Hypos and hypers
Diabetes is a manageable condition, but key to successfully living with diabetes is balancing medication and insulin injections with food and activity. When that balance isn’t right, one of two things will happen: either blood glucose drops too low and hypoglycaemia (a hypo) results, or blood glucose rises too high and hyperglycaemia (a hyper) occurs. No matter how much you know about diabetes or how careful you are, if you are living with type 1 diabetes you are likely to experience some hypos or hypers.
Your kidneys help to clean your blood. They remove waste from the blood and pass it out of the body as urine. Over time, diabetes can cause damage to the kidneys (diabetic nephropathy). You will not notice damage to your kidneys until it’s quite advanced, so it is important that you have the recommended tests to pick up any problems early.
If the kidneys fail, toxic waste products stay in the body, fluids build up and the chemical balance is upset. If the kidneys are unable to function properly, dialysis treatments or a kidney transplant will be needed. The risk of developing kidney problems is reduced by managing your blood glucose levels, having regular kidney and blood pressure checks and leading a healthy lifestyle. Early signs of kidney problems can be detected through a urine test. Finding out about early kidney damage is simple and painless. Treatment at this time can prevent further damage. Read more here.
Nerve damage and lower limb complications
Diabetic neuropathy is the medical name given to progressive damage to the nervous system caused by type 1 diabetes. Diabetic neuropathy can lead to a loss of feeling in the hands and feet. Reduced circulation resulting from high blood glucose impairs normal wound healing in the extremities, so minor damage can linger and develop into permanent injury. Personal daily foot checks and thorough annual foot examinations conducted by your doctor or podiatrist will help to reduce your risk of lower limb complications. For more information read here.
Heart disease and stroke
People with diabetes are at increased risk of heart disease and stroke due to raised blood glucose levels (BGLs), in association with high blood pressure and cholesterol. To read more follow this link.
Eye disease (diabetic retinopathy)
Diabetes can damage the back of the eye and affect vision. The development of diabetic retinopathy is strongly related to the length of time diabetes has been present and the degree of blood glucose control. Regular checks and treatment can prevent serious eye problems and blindness caused by retinopathy. Learn more here.
Dental problems are more common in people with diabetes. Dental problems can include gum inflammation (gingivitis), infection and inflammation of the ligaments and bone that support the teeth (periodontitis), tooth decay (dental caries), dry mouth (xerostomia), fungal infections (oral thrush) and disturbances in taste.
Oral problems can occur in people with diabetes for a number of different reasons, which is why it is especially important to visit a dentist regularly and tell them about your diabetes. People with diabetes who have persistent high blood glucose levels are more likely to have dental problems. For more information on looking after your teeth and gums click here.