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Three common type 1 diabetes complications in different areas of the body

by , 30 August 2017
Three common type 1 diabetes complications in different areas of the body
In type 1 diabetes, the pancreas produce little to no insulin - the hormone that regulates the use of glucose for energy. This leads to high blood glucose, also known as hyperglycaemia, as glucose builds up in the bloodstream.

Lifelong insulin therapy, which lowers blood glucose and allows the body to use glucose for fuel, is the main treatment for type 1 diabetes. However, even with treatment, the condition can still lead to various complications in different areas of the body. Read on to learn about three of them.

Three areas of the body that type 1 diabetes can damage

#1: Nerve damage or dysfunction
This complication is referred to as neuropathy. It develops when high blood glucose levels damage blood vessels that supply the nerves with oxygen. According to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, between 60% and 70% of all diabetics have some form of neuropathy. The most common form of neuropathy is peripheral neuropathy, which causes pain, weakness and numbness in the arms, hands, legs, feet and toes.


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#2: Eye disease
Because diabetes affects blood vessels in the retina, it can cause a type of eye disease called retinopathy. In some people, retinopathy causes an abnormal growth of new blood vessels in the retina. In other, it causes the eye to swell and leak fluid. In most cases, retinopathy leads to blurred vision or blindness. In fact, a 2010 report published in the journal Endocrinology and Metabolism Clinics of North America reveals that diabetic retinopathy is the leading cause of blindness among adults between 20 and 74 years old.
#3: Kidney disease
The kidneys’ main function is to filter blood and keep it clean of waste products. In type 1 diabetes, high blood glucose levels can damage the kidneys and cause them to slowly but surely lose their filtering ability, which can result in a form of kidney disease called nephropathy. A 2010 report showed that between 20% and 40% of diabetics develop nephropathy.
Make sure you share this article with friends and family who have type 1 diabetes!

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