Ask the Experts Blog

Search Blog Topics
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: 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.

Check-Up: Postpartum Depression is Not Your Fault (Meredith Sheldon, MA, LLPC)

Southwestern Medical Clinic counselor, Meredith Sheldon, talks about why women may experience postpartum depression and how treatment can help people cope.

Check-Up: When to See a Wound Specialist (Krista Schulte, CWOCN, FNP)

Certified wound, ostomy, and continence (WOC) nurse Krista Schulte, FNP, shares how effective treatment can speed up the healing.

Check-Up: Keep Your Blood Pressure in Check

Lauren Boleen, PA, discusses the recent changes in blood pressure guidelines and how you can keep you blood pressure in check.

Check-Up: How to Avoid a Hernia (Michael Webb, MD, General Surgery)

General surgeon Michael Webb shares tips on how best to avoid suffering a hernia.

© Spectrum Health Lakeland 2019