How To Prevent 4 Common But Serious Diabetes Complications

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Although diabetes is a common disease, it’s also a serious, complicated one because it affects the entire body and can lead to some serious complications, including vision loss, kidney failure and heart disease. But, diabetes doesn’t have to be a death sentence. The key to living a long, healthy life with diabetes is being aware of all the risks associated with the disease. Read on to learn about some of the most common diabetes complications and more importantly, how to prevent them.

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1. Blurry vision and blindness

Diabetes can take a serious toll on your eyes in more ways than one. Blurry vision, blindness, cataracts, glaucoma and retinopathy are all conditions you have to worry about once you’ve been diagnosed with the disease. “Diabetes affects the small vessels in the eyes and the kidneys and [can cause] serious consequences if the blood sugar is not well-controlled,” say Dr. Karin Hehenberger, who specializes in diabetes. To keep your eyes healthy, visit your eye doctor regularly so that if there’s an issue, it be spotted and treated early on.

2. Tooth and gum disease

If your diabetes is not well-controlled, you’re at a higher risk for dental problems, such as cavities and gum disease. “This has to do with the high sugar levels often associated with uncontrolled diabetes,” Dr. Hehenberger says. “High sugar affects the small vessels and thus the tissue in the mouth.”

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Additionally, diabetics don’t produce as much saliva as people who don’t have diabetes, which can lead to a dry mouth. For those who don’t know, saliva is necessary when it comes to fighting off bacteria. The good news is that if you suffer from dry mouth, your dentist or doctor can recommend the use of artificial saliva products, which are usually available over-the-counter in a rinse or spray.

3. Serious foot problems

Chronic high blood sugar can damage your nerves and interfere with your circulation, otherwise known as diabetic peripheral neuropathy (DPN), which can lead to serious foot issues, such as a tingling or burning sensation, difficulty walking, and numbness, just to name a few. If left untreated, DPN can eventually lead to amputation. The best way to prevent DPN is by keeping your blood sugar levels under control. For more ways, be sure to check out this article.

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4. Sexual dysfunction

Who would’ve thought that diabetes can affect your sex life? But it does! According to the Joslin Diabetes Center, more than 50 percent of men with type 2 diabetes experience erectile dysfunction. Women, on the other hand, may experience pain or discomfort during sex, as well as not being able to get in the mood or reach an orgasm. High blood sugar can be damaging to the blood vessels and nerves for both sexes, making sex painful and unenjoyable. Make sex fun again by monitoring your blood sugar levels and talking with your doctor, of course.