If your loved one has recently experienced a diagnosis of diabetes, their emotions may be ranging anywhere from disbelief, to fear, to a nonchalant approach—a belief that their prescribed medication will cure whatever ails them. While it’s important to not let fear affect your daily like, it’s also important to know the consequences of not changing the lifestyle that led to disease. Sometimes people just need a little nudge to head in the right direction. Knowing the complications your loved one faces if they do not keep their blood sugar under control could be just the incentive they need to make the necessary changes.
The longer one has diabetes and the more out of control their blood sugar is, the better their chances of developing one of these complications.
Damage to the blood vessels of the retina—the thin layer of tissue in the back of the eye—results in diabetic retinopathy which can, if not controlled, lead to blindness. Other eye disorders that people with diabetes are at greater risk for include glaucoma and cataracts.
Due to the damage done to the arteries by high blood sugar, cardiovascular disease may result. This includes heart attack, stroke and atherosclerosis, a narrowing and hardening of the arteries.
Diabetes can damage nerve fibers as well. High blood sugar can affect the tiny capillaries that supply nourishment to the nerves. This results in pain that is often described as a burning, tingling or numb sensation. It commonly affects the feet as well as the legs. Left untreated, you can lose all feelings within the extremities. This can result in blisters and ulcerations. In some cases, amputation of the foot or leg is required.
The kidneys contain millions of tiny blood vessels. Damage to these arteries results in kidney failure or disease.
Those with diabetes are more prone to bacterial and fungal infections that affect the skin.
While this list seems daunting, it’s important to remember that these diseases are the result of uncontrolled blood sugar. For those that keep their blood sugar in the correct range and make necessary lifestyle adjustments, all or most of these can be avoided.
Home Care Provider
If your loved one has been affected by diabetes or one of its many complications, consider obtaining the services of a home care provider. These professionals can assist with the daily activities of living. They can also prepare diabetic-friendly meals, complete the grocery shopping and run other errands as well as accompany your parent on daily walks, helping them get the exercise they need. They can help promote and encourage the lifestyle changes that lead to a happy and healthy life despite receiving the diagnosis of diabetes.