What Happens if Diabetes is Left Untreated?

Well, we all are aware of the various complications that diabetes can cause in those affected with the condition. Sometimes, the disease may go undiagnosed as, in most of the cases, the signs and symptoms are not very clear and they appear only gradually. It might take years for a patient to get diagnosed with diabetes and by that time half the damage to the body has already been done. In some of the other cases, people take the disease too lightly and face the serious consequences later in the life. In today’s article, we shall analyze the consequences of untreated diabetes. So, let us join in for the article “What Happens if Diabetes is Left Untreated?”

Table of Contents

Complications When Diabetes Is Left Untreated

Let us begin the article by understanding the consequences of untreated diabetes. Following are the irreversible and serious damages that untreated or undetected diabetes can lead to:

The Rise in Cholesterol and Blood Pressure

When you are not able to control your diabetes effectively, there are possibilities that various complications will take place as the level of bad cholesterol as well as blood pressure shall increase to a great extent. Hypertension or high blood pressure, in turn, gives rise to a host of other complications in the body such as strokes, kidney related conditions, amongst others.

Effect on the Vision and the Eyes

Uncontrolled diabetes is very harmful to the eyes and we are aware of the same by now. Diabetic Retinopathy is known to affect several millions of the people who suffer from diabetes. The increase in the level of blood glucose as a consequence of uncontrolled diabetes leads to various damage around the arteries and blood vessels of the eyes. This, in turn, can even cause loss of vision in the patients. In fact, if the level of blood glucose increases by even around 1 %, the risks and the extent of damage to the eyes increase by one-third.

Nerve Damage

Another dangerous consequence of untreated diabetes is the irreversible nerve damage that is caused in the various nerves of the body. In fact, studies have shown that around 70 percent of diabetes patients are affected by some or the other kind of nerve damage.

Different nerve damage that can be caused includes the following:

Autonomic Neuropathy

This is caused when diabetes adversely affects the nerves of the internal organs. This type of nerve damage could lead to problems in the digestive system, fainting, amongst others.

Peripheral Diabetic Neuropathy

This is a type of nerve damage that can adversely affect and cause pain in body parts such as the toes, the feet, hands, etc.

Foot Amputation

This problem stems from the damage to the nerves that diabetes leads to. Diabetes, if left untreated for a long time, can cause flat feet, as well as other changes to the feet. If you stumble over one small pebble, you might even get an ulcer. The damage to the blood vessels that reach the foot can cause severe pain as well as numbness. All this, in turn, can lead to amputations in the foot.

Problems in the Heart

If you have diabetes and the same is not managed effectively for some reason, there are greater possibilities of you getting heart-related diseases such as a heart failure or even a stroke. The risk of you getting any of the heart-related problems increases two times with untreated diabetes. It should be known that most of the deaths in diabetes are often caused due to heart attacks.

Kidneys Failure

Another dangerous effect that untreated diabetes causes are the ultimate failure of your kidneys. The nephrons in the kidney which are responsible to filter the kidney blood are adversely affected due to the high glucose level in the blood. The percentage of protein in the blood is also very high at this time. Around 40 percent of the diabetes patients can experience kidney failure due to the lack of proper management of diabetes.

Tooth Decay and Gum Diseases

Diabetes is also known to lead to problems in the gum and the tooth of the patients. It is a disease which adversely affects the immunity of the body. Hence, diabetes can expose the gums to bacteria, which, in turn, can cause tooth decay and gum related conditions.

It Decreases Your Overall Life Span

With so many problems that diabetes can cause, patients who are not able to control the disease effectively and in a timely manner often experience an early death. In fact, as per the Diabetes UK, the life expectancy for type 1 diabetes patients can be reduced by as much as 20 years, while the life span of a type 2 diabetes patient can be reduced by over 10 years.

Signs or Symptoms of Uncontrolled Diabetes That Should Not be Ignored

As seen above, the consequences of untreated diabetes can be fatal and one has to deal with major complications. As such, following are a few signs and symptoms which you should not ignore as these are the signals that can tell you that you need to do something with your diabetes:

  • The digestive tract, as well as the urinary bladder, fails to work appropriately. You can experience constipation, diarrhea, bloating, and even vomiting
  • Your gum and teeth begin to show signs of decay and the gums might even bleed at regular intervals
  • You become to face problems with hearing ability
  • Your mouth and the skin becomes extremely dry. You experience itchiness on the skin and it even cracks
  • The blood vessels in the hands and feet get adversely affected as a result of which, your hands, feet, and toe become numb.
  • You start experiencing blurred visions. Not only that, you can see dark spots in front of your eyes.
  • There are extreme sensations that you might feel. There is a feeling of either extreme cold or you might even feel extremely hot at times.
  • Your thighs, calves, etc. may get adversely affected and there might be a constant pain that you will experience in these areas.
  • The sweat glands fail to function appropriately and you experience quite some changes in the way your body perspires.
  • There are obvious changes in the reproductive organs of both men and women which might be experienced
  • Finally, there is a feeling of nausea and dizziness constantly and your ability to concentrate on things diminish to a great extent.

When you experience any of the above signs and symptoms, chances are that either you have diabetes that has not been diagnosed or that the disease is not being managed effectively. In either of the cases, it is extremely important that you visit your doctor because undetected and untreated diabetes can both lead to serious consequences and can even prove to be fatal.

We hope that the above post has been helpful in educating you about the consequences that untreated diabetes can have on your body. It can be a life-threatening condition. Thankfully, diabetes, although complicated, can be effectively managed by following a healthy diet, disciplined and a balanced lifestyle, and regular physical exercise. It is imperative to control this life-threatening condition as per the advice of the medical experts due to the serious and irreversible consequences that it can lead to!!

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