Diabetes Complications and how to prevent them

Dr Ashutosh Shukla (Director & Head – Department of Medicine, Senior Consultant Physician, Artemis Hospital, Delhi NCR) tell us about Diabetes complications and how to prevent them. Dr Shukla states that diabetes can lead to potential bodily harm and so it is important to secure yourself from complications arising out of it. He recommends doing this by:-

  • Determining a doctor you trust and visiting them for regular check-ups
  • Expanding your knowledge about diabetes
  • Keeping your sugar normal with the right combination of medicines and lifestyle changes
  • HBA1C which is your three month’s sugar control should be 7%
  • Keeping your blood pressure 130/80 or less
  • Exercising tight control on your cholesterol
  • Bad cholesterol less than 100 and
  • Triglycerides less than 150
  • Good cholesterol should be above 40 in men and above 50 in women
  • Improve your overall hygiene with special attention to your feet and addressing any injuries immediately

Dr V. Mohan (Chairman & Chief of Diabetology, Dr Mohan’s Diabetes Specialties Centre, Chennai) states that diabetes can impact blood vessels in three places:-

  • Heart: Diabetes can cause angina (chest pain) due to a blocked blood vessel. If left untreated it can cause a mild or severe heart attack depending on which blood vessel is affected.
  • Brain: Diabetes can cause a haemorrhage, thrombosis, or hemiplegia (where a hand, leg or face is paralysed on one side)
  • Legs: Diabetes damages the legs and feet by affecting the large blood vessels, resulting in gangrene. Blackening of the toes or feet can occur due to a complete lack of blood circulation which necessitates an amputation either below or above the knee. This can be prevented if blood circulation is monitored and diabetes is controlled.

All complications of diabetes affecting the large blood vessels can be avoided if one controls diabetes, cholesterol, and triglycerides. Additionally, smoking and tobacco consumption needs to be prevented to avoid complications as they block the vessels.

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