Eyes, kidneys, heart: Type 2 diabetes can cause damage in many places in the body. An overview
Diabetes mellitus can lead to numerous sequelae. They are the result of damage to the small and large arteries ( micro- or macroangiopathy ) and often also to the nerves. The likelihood of developing diabetes-related sequelae is already increasing in the pre-diabetes stage (prediabetes) . Therefore, it is important to recognize diabetes in good time and to treat it as best as possible.
The following is an overview of the most important diabetes sequelae. For further information on the individual diseases, please follow the links.
The heart attack is one of the most common causes of death of people with diabetes. High sugar levels promote calcification of the arteries (arteriosclerosis). If the coronary arteries are affected by the heart’s blood, doctors call it “coronary heart disease”. It often manifests itself in chest pain and tightness over the chest. What many do not know: Especially in women, a heart attack can also manifest itself only with general symptoms such as sudden nausea, dyspnoea, pain in the upper abdomen and vomiting. As a result of nerve damage, warning signs are often missing in diabetics.
If a coronary vessel is closed, the part of the heart muscle which is supplied by it is no longer perfused and dies. This can lead to poor performance. With regular ECG checks, it is possible to discover unexpected heart attacks (mute infarctions) in order to initiate a corresponding further diagnostic of the vessels.
People with diabetes have a much increased risk of stroke . In most cases, the stroke is a result of circulatory disturbance of the brain. For this purpose, for example, one of the two carotid arteries, which supply the blood to the brain, is clogged as a result of vessel limescale, or when a clot or limescale which detaches itself from the vessel wall is carried away with the blood stream into the brain and closes an artery there , The optimization of the blood pressure is of central importance beside the blood pressure adjustment.
Increased blood glucose levels damage the vessels of the retina in the eyes. This results in vascular occlusions, later also vascular occlusions, bleeding and fat deposits. In addition, new veins are formed, which, however, can easily tear and trigger a retinal detachment. Diabetic retinopathy ” diabetic retinopathy ” is a common cause of blindness. Complete healing is not possible. The progress of the disease can be stopped by switching off the risk factors such as hypertension and smoking as well as a laser therapy
Tingling, numbness, or burning sensation in the feet are often the first signs of a diabetes-related nerve damage ( diabetic neuropathy ). He can hit all nerves. The sensitive nerves are particularly vulnerable. They pass on sensations such as pain and temperature. Later severe pain often occurs. Autonomic nerves that supply internal organs are also damaged. Nerve damage can cause disturbances of stomach or bladder emptying, diarrhea or potency problems.
Medical professionals speak here of a diabetic nephropathy . It is one of the most common causes of renal failure and kidney failure. Damaged blood vessels in the kidneys cause their filter function to be disturbed. An early sign of this is the detection of protein in the urine ( microalbuminuria ). A timely therapy (blood pressure and diabetes well adjust, medication: ACE inhibitor) prevents the progress of the renal damage.
Nerve damage on the feet is a common cause for amputations. If the pain relief is disturbed, diabetics often do not notice pressure points or minor injuries in time. These can become infected. Since the blood circulation is also often impaired, the wounds also heal badly. Ulcers form, which attack tissues and bones ( diabetic foot syndrome ). These severe consequences can usually be avoided if one regularly examines his feet for irregularities and takes care of them carefully. It is also important that a doctor should be consulted at the earliest possible time. Also, of course, a good blood pressure management.