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What happens if diabetes goes untreated?

diabetes monitor

Diabetes can impact a person’s quality of life, and if blood glucose levels remain high, it can also be life-threatening. Managing blood sugar levels can reduce the risk of complications diagnosis of diabetes.

Type 2 diabetes is more common after the age of 45 years, and symptoms appear gradually. Many people do not know they have type 2 diabetes, and so they do not take measures to manage it.

Diabetes can be effectively managed when diagnosed early. However, when left untreated, it can lead to potential complications that include:

  • Stroke
  • Kidney damage
  • Nerve damage
  • Heart disease

Normally after you eat or drink, your body will break down sugars from your food and use them for energy in your cells.

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The effects of diabetes on your body also depend on the type you have. There are two main types of diabetes: type 1 and type 2.

  • Type 1, also called juvenile diabetes or insulin-dependent diabetes is an immune system disorder. Your own immune system attacks the insulin-producing cells in the pancreas, destroying your body’s ability to make insulin. With type 1 diabetes, you must take insulin to live. Most people receive their type 1 diagnosis as a child or young adult
  • Type 2 is related to insulin resistance. It used to occur in older populations, but now younger populations are developing type 2 diabetes too. This is a result of a certain lifestyle, dietary, and exercise habits.

Symptoms of untreated diabetes

Some of the common signs and symptoms of diabetes mellitus are:

  • Frequent urination
  • Increased thirst
  • Excessive fatigue
  • Extreme hunger
  • Blurry vision
  • Bruises/cuts heal very slowly
  • Unexplained and unintentional weight loss despite increased consumption (type 1 symptom)
  • Pain, numbness, or tingling in your hands and feet (type 2 symptom)
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Heart and Blood Vessels

Heart disease and blood vessel disease are common problems for many people who don’t have their diabetes under control. You’re at least twice as likely to have heart problems and strokes as people who don’t have the condition.

Blood vessel damage or nerve damage may also cause foot problems that, in rare cases, can lead to amputations. People with diabetes are ten times likelier to have their toes and feet removed than those without the disease.

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Take Charge of Your Condition

Some people have to make only small lifestyle changes to keep their blood sugar under control, to halt or even reverse a diabetes complication. Others need medications or even surgery to manage complications and prevent them from getting worse.