Long Term Effects of Type 2 Diabetes

Diabetes is a life altering condition that requires you to be wary about your blood sugar concentration at all times. Unfortunately diabetic patients have higher mortality rates than non-diabetics because of the complications that occur with the condition. The main aim of treatment is to decrease the risk of developing these complications.

There are a number of risk factors that are associated with diabetes, including eye damage (retinopathy), nerve damage (neuropathy), kidney damage (nephropathy) and heart disease. The best way to treat all of these is to ensure that blood glucose levels are maintained within normal limits all the time. Unfortunately this is often a lot harder than it would seem.

One of the major causes of mortality (death) in diabetic patients is heart disease. Over 60% of people who have the condition will have a heart attack, and 25% a stroke. This is due in part to diabetes causing a build up of atherosclerosis (cholesterol) on the walls of blood vessels, which leads to them becoming narrowed. Once this occurs it can’t be reversed, starting to impede the blood supply to that tissue. This can cause both heart attacks and strokes. Another problem is high blood pressure, which too can also cause strokes and heart attacks.

These major risk factors can all be decreased with adequate blood sugar and cholesterol control as well as trying to reduce your blood pressure. This can be done by using drugs that help decrease your blood cholesterol such as statins, whilst also using anti-hypertensives such as diuretics to help lower your blood pressure.

Other significant problems include retinopathy, neuropathy and nephropathy.

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