Remember, this is a loaded question. The statistics regarding diabetics in America are not very encouraging. However, the diseases that affect the diabetic are started and exaggerated by poor blood glucose control. You can minimize your risk for the following conditions.
But be aware that ignoring your diabetes puts you in a high risk category for problems of the:
- Circulatory system, including heart disease, stroke, poor circulation to the feet and hands. 80% of Type 2 diabetics die from heart disease.
- Shriveling of the tiny blood vessels leading to problems in the eyes, a.k.a. retinopathy. 15 years after diagnosis, 90% of Type 1 and 80% of Type 2 diabetics show some damage to the retina of the eyes.
- Kidney complications, or nephropathy. The vast majority of American patients on renal dialysis are diabetics.
- Nerve damage, or neuropathy, leading to tingling, painful, “pins & needles” sensations in the hands and feet.
- Nerve damage to the bladder, intestines, sexual organs, etc. and the consequences of losing the contributions from those organs or regions of the body.
- Ulcers of the leg and foot, which are combined problems of nerves and blood vessels.