Complications and emergencies

Diabetes can lead to several damaging health complications when not controlled. It can also lead to some very scary medical emergencies.

Skin Complications
Those living with diabetes are more susceptible to infection. This also includes skin infections. In fact, skim complications can be one of the early signs of diabetes. Some of these complications include styes, boils, infections of the hair follicles, deep infections of the skin and tissue underneath and infections around the nails. It is important to exercise good skin care when living with diabetes as to not cause further skin infections.

Eye Complications
Diabetes can cause blindness. Those with diabetes have a 40% higher chance of suffering from glaucoma which is when pressure builds up in the eye. This pressure pinches blood vessels in your eye that carry blood to the retina and optic nerve. Thus, vision is gradually lost. Some other eye complications that those with diabetes are at higher risk for are cataracts, and retinopathy.

This term refers to nerve damage caused by diabetes. About half of all people living with diabetes suffer from neuropathy. Keeping blood glucose stable can help prevent or delay nerve damage. There are two types of nerve damage that can occur.
Peripheral nerve damage causes pain, tingling, numbness or weakness in your hands and feet. Autonomic nerve damage affects the automatic nerves in your body. These include those control your body systems.

One of the most serious diabetic emergencies is called Diabetic Ketoacidosis (DKA). This is a serious condition which can lead to a diabetic coma or even death. When your cells are not getting the glucose they need for energy, your body naturally starts to burn fat for fuel. This produces ketones. Ketones are defined as acids that build up in the blood and appear in your urine when you body does not have enough insulin. They are a dangerous sign that your diabetes is out of control or that you are getting sick. High levels of these ketones are poisonous to the body. DKA happens when these levels are too high.

Always be aware of the warning signs of DKA which include:
-Frequent urination
-High blood sugar levels
-High levels of ketones in urine
-Constantly feeling tired
-Flushed skin
-Nausea and vomiting
-Difficulty breathing
-Fruity odor on your breath

If you or anyone you know with diabetes is experiencing these symptoms, get medical help immediately.