Untreated or poorly treated diabetes especially Type 2 has well known complications, some of which are discussed below. They can be reduced by adequate control of the condition, regular check-up and prompt treatment of any complications as they arise.
1. Sudden Collapse, Coma
The most common complication of Diabetes is sudden collapse with or without coma due to very low blood sugar. This could arise if a diabetic failed to eat after taking insulin injection or exercised vigorously immediately after taking insulin. Excess insulin can also cause it.
2. Damage to the eyes:
After about fifteen (15) years, about two (2) percent of diabetics may become blind while about ten (10) percent may become partially blind, and about 75 percent, less degree of damage. Cataract is also a known complication.
These complications can be prevented by regular eye checks and proper treatment.
3. Damage to the kidneys:
This could lead to renal failure.
4. Damage to some nerves.
This will show itself in form of tingling/ peppery sensations in the legs and feet. The skin could also become less sensitive leading to sores from injuries. These sores may refuse to heal and in some cases the leg may have to be amputated to save the life of the person.
5. Damage to the Heart and Blood Vessels.
Diabetes can lead to the hardening and narrowing of the blood vessels. This could eventually lead to stroke, heart attack or heart failure. The situation is worse in smokers and fat people. Owing to poor blood supply to the feet due to the narrowing of the vessels, wounds in the feet heal very slowly.
Diabetics are prone to skin infections and also urinary tract infections. Vaginal infections are also common.