Why is my doctor concerned about high blood sugar?
Poorly controlled blood sugar comes with risk and potential long term complications. When you have a high concentration of sugar in
your blood, it affects your body's ability to do its job effectively. Damage can arise due to this increased concentration of sugar in your blood.
What type of damage? Read on to learn about some complication concerns.
- Amputations - high blood sugars can lead to damage to the
nerves. This damage can cause numbness or a loss of feeling in
extremities. This is why it is very important to check feet everyday
to look for cuts, etc. that one may not be aware of. High blood sugar
also impairs immune system function causing ordinary cuts to become
infected. If unnoticed, this can become severe and lead to amputation.
- Blindness - this is due to something called
"retinopathy" which is damage to blood vessels that supply blood
to the retina (a portion of the eye that senses light). Retinopathy is
the number one cause of new blindness among adults.
- Heart disease - having diabetes increases your risk for
heart disease in several ways. Poorly controlled blood sugars can lead
to an increase in blood fats such as cholesterol and triglycerides.
High blood sugars can increase clotting ability causing increased risk of
blockage of blood flow to tissues. High blood pressure can also be of concern.
- Kidney disease - due to diminished effectiveness of vessels
in the kidneys. Kidneys clean or rid your blood of waste and
toxins. When vessels in the kidneys do not work effectively, these
wastes or toxins stays in your body. Dialysis or mechanical cleaning
of blood is sometimes needed in severe cases.
Talk with your doctor or diabetes educator to learn about a
healthy blood sugar goal for you. Complications can occur, but with good
control of blood sugar and regular visits to your doctor these may be avoided.
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