The Worst Effects Of High Blood Sugar

Individuals diagnosed with diabetes understand they have a lifelong condition, and it will impact their lifestyle to some degree. However, there is always the temptation to stray from the prescribed treatment plan or not manage the disease at all. Because of this risk, it is essential for individuals to understand the complications and effects of high blood sugar on the body – and its impact on quality of life.

Do I Have High Blood Sugar Levels?

Any fasting blood sugar (FBS) test or home glucose test with a reading of 100 ml/dL or more indicates levels are elevated. For those being screened by healthcare providers this will call for a diagnosis of diabetes or pre-diabetes. For diabetics, this is an indicator insulin should be take or other prescribed treatment plan followed to return levels to normal.

Long Term Complications Of High Blood Sugar

A single episode of high glucose levels will not cause permanent damage or become life threatening in a majority of cases. However, undetected diabetes and improper management of this condition after the disease has been diagnosed can lead to long term damage.

The effects of high blood sugar that remains uncontrolled are:

  • Blindness
  • Kidney damage – requires lifelong dialysis treatments
  • Kidney failure – requires transplantation
  • Nerve damage – resulting in amputation
  • Cardiovasular disease
  • Increased risk of stroke
  • Complications during pregnancy – for mother and baby
  • Decreased production of growth hormones – harmful to developing children and can accelerate aging in adults

Increased Risk to the Elderly

The elderly are at increased risk for experiencing complications related to high blood sugar and diabetes because of management and treatment issues. Previously used, tightly regimented treatment plans are avoided by most healthcare providers as individuals reach 65 or over because of the increased opportunity and risk of hypoglycemia.

Compared to hyperglycemia, low blood sugar is a more dangerous condition for older adults to recognize and manage. This condition can cause confusion, vertigo, increased risk for falling, coma, seizures and even death.

However, a single or multiple episode of mild to moderately high blood sugar causes increased thirst and urge to urinate. For healthy adults, this rarely poses a problem – but in seniors it can result in dehydration, electrolyte imbalances and cause a loss of balance.

Uncontrolled high blood sugar has the potential to cause an enormous amount of damage to healthy individuals, especially in the elderly and in cases of uncontrolled diabetes. This means it is essential treatment plans created by healthcare professionals be followed to avoid increased risk, long term damage and unwanted complications.

You can see this post for more on high blood sugar treatment plans.

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