What kind of complications are seen in diabetics, and how to avoid them?

A chronic health disease, diabetes is characterised by increased blood sugar along with other metabolic disorders. Dr Rajeev Gupta, internal medicine, CK Birla Hospital, Delhi explains that when the pancreas is unable to produce enough insulin, or insulin action on cells becomes ineffective, hyperglycemia with its complications are seen in a patient.

“These complications include infection in blood vessels and nerves. Symptoms of hyperglycemia are increased urination, weakness, weight loss, increased appetite, recurrent infections and other complications of diabetes like heart attacks, strokes or kidney failure,” he says.

According to the doctor, diabetes mellitus is divided into 3 types:

Type 1: Wherein the primary defect is the failure of the pancreas to produce insulin, so regular mellitus treatment is mandatory to sustain life and prevent complications. It generally affects children and young adults, but can occur at any age. Damage to cells or pancreas can be genetic or acquired by viral levels or autoimmune reactions of the body.

“Type 1 diabetes demands the adoption of strict lifestyle changes and dietary habits to keep this condition under control. Unlike other conditions, an individual’s participation and medical and social support are of paramount importance,” Dr Gupta adds.

Patients with type 1 diabetes need to:

– Monitor and control blood sugar, cholesterol and BP consistently.
– Manage blood sugar with insulin shots as advised by a doctor.
– Rest and relaxation to reduce stress.
– Stay active with exercises.
– Make healthy food choices.
– Manage stress to postpone or avoid diabetic complications. Consult your doctor to understand how to recognise and manage complications like kidney disease, eye disease, and cardiovascular complications.
– Go for regular urine tests for albumin (ACR), fundus examination for retinopathy, and lipids assessment along with strict blood pressure control.

Dr Gupta says type 2 diabetes is a more common type, characterised by primarily ineffective insulin action (insulin resistance) with a variable defect in insulin secretion. “Generally, these patients are adults who are obese or have a sedentary lifestyle. Dealing with the complications of diabetes requires effective management to reduce morbidity and mortality.

diabetes, diabetes patients, diabetes health complications, diabetes treatment, diabetes and lifestyle changes, types of diabetes, diabetics, indian express news Patients with type-1 diabetes need to monitor and control blood sugar, cholesterol and BP consistently. (Photo: Pixabay)

“Patients must pay attention to blood sugar control, blood pressure, cholesterol, avoid smoking, reduce alcohol consumption, keep their weight under control and exercise regularly to reduce the risk of heart disease,” he explains.

People with type 2 diabetes must recognise signs of impending stroke — like numbness or weakness of any limb, slurred speech, headaches, or dizziness. For early detection of kidney disease, a regular urine albumin test and kidney function test are needed.

Gestational diabetes

This is the third type, majorly diagnosed in pregnant women who are not diabetic before pregnancy. Generally, a glucose tolerance test at the 27th week of gestation is routinely done to detect this condition.

“Once diagnosed, the pregnancy needs to be closely monitored as there is increased risk to the fetus as well. Pregnant women with gestational diabetes should exercise regularly, ensure proper diet and insulin dosage as recommended by the doctor. After delivery, gestational diabetes normally resolves. Obese mothers need to be followed-up for any future development of diabetes,” the doctor concludes.

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