Type 2 diabetes also called type 2 diabetes mellitus is a common but serious health condition. It is a disability in the way your body regulates and uses sugar as a fuel for your body. When blood sugar levels are excessively high and the body is unable to utilize insulin properly, this condition develops. High blood sugar levels can damage blood vessels over time, resulting in major health consequences throughout the body.

Insulin is a hormone produced by the pancreas that aids cells in correctly utilizing glucose, the body’s primary energy source. Type 2 diabetes develops when the body’s response to insulin is impaired, and insulin production declines over time. 

Potential complications of type 2 diabetes

Glucose builds up in the blood as a result of your body’s failure to respond to insulin appropriately, causing people to have high blood sugar levels. High blood sugar levels can cause both acute and chronic health problems. Acute health issues are those that occur suddenly and without warning, such as hyperglycemia (hypers) or hypoglycemia (hypoglycemia) (hypos). Chronic complications, on the other hand, are long-term problems that impact your heart or kidneys and can range from kidney disease to vision loss and nerve damage. Here are some potential complications that you may experience when you have type 2 diabetes:

Heart disease and stroke – Individuals who have diabetes are more likely to develop heart disease or stroke than those without diabetes. They may even develop heart disease at a young age and their risk increases longer when they have diabetes.The neurons and blood arteries that control the heart might be damaged by high blood sugar levels. Heart disease can result from this injury. Diabetes patients are also more likely to have additional heart disease risk factors, such as Coronary Artery Disease, it is the most common form of heart disease and other risk factors include:

-high blood pressure

-high levels of LDL cholesterol, also known as “bad” cholesterol

-high triglycerides — a type of fat in the blood

-being overweight or having obesity

Vision loss – Most people who have diabetes develop eye problems because of high sugar levels that damage the blood vessels in the eyes. In the short term, a person who has diabetes may experience temporary vision loss. This is because of high blood sugars affecting fluid levels or causing swelling in the tissues of the eyes. If a person manages to control their blood sugar and keep it in a healthy range, his/her vision will eventually return. Damage to blood vessels over time might result in bleeding, scarring, or dangerously high blood pressure. Conditions that can lead to a long term damage may include the following: 

Oral health problems – Diabetic patients also have a higher risk of developing oral health complications. Diabetes if left untreated affects the mouth in many ways. Periodontal Disease is the most common oral health complication that a person with diabetes can undergo. This is a serious infection that can gums, tissues that are holding the teeth and bones. Infection can cause blood sugar levels to rise, making it more difficult to manage. Poor blood sugar control can raise the risk of gum problems, and infection can cause blood sugar levels to rise, making it more difficult to manage. Other ways that diabetes can affect the mouth are the following: 

-producing less saliva, causing the mouth to feel dry and increasing the risk of cavities

-inflamed and bleeding gums

-higher susceptibility to infections inside the mouth

-slower wound healing

Skin Conditions – This is the first visible sign of having diabetes. High blood sugar can result in dehydration, inflammation and poor circulation that can impact the skin and damage it. Learn how to check for skin problems, if you notice any symptoms for skin problems you should contact your doctor right away.  Skin conditions that may occur for people with type 2 diabetes can include:

  • necrobiosis lipoidica
  • acanthosis nigricans
  • digital sclerosis
  • blisters
  • skin infections
  • diabetic ulcers
  • diabetic dermopathy
  • eruptive xanthomatosis
  • granuloma annulare
  • xanthelasma
  • dry and itchy skin

Neuropathy – Neuropathy refers to nerve damage and diabetic neuropathy is damage that occurs because of diabetes. If blood sugar levels are not managed in the long run, fats in the blood can damage the nerves in the body. These are the different types of neuropathies that a type 2 diabetic patient can have:

Kidney disease – Diabetic people with type 2 diabetes are more likely to develop renal disease. Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD), which causes the kidney to slow down and lose function, affects one in every three persons with diabetes. Kidney failure is caused by type 2 diabetes, which develops when high blood sugar levels destroy the kidneys. Nephrons are blood veins in the kidneys and small filters in the kidneys. People with diabetes are more likely to develop high blood pressure, which damages the kidneys even more.