Diabetes A Silent Killer - Know All About Side Effects Of Diabetes
Diabetes mellitus or diabetes is a metabolic disease or disorder in which your body's glucose (blood sugar) levels are too high, often leading to several other side effects and long-term health implications. Insulin is a type of hormone responsible for moving sugar from your blood to your cells so it can be used later for energy. Diabetes often causes your body to produce low insulin levels, or it's a situation where your body cannot efficiently utilize the pre-existing level of insulin.
There are typically two types of diabetes, type1 and type 2; we will be reading about both in detail further in this article.
If you have diabetes, you probably know the diabetes symptoms and how the list is never-ending. The symptoms when they're unattended may often turn out to be side effects of diabetes. Some of the diabetes symptoms can vary from:
- Drying of skin
- Losing weight without effort
- Blurry vision
- Tiredness or Fatigue
- Urination at night.
Symptoms among men and women can vary. Along with the general symptoms of diabetes, men can suffer from poor muscle strength, weak cardiac health, etc. However, women who have diabetes can have some additional symptoms such as recurrent yeast infection, urinary tract infection, dry and itchy skin, etc.
The symptoms, when treated with proper medication, do subside; however, a few common side effects of diabetes do show up in the long run, such as:
- Nerve Damage
- Vision Impairment
- Gum Disease
- Sores that typically don't heal
- Cardiovascular disease
- Foot Ulcers, etc.
The line of treatment of diabetes mellitus often depends on which type of diabetes you have; that is, it depends on whether you have type 1 diabetes or type 2 diabetes.
While type 1 diabetes is usually diagnosed in children and young people, so it used to be called juvenile diabetes, the body doesn't produce insulin at all or produces it in negligible amounts. While the cause of type 1 diabetes remains a mystery to date, doctors did find some co-relation among you having it genetically, or you probably had a viral infection that set off your immune system and let it act against your own body. Thus, type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease where the body's immune system attacks the pancreas intending to destroy the cells which produce insulin, further leading to doctors prescribing insulin medication or injections to people who have type 1 diabetes. Type 1 diabetes can sometimes be hereditary, and among the total number of people having diabetes, only 10% of people have type 1 diabetes, as per multiple surveys. Despite numerous research and studies, scientists and medical professionals are yet to find a cure for type 1 diabetes.
Type 1 diabetes can cause complications that could be life-threatening. A few difficulties are:
- Pregnancy complications such as miscarriage and stillbirth (the death or loss of a baby before or during delivery), birth defects when diabetes isn't controlled
- Heart and blood vessel disease which could include high blood pressure and risk of heart attack
- Mouth and skin conditions
- Nerve damage
- Damage of hands or the foot
- Kidney damage
- Eye damage, etc.
However, type 2 diabetes is a common condition that affects how a person's body reacts to glucose (blood sugar). Type 2 diabetes can be a condition resulting from a combination of lifestyle and genetic factors. Hence, being obese or overweight, particularly around your belly, increases your risk of being diagnosed with type 2 diabetes as it makes your cells resist the effects of insulin on your blood sugar or glucose. When a person is diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, the body either fails at producing enough insulin or resists insulin which further leads to a rise in the glucose (blood sugar) level. It is a lot common among children and teenagers due to the increasing number of children being overweight or obese.
Type 2 diabetes often can get a hold of you at any age, yet an increasing number of women with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) are at risk of being diagnosed with the same due to insulin resistance in their respective bodies.
Type 2 diabetes often increase the risk of other chronic diseases such as:
- Sleep apnea
- Hearing impairment
- Further nerve damage can result in nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and constipation
- Slow Healing
- Eye damage such as cataracts and glaucoma
- Kidney disease may require dialysis or kidney transplant.
So, how is type 2 diabetes treated? Type 2 diabetes is often treated with Metformin to help with symptoms of insulin resistance. However, both kinds of diabetes can't be treated while overlooking the side effects of the medication.
A few side effects of Insulin medication or injections are:
- Trouble concentrating or confusion
- Excessive sweating
- Lightheadedness or dizziness
- Faster heart rate
- Blurred vision
- Shakiness, etc.
Some other severe and somewhat rare symptoms of insulin may include:
- Loss of consciousness
- Abrupt mood changes, anger, stubbornness, or sadness
- Lack of coordination
- Impaired vision, etc.
Whereas, a few side effects of Metformin which is typically used to treat type 2 diabetes, are as-
- Low levels of vitamin B-12 in the blood
- Lactic acidosis
- Nausea and vomiting
- Bloating or abdominal distention
- Chills or dizziness
- Weight gain
- Slurred speech
- Mood changes, anxiety, or irritability
- Asthenia (physical weakness)
- Abdominal pains (GI issues)
- Weakness and muscle pain (myalgia)
- Low blood sugar (hypoglycemia)
- Flatulence, etc.
You're at risk of being diagnosed with type 2 diabetes if you have a family history of it. However, children and teens who have type 2 diabetes are often a side effect of an unhealthy or sedentary lifestyle.
The longer a person has type 2 diabetes, the higher the risk of developing severe medical problems as a side effect of diabetes. The extra glucose or blood sugar in the body can damage blood vessels and nerves. Nerve damage as a side effect of diabetes can cause permanent loss of feeling or pain in feet, hands, and other body parts.
It's often suggested to get tested for diabetes regularly if you're overweight or obese or between 40-70 years of age. Speak to your doctor so they may get you tested if you've other relevant risk factors. Furthermore, you can start making healthy choices such as getting more physical activity and eating healthy not to let diabetes be your silent killer.