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Diabetes and Eye Problems Uncontrolled diabetes can harm the eyes and cause blindness. It is the high blood glucose that increases the risk of diabetes eye problems. In fact, diabetes is the leading cause of blindness in adults age 20 to 74. High blood glucose in diabetes causes the lens of the eye to swell, which changes your ability to see. To correct this kind of eye problem, you need to reduce your blood glucose back into the target range (90-130 milligrams per or mg/dL before meals, and less than 180 mg/dL one to two hours after a meal). It may take as long as three months after your blood glucose is well controlled for your vision to fully get back to normal. Blurred vision can also be a symptom of more serious eye problem with diabetes. There are three major eye problems that people with diabetes may develop and should be aware of; cataracts, glaucoma, and retinopathy. Diabetes and Heart Disease Diabetes is one of the greatest risk factors for developing heart disease. Heart disease is common in people with diabetes. In fact, statistics from the American Heart Association estimate that heart disease and stroke are responsible for two-thirds to three-fourths of the deaths amongst those with diabetes. While all people with diabetes have an increased chance of developing heart disease, the condition is more common in those with type 2 diabetes. Multiple health factors, which are called risk factors, include diabetes as one of the factors that could increase the possibility of developing heart disease. Aside from diabetes, other risk factors associated with heart disease include high blood pressure, smoking, high cholesterol levels and a family history of early heart disease. The probability of dying from heart disease is dramatically higher in a person with diabetes. So, while a person with one health risk factor, such as high blood pressure, may have a certain chance of dying from heart disease. A person with diabetes seems to have double or even quadruple risk of dying. Three major problems related to the heart are heart attack, congestive heart failure and peripheral vascular disease Diabetes and Kidney Disease Diabetes is the leading cause of kidney failure. Diabetic nephropathy -- kidney disease that results from diabetes -- is the number one cause of kidney failure. Almost a third of people with diabetes


develop diabetic nephropathy. People with diabetes and kidney disease do worse overall than people with kidney disease, alone. This is because people with diabetes tend to have other long-standing medical conditions, like high blood pressure, high cholesterol and blood vessel disease (atherosclerosis). People with diabetes also tend to have other kidney-related problems, such as bladder infections, and nerve damage to the bladder. Kidney disease in type 1 diabetes is slightly different than in type 2 diabetes. In type 1 disease, kidney disease begins acutely and may start at an early or young age. Overt disease, when present, is obvious after about 15 years of having type 1 diabetes. Nerve Damage in Diabetes Diabetes may cause nerve damage called by diabetic neuropathy, which can develop at any time. Significant clinical neuropathy can develop within the first 10 years after diagnosis of diabetes and the risk of developing neuropathy increases the longer a person has diabetes The causes of diabetic neuropathy have not been clearly identified by the scientists. Some contributing factors are found to be related to this condition. Hyperglycemia or high blood glucose, a prominent condition found in diabetes seems to produce some chemical changes in the nervous system. These changes inhibit the transmission ability of the nerve to relay sensoric and motoric signals. Hyperglycemia also causes the damage of blood vessels that suppose to bring oxygen and nutrients to the nerve. Other predisposing factors which are actually unrelated to diabetes are the inherited factors. Some people seems to be more susceptible to such nerve disease compared to others Diabetes and Stroke Many studies have concluded that a diabetic person possesses a greater risk for stroke compared to other people who do not have diabetes regardless the other risk factors that might be presence. In general, the risk of acquiring a cardiovascular disease including stroke is 2.5 times greater in both men and women with diabetes compared to those without diabetes. The brain cells require continuous supply of oxygen and nutrients to keep it living and functioning well. Hence the brain blood vessel network plays an important role in supplying oxygen rich and fresh blood. If it happens that one of those vessels get blocked or damaged, stroke will occur, since fresh oxygenated blood is not able to reach the particular area of the brain. And if this blockage persists for more than 3 - 4 minutes, the brain cells in that area will start to die. Another type of stroke is the hemorrhagic stroke which is caused by the rupture of a very small blood vessel in the brain leading to internal bleeding in the brain cavity. Unlike the clot or blockage in a brain blood vessel, also known as an ischemic stroke, this type of stroke is not a complication of diabetes.


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