Hyperglycemia and Complications
The persistence of hyperglycemia motivates the beta cells of the pancreas to produce more insulin, which can cause the beta cells to begin to exhaust its capacity to manufacture insulin.
Eventually, this could lead to beta cell malfunction, which will decrease insulin production and make blood glucose levels to rise even further, creating a destructive cycle of metabolic, biochemical and hormonal imbalances.
Over a time of many years, these imbalances spread more damage to more cells and lead to a variety of complications which includes:
- Damage to Arteries - around 2 out of every 3 diabetics die of heart disease. With time, high blood sugar levels harm the blood vessels, resulting in a greater risk of clots. This enhances your risk of a heart attack. Diabetics are also at a greater risk for stroke due to blood vessel injury.
- Damage to Kidneys - the possibility of having chronic kidney disease increases over time in diabetics. Diabetes is the most frequent cause of renal failure. Controlling your blood sugar reduces your risk of kidney failure. Diabetics can take medications to reduce the risk of kidney disease.
- Damage to Eyes - over time, elevated sugar levels can cause damage to the tiny blood vessels within the retina of the eye (diabetic retinopathy). This can lead to gradual and permanent vision loss. This condition is the most common cause of new blindness.
- Damage Causing Nerve Injury - tingling, numbness, and a feeling of “pins and needles” are also symptoms of nerve damage (diabetic neuropathy). This is most common in the hand, feet, fingers or toes. Again, controlling your blood sugar level can prevent this complication.
- Damage to Feet - because of nerve damage, it will become hard to feel and avoid injuries to the feet. Additionally, damage to the blood vessels can decrease circulation in the feet resulting to poor healing. Sores and gangrene are complications of diabetes that can occur in the feet. This may result in amputation in severe cases.