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We post regular content that focuses on important health topics and issues that affect you and your family with tips and advice from health experts right here at Lakeland. We want to hear from you! Do you have a health topic you'd like to see featured? 

Preventing Long-Term Complications from Diabetes

by Jessica Springer | Nov 16, 2018

Man and Woman Hiking on TrailWhen you have diabetes, it’s important to be active in your care by managing your blood glucose, blood pressure, and cholesterol levels. If left uncontrolled, diabetes can cause health complications over time.

Possible complications of diabetes include:

  • Eye problems, including damage to the blood vessels in the eyes (retinopathy), pressure in the eye (glaucoma), and clouding of the eye’s lens (a cataract). Eye problems can eventually lead to irreversible blindness.
  • Tooth and gum problems (periodontal disease), causing loss of teeth and bone
  • Blood vessel (vascular) disease leading to circulation problems, heart attack or stroke, or a need for amputation of a limb
  • Problems with sexual function leading to erectile dysfunction in men and sexual discomfort in women
  • Kidney disease (nephropathy) can eventually lead to kidney failure, which may require dialysis or kidney transplant
  • Nerve problems (neuropathy), causing pain or loss of feeling in your feet and other parts of your body, potentially leading to an amputation of a limb
  • High blood pressure (hypertension), putting strain on your heart and blood vessels
  • Serious infections, possibly leading to loss of toes, feet, or limbs

“Even after getting the disease under control some of these conditions may not get better,” said endocrinologist, Amanda Morris, DO. “That’s why it’s important to lower your sugar levels as soon as possible to prevent these complications from happening in the first place. Once you have complications, you can’t go back.

Is there any way to make life with diabetes easier?

Insulin pump technology delivers precise doses of insulin through a tiny tube located below the skin and replaced every three days. This method allows the user to program a pattern of insulin delivery specific to their needs and eliminates the need for multiple daily injections.

Through continuous glucose monitoring blood sugar values are measured in interstitial fluid, not blood, and sent to a receiver every five minutes. This reduces the number of finger pricks and helps monitor levels in more real time.

New medications exist for treating type 2 diabetes which require patients to take medication less frequently.

“Don’t get frustrated with yourself if you do something wrong one day or your A1C levels are off,” said Dr. Morris. “The more negative you feel about the disease the less you’ll want to take care of yourself.”

Glucose monitoring is the best way to help your care team identify problem areas and develop a treatment plan that is right for you. Providers at Lakeland Diabetes and Endocrinology can sit down with you and look at what your meals are consisting of, potential changes to your exercise routine, and possible medication changes to help tailor your treatment plan. For more information, or to schedule an appointment, click here.

Here more from Dr. Morris and the diabetes educators in the video below: 

Continue Watching

Check-Up: The Serious Side of Acid Reflux (John Gosling, MD)

Spectrum Health Lakeland internist, John Gosling, MD, talks about the warning signs and symptoms of severe acid reflux and consequences if untreated.

Cooking for Your Heart (David Chalupa, PA and Courtney Dixon, RD)

Spectrum Health Lakeland clinicians David Chalupa, PA, and registered dietitian, Courtney Dixon, cook up a heart-healthy meal while talking about risk factors for heart disease.

Check-Up: Common Heart Valve Problems (Dave Chalupa, PA)

Spectrum Health Lakeland physician assistant, David Chalupa describes different heart valve conditions and what it means to have a leaky valve.

Check-Up: What Does Cardiac Rehab Involve? (Brett Hoseth, PA)

Spectrum Health Lakeland physician assistant, Brett Hoseth, provides a quick explanation about who may need cardiac rehabilitation and how long it lasts.

Check-Up: What is an Angiogram? (Jerome Kuhnlein, MD)

Spectrum Health Lakeland cardiologist, Jerome Kuhnlein, MD, explains how an angiogram can help determine if an angioplasty is needed to improve blood flow through the heart.

Check-Up: Powered by a Pacemaker (Jerome Kuhnlein, MD)

Spectrum Health Lakeland cardiologist, Jerome Kuhnlein, MD, describes how a pacemaker gets implanted under the collarbone to help regulate heart rhythm issues.

Check-Up: Blood Thinners (Christopher Chiu, MD)

Spectrum Health Lakeland cardiologist, Christopher Chiu, MD, explains why a person would need to be prescribed a blood thinner and the importance of measuring the blood’s thickness to prevent clots.

Check-Up: What is a Widow Maker? (Christopher Chiu, MD)

Spectrum Health Lakeland cardiologist, Christopher Chiu, MD, explains what a widow maker heart attack is and why it’s serious.

Check-Up: Why Salt is Bad for Heart Failure (Christopher Chiu, MD)

Spectrum Health Lakeland cardiologist, Christopher Chiu, explains why too much salt can have bad side-effects for patients with congestive heart failure.

Check-Up: What You Should Know About Vaping (Albert Naveed, MD)

Albert Naveed, MD, pulmonologist at Lakeland Pulmonology explains the dangers of vaping and e-cigarettes.

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