Sugar Matters
September 6, 2011
Complications, Complications, Complications. First stop – the Eyes

Today, we start a longer series about complications related to diabetes, and some may actually surprise you. What are “complications?” This is any issue or problem arising because of direct relation to an initial issue; in this case diabetes. It is very important to know about and discuss these, because it makes quite a difference in even the way your diabetes will be managed.{{more}} In fact, in my medical notes about patients, there is a separate sentence or paragraph that starts with these words: diabetic complications include….

Unknown to many people, diabetes can affect almost every organ system in the body, from the head to the toes, from the skin outside all the way in to the smallest blood vessels and nerves. Why and how? The answer is a bit complicated, because there are thought to be several ways in which diabetes can cause damage.

One of the leading causes is through a build-up of damaged cell products. Another way is by making it more difficult for the cells to heal. Maintaining good blood flow is important for many reasons, including bringing oxygen and nutrients to cells, and in diabetes blood flow is often not as good as it should be, so various areas of the body can suffer. There are chapters and journals devoted to discussing the research showing how and why diabetes causes so much damage,

so I won’t go into details here. Suffice to say, we have a great deal of evidence telling us that various stages of poor glucose control definitely contribute and directly cause damage to various parts of the body, and in turn can decrease life expectancy and seriously affect the quality of life you have now.

Even if your own doctor has not told you this information outright, the questions he/she may ask during your clinic visits are clues to their search for possible complications you might be having. For this reason it is VERY important that you answer these questions honestly, even if you think the question is strange or even too private. In addition, you should mention new symptoms or concerns to your doctor because it may be a sign of something concerning. NO, you are not being paranoid or troublesome-this is your health we are talking about here! Who else but you will take the best and greatest responsibility for it? Maybe your mother, yes, but if you are an adult you need to take over that role, seriously…

So next week we will start with our “windows into the soul”, our eyes. Please send on any questions or comments you have and we will include them in future articles.

Until next week stay safe and healthy Vincies!

Anita Ramsetty, MD

Medical Director Endocrine Care Group

Tel: 843-798-4227