Type 2 diabetes might result in many severe complications and conditions that aren’t easy to treat and cure. What are the chronic and acute complications of type 2 diabetes, and how should a patient take care of them? Learn more details about type 2 diabetes complications in this guide.
What Causes Diabetes Complications?
There are two types of diabetes complications that might happen to any person that has this condition: chronic complications and acute complications. Long-term complications can lead to serious problems with feet, eyesight, heart and can become one of the causes of much more serious conditions and diseases.
Most often, the high glucose level in your blood results in type 2 diabetes complications. High blood sugar levels might damage your blood vessels, which can result in serious conditions and diseases. Your body’s nerves will stop working properly, and you might start getting symptoms of some complications.
To deal with complications of type 2 diabetes, it is important to start treatment as soon as possible. To avoid any type 2 diabetes complications, it is important to visit your doctor regularly.
Short Term Type 2 Diabetes Complications
Short-term diabetes mellitus type 2 serious complications, or acute complications, are easier to deal with because they can always be cured. However, it doesn’t mean that they are not serious.
The full name for a hypo is hypoglycemia, and this is one of the signs of diabetes, as well as one of its complications. It occurs when your blood glucose levels are low. This is one of those complications of type 2 diabetes that can happen because of the food or activity that might be harmful to you. This is why it is important to have a well-balanced diet and moderate exercise at all times.
The full name for hypers is hyperglycemia, and it is a reverse of a hypo (or hypoglycemia). This happens when your blood sugar level is too high. One of its causes can be a bad diet, stress, and lack of sleep. Its symptoms include thirst, urinating too often, nausea, as well as others. This condition, along with hypos, should not be ignored and must be treated right away.
Hyperosmolar Hyperglycaemic State
This complication occurs if the patient with type 2 diabetes doesn’t follow the guidelines and doesn’t maintain a healthy diet and treatment. This condition is caused by extremely high blood sugar levels. Often this is a result of both dehydration and illness. It can also occur as a result of stopping the treatment mid-disease.
This is a serious condition that should be treated immediately. If you suffer from it, you should get immediate hospital treatment to bring the blood sugar levels down since it might put your life in danger.
This is another serious condition that happens when your body starts running out of insulin. One of the main reasons why insulin is important for your body is because it helps you deliver sugar to different organs. Insulin plays one of the key roles in your health, and if your body stops producing it, there might be some serious consequences.
Long Term Complications of Type 2 Diabetes
Long-term complications of type 2 diabetes might cause many serious conditions and diseases that in some cases might even be vital. What is more, being left without a diagnosis, a patient might develop type 2 diabetes skin complications, problems with eyes and feet, as well as many other complications.
Type 2 diabetes eye complications can cause diabetic retinopathy. This is a condition caused by high blood sugar levels. If it is left undiagnosed and not treated correctly, it can cause blindness. It might also cause blurry vision.
Diabetes type 2 might also cause such conditions as glaucoma, diabetic macular edema, cataracts, as well as many other eye problems. This is one of the first areas that should be inspected since eyes are often affected by the disease.
People who have diabetes are at higher risk of developing ulcers and different kinds of damage to the feet. These foot complications type 2 diabetes might result in hammertoes, corns, ingrown toenails, skin dryness, as well as many other conditions.
Diabetic feet should be treated differently. If a patient has any nerve damage and diabetic foot conditions, it is important to inspect feet every day and bathe feet in warm water. The doctor should prescribe specific treatment in this case as well.
Heart Attack and Stroke
High blood glucose might cause damage to your blood vessels and heart. Because of that, diabetes might become one of the causes of a heart attack.
The high levels of sugar might lead to kidney failure and other serious conditions. Some of the symptoms of diabetic kidney disease include weight loss, poor appetite, dry and itchy skin, muscle cramps, as well as many other serious side effects.
Around 20-30 percent of people who have diabetes suffer from kidney problems, so it should be inspected regularly.
If the blood sugar level isn’t controlled correctly, nerve damage might develop. Around half of the people who have diabetes also experience nerve damage. It isn’t reversible, and the symptoms might not be detected over the years.
There is no cure for diabetic neuropathy, but its progress can be slowed down. Patients with nerve damage are treated with anti-seizure drugs.
Gum Disease and Other Mouth Problems
The growth of bacteria often happens because of high blood sugar levels that are not controlled. This is why gum disease and many mouth problems are among the most common complications of type 2 diabetes.
Related Conditions, Like Cancer
Some other related conditions that might be caused by diabetes and their complications are certain types of cancer as well as other problems with skin, feet, eyes, and other body parts.
Another type 2 diabetes serious complication is a problem with sexual activity, and the effects include a decrease in sex drive, erectile dysfunction, as well as many other problems. This condition should not be ignored since diabetes might also influence genitalia and overall well-being.
|Acute complications||Long term complications|
|Hyperosmolar Hyperglycaemic State (HHS)||Nerve damage|
|Diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA)||Heart attack/stroke|
|Gum disease and other mouth problems|
|Sexual problems in men and women|
|Related diseases and conditions|
What to Do If You Have Chronic Complications of Type 2 Diabetes
Having one chronic complication of diabetes can increase the likelihood of developing other complications. For instance, if you experience blood vessel damage in your feet, similar damage can occur in other areas of your body, such as the kidneys and heart. Consequently, it becomes crucial to remain vigilant about your health checks and consistently monitor blood sugar levels while managing these additional health issues.
Chronic complications can include problems with the eyes, kidneys, nerves, heart, and blood vessels. Here are some crucial actions you should take:
- Consult your healthcare team, your primary care physician, endocrinologist, or diabetes specialist to discuss your specific complications and develop a comprehensive management plan.
- Control blood sugar levels: Keeping your blood glucose levels within the target range is essential to prevent further complications. This may involve a combination of medication, insulin, dietary changes, and regular physical activity. Your healthcare team will work with you to adjust your treatment plan as needed.
- Manage blood pressure and cholesterol: High blood pressure and cholesterol levels can worsen diabetes complications. Make sure to monitor and manage these aspects with the help of your healthcare provider, which may include medications and lifestyle changes.
- Follow a healthy diet: Focus on a balanced diet low in processed sugars, refined carbohydrates, and unhealthy fats. Prioritize fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and healthy fats. A registered dietitian can help you create a personalized meal plan.
- Engage in regular physical activity: Exercise can improve insulin sensitivity and help control blood sugar levels. Aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity per week, along with strength training exercises.
- Quit smoking: Smoking can exacerbate diabetes complications and increase the risk of cardiovascular issues. If you smoke, seek support and resources to quit.
- Monitor and manage complications: If you have specific diabetes-related complications like diabetic retinopathy, nephropathy, neuropathy, or cardiovascular issues, work closely with specialists to manage and treat these conditions effectively.
- Regular medical check-ups: Visit your healthcare provider regularly for comprehensive check-ups and screenings. Early detection and intervention can help prevent complications from worsening.
- Medication adherence: Take your prescribed medications as directed, and don’t skip doses. If you have concerns about your medications, discuss them with your healthcare provider.
- Seek emotional support: Living with chronic complications can be physically and emotionally challenging. Don’t hesitate to seek support from friends, family, or professional counselors or therapists.
Remember that managing type 2 diabetes and its complications is an ongoing process that requires consistent effort and support. Working closely with your healthcare team and making lifestyle changes can significantly improve your quality of life and reduce the risk of further complications.
Type 2 Diabetes and Pregnancy Complications
Having type 2 diabetes can put you at higher risk of developing some side effects. When it comes to type 2 diabetes, breastfeeding, and pregnancy complications, it is important to be careful and discuss every step with the doctor, as well as have regular checkups. Complications with type 2 diabetes for pregnant women include preeclampsia (high blood pressure during pregnancy), increased amount of amniotic fluid, and preterm or cesarean delivery. This is why seeing your doctor regularly is so important.
How to Prevent Complications
There are several things you can do to prevent complications from diabetes.
There are a few simple steps you can follow to prevent the side effects of diabetes. Here is what you can do:
- Lose weight if you are overweight/obese. Obesity is a serious condition and should be treated properly.
- Watch your portion sizes and monitor your diet. It is important to maintain a healthy diet.
- Don’t skip meals. It’s crucial for your overall health to make sure that you don’t only maintain a healthy diet but also never skip meals.
- Always take your medication as it’s prescribed. Even if you feel better, don’t skip the medication.
Sport and regular physical activity are vital for people with type 2 diabetes. Engaging in sports and exercise offers numerous benefits that significantly improve diabetes management and overall health. Here are some key reasons why sport is essential for individuals with type 2 diabetes.
Improved Blood Sugar Control
Physical activity helps to lower blood sugar levels by increasing the body’s sensitivity to insulin. When muscles are active, they can take up glucose from the bloodstream without requiring as much insulin. This effect can improve blood sugar control, reducing the risk of hyperglycemia (high blood sugar) and associated complications.
Regular exercise contributes to weight loss and weight maintenance, which is particularly important for people with type 2 diabetes, as obesity is a significant risk factor for the condition. Maintaining a healthy weight can improve insulin sensitivity and reduce the severity of diabetes symptoms.
Type 2 diabetes is associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease. Sports and exercise support heart health by reducing blood pressure, improving cholesterol levels, and enhancing the functioning of blood vessels. This, in turn, lowers the risk of heart attacks, strokes, and other cardiovascular complications.
Enhanced Insulin Sensitivity
Physical activity improves the body’s ability to use insulin effectively. As a result, individuals with type 2 diabetes may require less medication or insulin when exercising regularly.
Exercise is an excellent way to manage stress, which can positively impact blood sugar levels. Reducing stress helps prevent emotional eating and promotes overall emotional well-being.
Increased Energy Levels
Regular physical activity can boost energy levels and reduce feelings of fatigue, common symptoms of diabetes. Feeling more energized makes you more likely to engage in other daily activities, leading to a healthier lifestyle overall.
Bone and Muscle Strength
Weight-bearing exercises, such as walking, jogging, and resistance training, can help improve bone density and muscle strength, reducing the risk of fractures and injuries.
Regular exercise is associated with better sleep quality, crucial for overall health and well-being. Improved sleep can positively impact blood sugar control and overall diabetes management.
Participating in sports or group exercise activities can provide social interaction and support, which can be especially valuable for people with diabetes, as it fosters a sense of community and motivation to stay active.
Before starting any exercise program, individuals with type 2 diabetes must consult their healthcare provider. The healthcare team can help develop a safe and suitable exercise plan based on the individual’s health status, fitness level, and specific diabetes management needs. Additionally, monitoring blood sugar levels before, during, and after exercise is crucial to prevent hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) and make any necessary adjustments to the treatment plan.
Visiting your doctor regularly is one of the main ways to make sure that your body is healthy and diabetes is controlled. It is better to discuss the number of times you need to visit the doctor every month individually.
Best Treatment for Type 2 Diabetes Complication
If you don’t pay enough attention to any of the symptoms of some serious complications from type 2 diabetes, you might develop some severe conditions that might even result in stroke, microvascular and macrovascular diseases, infection, or limb amputation.
It might not be easy to avoid chronic or acute complications of type 2 diabetes, and those might appear in any case. However, one of the best ways to deal with the complications and risk factors is to maintain a healthy and balanced lifestyle.
Type 2 diabetes mellitus complications timeline depends solely on the way the patient treats the disease. Complications might come sooner if the patient doesn’t take proper care of themselves and their condition. If you experience any of the complications, you will be given medications by a doctor and prescribed a special treatment.