Diabetic omplications- Prevention & Management- II
Welcome back! In our previous article, we covered two complications arising out of diabetes, and in this article, we are going to explore two more, along with tips on prevention and management of these complications if they do arise.
Diabetic retinopathy is a condition that arises out of complications due to diabetes, which can potentially lead to vision loss and even blindness if left undetected or untreated. Therefore, it is crucial that individuals with diabetes get their eyes regularly tested for early-stage detection of retinopathy. This enables monitoring and treatment to take place, which can help in preserving vision from excessive deterioration. Depending on whether an individual has Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes, different modalities of eye examinations are recommended:
- Type 1 diabetes: It is recommended that individuals with Type 1 diabetes undergo regular eye exams starting five years after diagnosis, and these exams can be conducted by an optometrist or ophthalmologist. Eye exams are usually not mandatorily required before 10 years of age, however, individuals who have glasses or contacts or experience difficulties with their vision might need to be examined at an age sooner than 10 if required.
- Type 2 diabetes: For individuals with Type 2 diabetes, it is recommended that they take an eye exam upon diagnosis itself. This exam can be administered by an optometrist/ophthalmologist. Having an eye exam may reveal such complications and help your treating physician to determine if any treatment is needed.
It is usually recommended that based on the results of the initial eye exam, the individual undergoes an eye examination every one to two years after the first one.
One of the most significant ways to keep your eyes healthy as an individual with diabetes is to keep one’s blood pressure below 130/80 mmHg (in adults). Blood pressure can be kept within a healthy range by making certain healthy lifestyle changes like reducing salt intake, exercising, and eating more fruits and vegetables.
The kidneys play a very important role in the body by filtering the blood, getting rid of toxic waste products in the body and removing excess salt and water as well. Diabetic nephropathy is a condition that affects the functioning of the kidneys of an individual with diabetes and if left undetected or untreated, it can lead to chronic kidney disease and kidney failure, subsequently.
Therefore, regular screenings for kidney function are essential in diabetic patients. One prominent sign of kidney dysfunction is protein in the urine, which normally does not leak out if the kidneys are working well, and so, your health care practitioner can order a urine test to measure the level of protein in the urine.
The recommendations for individuals with Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes include:
- It is advised that individuals with Type 1 diabetes begin testing for kidney function about five years after diagnosis.
- In individuals with Type 2 diabetes, it is recommended that testing for kidney function can begin upon diagnosis.
Managing your lipid and blood sugar levels, as well as one’s blood pressure can help in reducing one’s risk of developing and managing complications related to diabetes.
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