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เบาหวาน อย่าเบาใจ ตอนที่ 2

‘Diabetes isn’t something to take lightly of.’Episode 2

Diabetes can cause an array of complications. The Diabetes Association of Thailand’s primary goal is to reduce complications in diabetic patients by controlling the accumulation of sugar in the blood to an appropriate level based on age and duration of disease, or as close to normal as possible. The average level of accumulated sugar levels in the blood (HbA1C) is below or equal to 6.5%. Elderly patients or those who have had diabetes for an extended period should have an accumulated sugar level of 8- 8.5%. Nonetheless, complications might emerge gradually or suddenly, particularly in patients who do not take care of themselves or in the elderly.

Complications that develop gradually frequently arise in organs with small blood arteries, such as the heart, eyes, kidneys, nerves, and feet. Examples of common diabetes health complications are heart disease, coronary artery disease, nerve damage, and cerebropathy. Heart diseases have been reported to kill 68% of patients with diabetes aged 65 and older, while 16% died from a stroke or cerebrovascular accident. Adults with diabetes have a 2-4 times higher death rate from cardiac disease than those without the illness!

Why are some diabetic patients’ legs, feet, or toes amputated? Diabetic patients with high blood sugar levels are more likely to develop chronic wounds, which may necessitate amputation of toes, feet, or legs because these areas are prone to wounds. If the wound is not treated, it could infect and spread to other organs. The degradation of the Peripheral Nervous System (PNS), commonly known as “diabetic feet,” is the cause. There is frequent burning pain and numbness in the early stages, especially at night. Numbness typically begins at the tips of the toes and progresses to the back of the foot and both legs. When a patient is numb, he or she may tread on a sharp object without realizing it, resulting in a wound.

Furthermore, numbness may cause the patient to walk and put weight on the wound. As a result, the wound is constantly pressured and unable to heal. When the neurological system deteriorates over time, some minor muscles atrophy, which can lead to foot deformity. The deterioration of the autonomic nerve system also causes the skin on the feet to become dry and itchy, causing it to get wounds easily and the peripheral arterial in the legs to constrict, making wound healing harder. All of which may result in the amputation of legs, feet, or toes.

“Diabetic retinopathy” is frequently encountered in patients who have had diabetes for an extended period, usually more than twenty years. Cataracts, for example, are the most frequent and can result in blindness. Cataracts develop due to excessive blood sugar adhering to proteins on the eye’s lens and accumulating over time, resulting in clouded eyes or macular degeneration. Sclerectasia and bleeding blood vessels in the eye are the causes. Other reasons for blurred vision in diabetic patients are retinal degeneration, glaucoma, and diabetic retinopathy. These eye conditions can cause the patient to step on sharp objects or trip and fall, resulting in wounds on the feet or legs and even amputation of the legs and feet.

“Diabetic nephropathy” is frequently found in patients who have diabetes for more than ten years. The kidneys have to work harder because of high blood sugar, which also causes high blood pressure in the kidneys. If not treated properly, kidney function will deteriorate gradually until kidney leakage occurs, with protein spilling out through urine, and may eventually lead to chronic renal failure requiring dialysis.

Often, complications that occur abruptly have more severe symptoms. For example, diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) is a life-threatening problem that affects people with diabetes. It’s a condition when the body breaks down fat and processes it into a fuel called ketones, then uses it as energy instead of sugar, creating the ‘Ketone body’ stage, causing DKA. This problem is often found in patients with type 1 diabetes.

Diabetes is more than just a high blood sugar condition. The body can go into a coma and lose consciousness if the blood sugar is too low. Severe low blood sugar often occurs in diabetic patients, particularly those with type 1 diabetes, who misuse insulin or medication. Furthermore, hypoglycemia can also occur in healthy individuals who fast or consume excessive amounts of sugar. If you experience this illness often or persistently, it may induce irregular heartbeat, arrhythmia, and sudden cardiac arrest that is fatal.

The only thing worse than diabetes is the complications that come with it. It would make things much worse if you get it. Hence, “diabetes isn’t something to take lightly of.” It’s never too late to take care of your health. Monitor your symptoms regularly and have an annual health check to avoid and detect any potential complications or disease within time.

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MAHACHAI TLC MAHACHAI BRANCH
NUCHARAT HEALTHLAB (HUAHIN – SOI 112)

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