Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Why Control Blood Sugar Levels?

When very high levels of blood glucose are present for years, it leads to damage of the small blood vessels.

This in turn increases your risk of developing late-stage diabetes complications including:

  • High blood pressure
  • Damage to blood vessels that supply the legs and feet (peripheral vascular disease)
  • Stroke
  • High cholesterol
  • Nerve damage, which causes pain and numbness in the feet, as well as a number of other problems with the stomach and intestines, your heart, and other body organs (See: Diabetic neuropathy)
  • Foot sores or ulcers, which can result in amputation
  • Worsening of eyesight or even blindness due to
  • Diabetic retinopathy (eye disease)
  • Macular edema
  • Cataracts
  • Glaucoma
  • Kidney disease and kidney failure (diabetic nephropathy)
  • Other complications include:
  • Erection problems
  • Infections of the skin, female genital tract, and urinary tract

The risk of long-term complications from diabetes can be reduced. If you control your blood glucose and blood pressure, you can reduce your risk of death, stroke, heart failure, and other complications. Reduction of HbA1c by even 1% can decrease your risk for complications by 25%.

MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopedia

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