blood supply. .

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