The Dangers Of Untreated Diabetes

The American Diabetes Association estimates that more than 7 million people in the United States have diabetes but don’t know it yet. These people may experience severe complications but take no steps toward controlling the disease.

Left untreated, diabetes can lead to blindness, kidney disease, heart disease, amputation, and high blood pressure. A new study published in the American Journal of Forensic Medicine and Pathology found even more deadly effects that come from undiagnosed diabetes. One-third of deaths from diabetic ketoacidosis in Maryland were cases of untreated, undiagnosed diabetes.

Diabetic Ketoacidosis occurs when a diabetic does not monitor their blood sugar. It means the body burns fat to produce energy rather than glucose, but it can be controlled through insulin shots. However, those with untreated diabetes have little or no insulin to help absorb glucose into the bloodstream. In ketoacidosis, an accumulation of sugars and acids can poison the body and result in a coma or even death.

Ketosis can also occur from a low-carbohydrate diet, because the body uses fat for energy rather than carbs, producing ketones that lead to the disease. It is estimated that over 1/3 of deaths from diabetic ketoacidosis are in people that never realize they have diabetes. It usually occurs in type 2 diabetes, because type 1 is typically diagnosed at a young age.

If you have any symptoms of diabetes, including frequent urination, thirst, slight blindness, dizziness, or numbness of limbs, it’s highly recommended that you get tested for diabetes so you can start controlling the disease before dangerous side effects occur.

Photo: Pexels

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