Diabetes affects much more than blood sugar levels. It can impact your entire body. Heart disease is the most serious health complication people with type 2 diabetes can develop. This includes heart attacks strokes, and heart failure.
Furthermore, people with diabetes can develop heart disease 15 years earlier and may be twice as likely to die from heart disease or stroke than those without diabetes. The most common form of heart disease is called coronary artery disease – this is caused by a narrowing or blockage of the arteries supplying blood to the heart. When blood supply cannot reach the heart or brain, it causes a heart attack or stroke. Watching your cholesterol and blood pressure levels will help delay these complications. Routine blood tests and working with your family doctor and diabetes care team are important steps to help manage or prevent these health concerns.
Other diabetes-related complications include kidney disease, eye and nerve damage, and more. People with diabetes are also at risk of diabetes distress – anxiety or depression that stem from managing their diabetes. With proper management, these complications may be prevented or delayed.
Regular physical activity can help lower your blood sugar and diabetes-related complications. Aim to complete 150 minutes of aerobic exercise each week and incorporate resistance exercises (i.e. lifting weight) 2-3 times per week. A healthy diet with reduced sugar intake will help manage your weight, blood sugar, blood pressure, and cholesterol levels. Talk to one of our dietitians to learn about incorporating a healthy diet into your lifestyle. Visit saveonfoods.com to book a virtual tour with our registered dietitian.
Our Pharmacist Can Help.
Book an appointment with our pharmacist and learn more. We can support you with:
- Personalized risk assessment
- Blood glucose monitoring tips
- Diabetes action plan
- Medication check-up
Other Diabetes-Related Complications
Kidney Disease (nephropathy)
Kidneys become damaged due to high blood sugar and high blood pressure as they can no longer filter blood properly and lose its function or fail completely. Kidney failure is a serious complication of diabetes. Keeping blood pressure <130/80 will help delay this complication.
Eye Damage (retinopathy)
The nerves in the eyes become damaged due to high blood sugar which can result in vision changes or blindness. With blood sugar control, regular eye exams, and early treatment, the risk of eye damage can be reduced.
Nerve Damage (neuropathy)
The nerves, most commonly in the legs and feet, become damaged due to high blood sugar. If left untreated, it can lead to infection and limb amputation. With regular foot screening, nerve damage can be delayed or prevented.
Many people with diabetes duffer from decreased mood and increased levels of anxiety. It’s equally as important to take care of your mental health as well as your physical health.
There are major health benefits if you have diabetes and quit smoking including improved blood sugar control as well as lowered risk for heart disease, kidney complications, foot problems, eyes disease, and gum disease/oral infections. Talk to one of our pharmacists to see if you may be eligible for the publicly funded smoking cessation program.