There are currently more than 12.5 million Canadians with some form of Diabetes at this very moment. Although I wasn’t able to find a source link, this information can be found on Statistics Canada’s website. Given that large number, this means that roughly one out of every three Canadians have some form of Diabetes or pre-Diabetes, with more being diagnosed every day.
One of my biggest pet peeve is hearing or reading about someone with Diabetes who ignores their condition. Although denial is a common and almost expected reaction for some people, there’s enough information and literature out there that no one should just roll over and let this condition take them. But even now, I often hear of people with Diabetes developing serious and severe complication and even dying.
The light knows that I’ve often written about the complications associated with Diabetes. And although I’ve usually focused on Type-1 (because that’s what I have), the complications are usually shared across the board. The reality is that untreated or undiagnosed Diabetes can easily and quickly become fatal.
The most common complications you hear about involve the nervous system, heart, eyes, kidneys and digestive system. Believe it or not, you can even gain complications related to your teeth and gums. Even the strictest control won’t prevent some of the symptoms or complications one can get, making it all the more important to keep a tight reign on your condition in order to mitigate them.
Limb amputation is a common thing you hear about in people with Diabetes. This is because poorly controlled Diabetes will cause blood vessel or nerve damage, leading to the death of certain extremities. Toe and foot amputation is generally the result
Eye and vision issues are also very common, and often for the same reasons when one considers Diabetic Retinopathy. Other issues include, but are not limited to Glaucoma, Cataracts and Diabetic Macular Edema.
Believe it or not, your teeth can even cause issues. Gums and teeth in someone with Diabetes will have a greater tendency towards sensitivity and bleeding, which can lead to increased chance of infection and complications.
Uncontrolled blood pressure and glucose levels will cause damage to the kidneys, ultimately leading to kidney failure. Your cardiac system is twice as likely to suffer complications as someone without Diabetes. Your blood sugar levels are what can cause the most symptoms, complications and issues. Extreme high blood sugar (hyperglycaemia) can lead to the advent of all these complications and can also put you in a coma, if left unchecked. The same can be said of extreme low blood sugar (hypoglycaemia). Once your blood sugar levels drop below a certain level, unconsciousness is almost a sure thing. If you’re unfortunate enough to live alone or not be woken by your drop in blood, death is usually the result.
It’s not all bad news! Although I often write about complications, this is mostly for awareness and to hopefully PREVENT such issues. I often feel that some people simply become overwhelmed by their condition and give up. Some people are just lazy and don’t want to take themselves in hand. But the reality is that the changes required to prevent and repair some of these complications are pretty simple and easy. Eating a healthy diet, testing your blood sugar often and exercising regularly is a big start. Avoiding things such as smoking, drinking alcohol and gaining excess weight will also go a long way towards helping. The bottom line is that there is no excuse for allowing Diabetes to control your fate. Only you can do that. ☯