Chances you know someone who has diabetes, as it is a common disease that affects millions of North Americans. The two types of diabetes are Type 1 and Type 2, the main distinction being that Type 1 starts at birth whereas Type 2 develops later on in life, often as a result of less than ideal eating and lifestyle choices. However, that does not mean that Type 1 diabetes is always diagnosed in childhood, as this is not always the case. Often people can get to adulthood without realizing that they have the disease.
Although diabetes is manageable, it requires daily maintenance and lifestyle changes, which can sometimes be frustrating or difficult. If diabetes, regardless of type, is not managed properly (and even if it is, sadly) it can lead to other, potentially fatal, health issues. Therefore, if you have reason to believe that you or a child might have diabetes, it is crucial that you seek medical attention right away and talk to your doctor about how to best manage your or your child’s symptoms.
Continue reading to learn more about some of the different health issues that can be a result of diabetes.
1. Heart problems
The number one health problem associated with diabetes, and possibly the most dangerous one, is heart issues. Therefore, it is important, as we mentioned above, to talk to your doctor if you have reason to believe that you or your child might have diabetes. It is also important to listen to their suggestions as not doing so can lead to serious issues with the heart and blood vessels. In fact, those who have been diagnosed with diabetes are twice as likely to experience heart problems including strokes and heart attacks. Diabetes can also have a detrimental effect on the blood vessels. In extreme cases, these complications can lead to the need for the amputation of body parts, most commonly the feet or toes. Diabetes is one of the leading causes of the need for amputation of the lower extremities.
If you have diabetes and notice any odd sensations in your feet or legs, whether it is slight discoloration, pain, or cramps, talk to your doctor right away or make your way to the closest emergency room. Believe us, it is better to be safe than sorry.