Diabetes is a chronic health condition that affects millions of people globally. It occurs when the body is unable to produce or properly use insulin, a hormone that regulates blood sugar levels. As a result, high levels of glucose (sugar) build up in the blood, which can lead to serious health problems if left untreated.
Symptoms of Untreated Diabetes
Untreated diabetes can cause a wide range of symptoms, some of which may be mild, while others can be life-threatening. Here are some of the most common symptoms of untreated diabetes:
Increased Thirst and Hunger: When blood sugar levels are high, the body tries to get rid of the excess glucose by flushing it out through the kidneys, which can lead to dehydration. This in turn can cause an increase in thirst. People with untreated diabetes may also feel hungry more frequently because the body is not able to use glucose effectively, which can lead to low energy levels.
Fatigue: Excessive thirst and hunger, combined with high blood sugar levels, can lead to feelings of fatigue and weakness. People with untreated diabetes may feel tired and sluggish throughout the day, making it difficult to carry out everyday activities.
Blurred Vision: High blood sugar levels can cause changes in the shape of the lens of the eye, leading to blurred vision. This can be a temporary or permanent condition, depending on how long the diabetes remains uncontrolled.
Slow-Healing Wounds: People with untreated diabetes are at a higher risk of developing infections and slow-healing wounds, such as cuts, bruises and sores. This is because high blood sugar levels can affect the blood flow to the extremities and impair the body’s ability to heal.
Numbness and Tingling in the Hands and Feet: Over time, high blood sugar levels can damage the blood vessels and nerves, leading to numbness and tingling in the hands and feet. This is known as diabetic neuropathy and can make it difficult to carry out everyday activities.
Yeast Infections: Women with untreated diabetes are more susceptible to yeast infections, particularly in the genital area. This is because high blood sugar levels can provide a favorable environment for yeast growth.
Kidney Problems: Over time, high blood sugar levels can damage the blood vessels in the kidneys, leading to kidney problems. This can result in protein in the urine, swelling in the legs and feet, and high blood pressure.
Treatment for Untreated Diabetes
Untreated diabetes can lead to serious health problems and even death. It is therefore important to seek medical attention as soon as possible. Treatment for diabetes typically involves managing blood sugar levels through a combination of lifestyle changes and medication.
Lifestyle Changes: Making healthy changes to your diet and exercise routine can help to manage blood sugar levels. Eating a balanced diet that is low in sugar and saturated fats and high in fiber, fruits, and vegetables can help to regulate blood sugar levels. Regular physical activity, such as walking, cycling or swimming, can also help to improve insulin sensitivity and control blood sugar levels.
Medication: People with uncontrolled diabetes may need to take medication to regulate blood sugar levels. This can include oral medications, such as metformin, or insulin injections, depending on the type and severity of diabetes.
Monitoring Blood Sugar Levels: Regular monitoring of blood sugar levels is an important part of managing diabetes. This can be done at home using a blood glucose meter or through regular check-ups with a doctor.
Untreated diabetes can cause a wide range of symptoms, from increased thirst and hunger to serious health problems such as kidney problems and numbness and tingling in the hands.