Your Guide to Healthy Lifestyle
Diabetes may be too common to be heard nowadays that make people use to it and may not care for it as it’s supposed to be cared. Most diabetes patient take the disease for granted and as a consequence make them suffered from serious complications that are actually avoidable. It is essential that diabetics are aware of the complication that can occur as a result of having diabetes. This is to ensure that the first symptoms of any possible illness are spotted before developing and worsening.
1. Diabetic Neuropathy
Diabetic neuropathy is a nerve disorder caused by either type 1 or type 2 diabetes. Over time, diabetics who do not strictly control their condition may develop damage to the nerves around the body.
Incidences are more common in patients with poor blood sugar control, overweight, have higher levels of blood fat and blood pressure, and are over the age of 40. The longer a person has diabetes, the greater the risk of developing neuropathies.
Neuropathy may affect up to 50% of people with diabetes. Symptoms of neuropathy will often first manifest as numbness or pain in the hands, feet, arms or legs. Gradually, the symptom may progress that include:
• Wasting of muscles in feet or hands
• Indigestion, nausea and vomiting, diarrhea/constipation due to nerve damage along the digestive tract
• Urinary problems
• Impotence or vaginal dryness
• Faintness or dizziness
• Weakness of the limbs
Maintaining consistently normal blood glucose levels is the best way to prevent or delayed diabetic neuropathy. Keeping glucose levels stable protects the nerves.
Thrush is a yeast infection which tends to affect warm, moist areas of the body such as the vagina, penis, mouth and certain areas of skin. Thrush is more common in people with diabetes as high sugar levels lead to better conditions for the yeast to grow.
If thrush is affected at vaginal area, a diabetic will experience symptom such as irritation/ itching, white appearance on the skin, pain during sexual intercourse and white vaginal discharge. A similar symptom may also appear in men sex organ. Thrush may also develop around the oral area. Symptoms for example bitter taste, redness inside the mouth, lesions in the mouth, sore throat and crack at the corner of lips may happen.
For people with diabetes, keeping blood sugar levels under control will certainly help to reduce the frequency and severity of outbreaks of yeast infections. Genital infections can be reduced by wearing looser fitting clothing (particularly underwear), washing your genitals regularly but avoiding the use of scented soaps or shampoos. Oral infection can be prevented by practicing good dental hygiene like flossing, brushing or using mouthwash.
3. Foot Amputation /ulcer
Foot ulcers affect as many as 1 out of 10 people with diabetes. Even small ulcers on the foot can represent a serious risk: they may heal extremely slowly and need complex treatment to cure. Ulcers can develop into serious lower body infections, with the possibility of amputation at an advanced stage.
The presence of high blood glucose levels over a long period of time may result nerves to be damaged usually in the legs. Besides, normal skin lubrication may also impair and the feet may become dry and cracked. Due to inefficiency of body immune system among diabetics, the ulcer will take longer time to heal. Infection may spread and at the end may become gangrenous.
B.Sc. Dietetics, UPM