7 Long-Term Effects of Uncontrolled Diabetes Mellitus
Diabetes requires keeping track of blood sugar levels on a regular basis, and complying with the treatment so as to keep them in control.
Uncontrolled diabetes mellitus
Though might not seem to affect much initially, has serious consequences in the long run. The changes are slow and might not show any significant symptoms, but, continue to cause damage internally. Here are some of the long-term effects of uncontrolled diabetes mellitus and what leads to them.
Without proper control over blood sugar levels, the feet might not receive a healthy blood supply or the nerves might not work as well as they are supposed to. The poor blood supply leads to decrease in the ability to heal from any wounds on feet and can even lead to new ulcers and skin problems. The loss of nerve function causes a loss of sensation, putting you at risk of unawareness to pain or extreme temperature, which can further increase chances of getting wounds as you cannot feel them. If the situation proceeds, there might be death of cells in your feet, requiring that part to be amputated.
Blood Vessel Damage
When diabetes mellitus is left uncontrolled for a very long time, the walls of the blood vessels become rigid and inelastic. The smaller blood vessels that supply blood to the extremities of the body are also severely affected by this. The cells in the walls will have to absorb more than enough glucose causing the smaller blood vessels to rupture or get damaged. This can restrict blood flow to the affected areas.
Nephropathy is the damage caused to the kidneys which renders them unable to carry on their functions. This is also a result of chronic hyperglycemia or having high blood sugar levels over a long period of time. The kidneys are also under continuous pressure to over work as they have to filter blood and remove the excess glucose. In severe cases, one or both kidneys might completely fail, requiring dialysis to support the body.
Neuropathy is another long-term complication of uncontrolled diabetes. As the nervous system takes the glucose directly from the blood instead of being dependent on insulin, they will have to tolerate high amounts of glucose. As the smaller blood vessels are responsible for providing blood supply to them, they will have to suffer when the blood vessels are damaged. Owing to these two reasons, the nerves suffer damage, resulting in diabetes induced nerve related problems.
Retinopathy is referred to the problems associated with eyes as a result of chronic hyperglycemia. Since the eyes also depend on the smaller blood vessels for blood supply and glucose, the damage caused to those blood vessels can severely affect the retina. This can result in blocked areas in the vision, and in the long run, if left untreated, can even lead to blindness.
Uncontrolled diabetes means the body’s muscle cells and fat cells have become increasingly insulin resistant. This affects the heart’s health in many ways. Since the fat cells no longer process fats, they circulate more and more in the blood vessels. This can cause accumulation of fat in the blood vessels decreasing their elasticity and even blocking them, thereby, increasing blood pressure or completely blocking blood supply. Other heart related problems include decrease in the ability of the heart muscles to pump blood, which can in the end result in heart failure.
Other Effects of Uncontrolled Diabetes Mellitus
There are several other long-term effects such as wasting of muscle, decrease in cognitive abilities, amputation of limbs due to unhealed wounds or ulcers that become severe, death of body cells in parts of the body without adequate blood supply, imbalance in production and secretion of hormones, loss of brain function, and even psychological problems such as depression.
Complying with the treatment is of utmost importance in order to control diabetes. Without healthy diet, exercise, healthy lifestyle habits, and regular intake of medicine, it will be very difficult to control blood sugar levels. If you feel or were said to have uncontrolled diabetes mellitus, you can still work on yourself and get your health back. All you have to do is stay motivated and stick to the treatment.