Diabetes affects how your body uses glucose. When you don't have enough insulin, or your body does not use it efficiently, your glucose levels rise. Serious complications can develop.
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According to Maria Collazo-Clavell, M.D., of the Mayo Clinic, diabetes may put you at risk of developing some form of liver disease. Uncontrolled blood sugar levels increase your risk of developing fatty tissue within your liver. This can lead to scarring of your liver, in a condition known as nonalcoholic cirrhosis.
Nonalcoholic Cirrhosis Symptoms
Nonalcoholic cirrhosis is a silent disease. It may be years before symptoms of the disease begin to manifest. As the disease progresses, you will begin to experience fatigue and weakness. You may lose weight. The disease causes fibrosis (scarring) of the liver, which accumulates. The liver becomes hardened and unable to function as it normally would. Complicationscan result in bleeding of the intestines, fluid retention and liver failure.
Diabetic nephropathy, or damage to your kidneys, can be a complication of diabetes. Within your kidneys' filtering systems are blood vessels called glomerular capillaries, which remove waste from your body. If your blood sugar is uncontrolled, scarring can develop. As a result, your kidney structures leak, and proteins are excreted into your urine. Left untreated, nephropathy can lead to illness and eventually death.
Initially when you develop nephropathy you may not experience any symptoms. As the disease advances, you will feel fatigue, headache, and nausea and vomiting. Your urine may appear frothy. Other symptoms include hiccups, itchy skin, poor appetite, and swelling of the limbs. If the condition is left untreated, kidney failure can result.
Diabetes can cause a host of other complications when left untreated. High blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, neuropathy (nerve damage), and eye damage are all possibilities. Diabetic ketoacidosis results in the breakdown of body fat. Toxic acids known as ketones are produced and flushed throughout the body, resulting in possible coma or even death. Other complications include skin and mouth infections, foot damage, and bone issues such as osteoporosis.
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