Complications Of Uncontrolled Diabetes Essay

823 words - 4 pages

Diabetes has become a growing epidemic with an estimated 23.6 million people diagnosed with diabetes, and 57 million people diagnosed as pre-diabetic in the United States alone (Lewis, Dirksen, Heitkemper, Bucher, & Camera, 2011). Diabetes is a chronic, multisystem disease in which the body is unable to produce insulin, or the body becomes resistant to the insulin produced. The alteration in insulin regulation in the body results in elevated blood glucose (sugar) levels called hyperglycemia (Lewis et al.). Diabetes is a manageable disorder with the proper blood glucose level control, but when hyperglycemia is not properly managed, diabetes becomes a major cause of morbidity and ...view middle of the document...

Although blindness is limiting to the person with diabetes, diabetic nephropathy is a more common complication.
Diabetic nephropathy is caused by hyperglycemia, which damages the blood flow to the kidneys resulting in end-stage renal disease (ESRD) (Lewis et al., 2011). “It [diabetes] is the leading cause of end-stage renal disease in the United States” (Lewis et al., 2011, p. 1249). Renal functions need to be performed annually to monitor for any decrease in kidney function and presence of ESRD. Once ESRD is reached, chronic dialysis treatments are needed about 3 times a week for 4 hour sessions to prevent toxic build up in the blood. The only option besides dialysis is to receive a kidney transplant (Deshpande et al., 2008). The loss of renal function creates an alternative lifestyle of dialysis treatments, which ultimately is a result of cardiovascular disease complications from diabetes.
The cardiovascular system throughout the body becomes narrowed or obstructed from lipid containing plaque that builds up in the arteries caused by hyperglycemia (Lewis et al., 2011). The buildup of plaque can lead to cardiovascular complications such as coronary artery disease, peripheral vascular disease, congestive heart failure, heart attack, hypertension, and/or stroke (Deshpande et al., 2008). The cardiovascular effects begin gradually and are reversible with proper management of hyperglycemia and diet, but can turn into irreversible chronic conditions that ultimately lead to mortality. Deshpande, Harris-Haynes, and Schootman (2008) noted, “Cardiovascular disease in diabetics causes up to 65% of all deaths in people with diabetes” (p. 1258). Cardiovascular disease complications cause the most severe and...

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