If not managed properly, type 2 diabetes can cause various health issues and complications in the long run, which is why you need to prevent this lifestyle disease. These complications are classified as short-term and long-term. What to avoid and how to prevent type 2 diabetes and its complications from occurring are specified in this article.
Complications of Type 2 Diabetes
As a matter of fact, the severity of the complications depends on how long the person is suffering from diabetes. This means if you had diabetes for many years, the risk for complications is higher. Without further ado, let’s learn about the short-term and long-term complications of type 2 diabetes and its effect on the person.
1. Diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA)
Ketoacidosis is one of the short-term complications of type 2 diabetes which occurs when your body doesn’t have sufficient insulin. Further, ketoacidosis makes your body break down fats to convert them into energy. This is not good for you since this conversion process creates ketones. which are a waste product. Your body tries its best to eliminate these waste products by increasing the production of urine. Since this complication is life-threatening, you need to prevent it from occurring. Sadly, your body can’t produce or eliminate sufficient urine to bring the ketones to a manageable or normal level. This results in the ketones moving and building up in the blood thereby causing ketoacidosis.
Symptoms of ketoacidosis include the following:
- Extremely dry mouth
- Heavy breathing or shortness of breath
- Nausea or vomiting
- Breath smelling like fruit
Since glucose is the main energy source of the body, it has to be in the normal range. Generally, a person’s blood sugar levels fluctuate throughout the day due to different activities or stress. However, when the blood sugar (glucose) level drops too low, it can be very dangerous. This condition is known as hypoglycemia and is another common short-term complication of type 2 diabetes. Some of the symptoms of hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) are as follows:
- Dizziness or lightheadedness
- Feeling hungry
- Numbness in hands or feet or a tingling sensation
- Sweating or a clammy feeling
How to Prevent Hypoglycemia from Recurring?
When your blood sugar level is extremely low, it can cause seizures or fainting. The best thing you can do to prevent this condition is to use a glucometer to monitor your blood glucose levels regularly at home. So, if your blood sugar level is below 70 mg/dL (between 55-69 mg/dL) or if you experience any of the above symptoms then try to raise it by following the “15-15 Rule.” To do this, consume 15 grams of carbohydrates and check your glucose levels after 15 minutes. If it’s still too low i.e. below the standard range then repeat the 15-15 rule. If it is still low, then consider repeating the same rule again. Eventually, your blood sugar levels will increase. Once it’s in the standard range, eat a nutritious meal or any normal snack. This will prevent hypoglycemia from recurring.
You might be wondering how to select a meal or snack containing exactly 15 grams of carbs. Don’t fret, to make it easier for you, we have listed the items which have 15 grams of carbs and are safe for consumption.
- 1 tablespoon of honey, sugar, or syrup.
- 4 ounces i.e. 1/2 cup of regular soda or juice.
- 1 dose of glucose gel (generally 1 tube). However, follow the instructions.
- Jellybeans, hard candies, or gumdrops (ensure you check the food label to know how much to consume).
3. Hyperosmolar hyperglycemic nonketotic state/syndrome (HHNS)
HHNS occurs when the blood sugar level is too high, but ketones are not present. Although this condition occurs rarely, it is quite serious. It is considered an emergency and requires immediate treatment. Most often, it affects sick people suffering from a coexisting illness or infection. It may also affect older people.
Generally, the symptoms of hyperosmolar hyperglycemic nonketotic state/syndrome are severe. We have mentioned the symptoms so that you’re well informed.
- Loss of vision
- Weakness on one side of the body (downwards)
- Fever or warm skin without any sweat
- Extreme thirst
You’ve seen how severe this condition is and how deadly it can turn. Therefore, monitor your blood glucose levels regularly. Consider purchasing Dr. Morepen glucometer to check your sugar comfortably at home. If your blood sugar is too high, without wasting time, consult your doctor. If you experience any of these symptoms mentioned above, then seek emergency help.