The Consequences of a Delayed Diagnosis of Diabetes
What is Diabetes?
Diabetes is a chronic disorder that affects how your body converts sugar, starches, and other foods into energy. If you have diabetes and your blood sugar isn’t being properly regulated by insulin or other medicines, it can lead to some serious health problems.
There are two types of diabetes, commonly referred to as type 1 and type 2 diabetes. Both types of diabetes may be treated by diet and exercise, but medication is sometimes required.
Diagnosis of Diabetes
If you think you may have diabetes, see your doctor immediately. They will check your blood sugar level and perform a physical exam; your blood pressure and cholesterol level may also need to be checked.
The doctor will ask about your risk factors for developing diabetes, such as being overweight, often feeling thirsty, and having frequent urination (polyuria), followed by a sharp drop in blood sugar levels after eating.
Misdiagnosis of Diabetes
If diabetes remains undiagnosed for a prolonged period, the damage caused by glucose intolerance may be irreversible. During this prolonged period, it is possible for other problems such as high blood pressure and heart disease to develop. Some of the other complications resulting from delayed diagnosis of diabetes include:
Kidney failure is a very serious complication of diabetes. You can sometimes reverse kidney failure if the disease is caught early enough. However, this is not always the case. Contributing factors to kidney failure include high blood pressure and elevated cholesterol levels. Kidney failure changes how your body handles glucose and other sugars. This means that you will require additional medicines to stay healthy.
Loss of your limb due to impaired blood circulation is another consequence of diabetes. In some cases, amputation is necessary to restore blood circulation to protect your life, which may prevent further complications. Loss of your limb can also lead to depression and even suicidal thoughts.
Vision impairment and blindness are other potential complications of diabetes. Diabetes that is undiagnosed affects how your body processes sugar, which can lead to poor blood flow in your eyes. The result of this is that you can eventually lose your sight.
Hearing impairment is also a potential complication of diabetes. In some cases, untreated diabetes can permanently damage your inner ear. Hearing damage results from high blood pressure, cholesterol imbalance, and nerve damage.
Sexual dysfunction and impotence are other consequences of diabetes that may result from nerve damage and poor blood flow. Diabetes may also affect your fertility. Diabetes can increase the chances of developing testicular cancer.
Heart disease and stroke are two of the leading causes of death in the United States and can be life-threatening complications that are often due to poor blood flow. Blood vessels in the brain and heart may become blocked by atherosclerosis or hardening of the arteries, resulting in a stroke or heart attack.
It is important to get prompt treatment for diabetes so that you can avoid this serious complication of the disease. In light of the consequences mentioned above, diabetes misdiagnosis should be avoided at all costs. To do this, you should seek proper medical attention when you experience any associated symptoms.