Complications by diabetes

Diabetic neuropathy can cause a number of serious complications, including:

  • Loss of a limb.
  • Charcot joint.
  • Urinary tract infections and urinary incontinence.
  • Hypoglycemia unawareness.
  • Low blood pressure.
  • Digestive problems.
  • Sexual dysfunction.
  • Increased or decreased sweating.

 

Eye Complications by diabetes

You may have heard that diabetes causes eye problems and may lead to blindness. People with diabetes do have a higher risk of blindness than people without diabetes. But most people who have diabetes have nothing more than minor eye disorders.

With regular checkups, you can keep minor problems minor (see Eye Care Guide by American Diabetes Association). And if you do develop a major problem, there are treatments that often work well if you begin them right away.

Eye Insight

To understand what happens in eye disorders, it helps to understand how the eye works. The eye is a ball covered with a tough outer membrane. The covering in front is clear and curved. This curved area is the cornea, which focuses light while protecting the eye.

After light passes through the cornea, it travels through a space called the anterior chamber (which is filled with a protective fluid called the aqueous humor), through the pupil (which is a hole in the iris, the colored part of the eye), and then through a lens that performs more focusing. Finally, light passes through another fluid-filled chamber in the center of the eye (the vitreous) and strikes the back of the eye, the retina.

The retina records the images focused on it and converts those images into electrical signals, which the brain receives and decodes.

One part of the retina is specialized for seeing fine detail. This tiny area of extra-sharp vision is called the macula. Blood vessels in and behind the retina nourish the macula.

Glaucoma

People with diabetes are 40% more likely to suffer from glaucoma than people without diabetes. The longer someone has had diabetes, the more common glaucoma is. Risk also increases with age.

Glaucoma occurs when pressure builds up in the eye. In most cases, the pressure causes drainage of the aqueous humor to slow down so that it builds up in the anterior chamber. The pressure pinches the blood vessels that carry blood to the retina and optic nerve. Vision is gradually lost because the retina and nerve are damaged.

There are several treatments for glaucoma. Some use drugs to reduce pressure in the eye, while others involve surgery.

– See more at: http://www.diabetes.org/living-with-diabetes/complications/eye-complications/?referrer=https://www.google.com/#sthash.bsvjfKuc.dpuf

 

Skin Complications by Diabetes

Bacterial Infections

Several kinds of bacterial infections occur in people with diabetes:

  • Styes (infections of the glands of the eyelid)
  • Boils
  • Folliculitis (infections of the hair follicles)
  • Carbuncles (deep infections of the skin and the tissue underneath)
  • Infections around the nails

Inflamed tissues are usually hot, swollen, red, and painful. Several different organisms can cause infections, the most common being Staphylococcus bacteria, also called staph.

Once, bacterial infections were life threatening, especially for people with diabetes. Today, death is rare, thanks to antibiotics and better methods of blood sugar control.

But even today, people with diabetes have more bacterial infections than other people do. Doctors believe people with diabetes can reduce their chances of these infections by practicing good skin care.

If you think you have a bacterial infection, see your doctor.

Fungal Infections

The culprit in fungal infections of people with diabetes is often Candida albicans. This yeast-like fungus can create itchy rashes of moist, red areas surrounded by tiny blisters and scales. These infections often occur in warm, moist folds of the skin. Problem areas are under the breasts, around the nails, between fingers and toes, in the corners of the mouth, under the foreskin (in uncircumcised men), and in the armpits and groin.

Common fungal infections include jock itch, athlete’s foot, ringworm (a ring-shaped itchy patch), and vaginal infection that causes itching.

If you think you have a yeast or fungal infection, call your doctor.

Itching

Localized itching is often caused by diabetes. It can be caused by a yeast infection, dry skin, or poor circulation. When poor circulation is the cause of itching, the itchiest areas may be the lower parts of the legs.

You may be able to treat itching yourself. Limit how often you bathe, particularly when the humidity is low. Use mild soap with moisturizer and apply skin cream after bathing.

– See more at: http://www.diabetes.org/living-with-diabetes/complications/skin-complications.html#sthash.5WraC8hL.dpuf

 

Pain Complications by Diabetes

Cranial Neuropathy

Cranial neuropathy affects the 12 pairs of nerves that are connected with the brain and control sight, eye movement, hearing, and taste.

Most often, cranial neuropathy affects the nerves that control the eye muscles. The neuropathy begins with pain on one side of the face near the affected eye. Later, the eye muscle becomes paralyzed. Double vision results. Symptoms of this type of neuropathy usually get better or go away within 2 or 3 months.

Compression Mononeuropathy

Compression mononeuropathy occurs when a single nerve is damaged. It is a fairly common type of neuropathy. There seem to be two kinds of damage. In the first, nerves are squashed at places where they must pass through a tight tunnel or over a lump of bone. Nerves of people with diabetes are more prone to compression injury. The second kind of damage arises when blood vessel disease caused by diabetes restricts blood flow to a part of the nerve.

Carpal tunnel syndrome is probably the most common compression mononeuropathy. It occurs when the median nerve of the forearm is compressed at the wrist. Symptoms of this type of neuropathy include numbness, swelling, or prickling in the fingers with or without pain when driving a car, knitting, or resting at night. Simply hanging your arm by your side usually stops the pain within a few minutes. If the symptoms are severe, an operation can give complete relief from pain.

Femoral Neuropathy

Femoral neuropathy occurs most often in people with type 2 diabetes. A pain may develop in the front of one thigh. Muscle weakness follows, and the affected muscles waste away. A different kind of neuropathy that also affects the legs is called diabetic amyotrophy. In this case, weakness occurs on both sides of the body, but there is no pain. Doctors do not understand why it occurs, but blood vessel disease may be the cause.

Focal Neuropathy

Focal Neuropathy affects a nerve or group of nerves causing sudden weakness or pain. It can lead to double vision, a paralysis on one side of the face called Bell’s palsy, or a pain in the front of the thigh or other parts of the body.

Thoracic/Lumbar Radiculopathy

Thoracic or lumbar radiculopath is another common mononeuropathy. It is like femoral neuropathy, except that it occurs in the torso. It affects a band of the chest or abdominal wall on one or both sides. It seems to occur more often in people with type 2 diabetes. Again, people with this neuropathy get better with time.

Unilateral Foot Drop

Unilateral foot drop is when the foot can’t be picked up. It occurs from damage to the peroneal nerve of the leg by compression or vessel disease. Foot drop can improve.