Diabetes and Death
You may be asking “Can you die from diabetes?” and that is quite a reasonable question, especially if you are afflicted by the disease or a family member or friend is. To find out, however, you must know all about diabetes first.
Ideally, beta cells of the pancreas produce the hormone insulin which is responsible for controlling blood glucose levels. When you eat and your digestive system has already segregated all the nutrients, the sugar or glucose in the bloodstream should be ushered by insulin in entering your body’s cells where they will then be either designated for immediate energy consumption or stored for future use. People with diabetes, however, either are not able to produce adequate insulin or do not themselves respond to the hormone despite it being adequate. Glucose, therefore, accumulates in their bloodstream, unable to enter their body cells. Their bodies think they still need more glucose since none of those that are already in the bloodstream have been absorbed yet, so their brains send out hunger signals. Also, the excess blood glucose tends to spill into the urinary system, pulling water with it for urination, therefore making people with diabetes urinate frequently and crave for more water. So if you also have the question “What does high blood sugar feel like?” those are diabetes’ classic symptoms: frequent hunger, frequent thirst, and frequent urination.
There are two types of diabetes: Type 1 diabetes or insulin-dependent diabetes, and Type 2 diabetes or non-insulin-dependent diabetes. From their names, you would already know how to manage them. Type 1 requires insulin supplementation via subcutaneous injection, which would not work in Type 2 because people with this diabetes do not have a lack of insulin but rather non-responsiveness to the hormone. For both types, but especially for Type 2, diabetes management entails glucose reduction which is done primarily by modifying the diet and exercising.
If these diabetes management methods are not followed though, complications may arise, ranging from the mild like blindness, to the severe like death. Among the most common ones are retinopathy which can lead to blindness-this results from the glucose in the bloodstream blocking the blood vessels in the retinas. If it is the blood vessels in the kidneys which are blocked, on the other hand, the resulting condition is called nephropathy which can lead to kidney failure. For blood vessel blockage in general, a number of cardiovascular problems may arise, such as hypertension, heart attack, and stroke. Neuropathy may also arise; the lower limbs may have loss of feeling, which spells disaster if any part of the skin in those areas obtains a wound or is exposed to extreme temperature. A scratch wound in the toes may be left untended because of absence of pain indicating its worsening.