The consequences of diabetes in men and women – what is the danger

Diabetes mellitus, even if constantly monitored, is a dangerous chronic disease. Regardless of the pathogenesis of the disease, diabetes is dangerous with a high risk of serious consequences that develop if the rules of treatment are not followed.

How lifestyle changes in diabetes

The first type of sugar disease is characterized by a lack of insulin produced by the cells of the pancreas. In the second degree of the disease, muscle tissue does not perceive glucose, which is why it accumulates in the blood, which is dangerous for the body. There is also diabetes insipidus, which is caused by a lack of vasopressin. The disease is manifested by symptoms such as polyuria and thirst. The disease can be neurogenic and renal. Diabetes treatment includes more than glucose-lowering medications and insulin. It is also necessary to adjust the lifestyle. With such a disease, the following rules must be followed: 

  • Regularly visit an endocrinologist and follow his recommendations (count “bread units”, use a glucometer , etc.).
  • Do not skip meals.
  • Weigh yourself constantly.
  • Monitor nutrition: be sure to take into account the amount of carbohydrates and calorie content of the serving in order to adjust the insulin dose.
  • Follow your drinking regime. Consume at least 1.5 liters of liquid per day.
  • Reduce salt intake.
  • Beer and other alcohol are prohibited.
  • No smoking.
  • Exercise regularly.
  • Avoid stress as cortisol causes blood sugar to rise.

A healthy lifestyle guarantees an improvement in the general condition of diabetes.

Consequences of type 1 diabetes

Type 1 diabetes is often characterized by an acute course and rapid development of complications. In this case, the patient needs urgent medical attention. If left untreated, the consequences of type 1 diabetes can be as follows:

  • Ketoacidosis . It is characterized by the formation of ketone bodies in the blood, due to which the glucose concentration exceeds the norm. If the lack of insulin is not replenished in time, the person will fall into a ketoacidotic coma.
  • Hyperosmolar coma . It starts from a sharp increase in blood sugar concentration. Cellular structures lack water. If treatment is not started on time, then there is a risk of death due to dehydration.
  • Hypoglycemic coma . This consequence of diabetes is manifested when the wrong amount of insulin is injected (exceeding the norm). This makes it difficult for the brain to function. The consequence may be a heart attack, stroke.

These acute complications of type 1 diabetes cause unconsciousness. The person needs to be hospitalized immediately, otherwise he may die.

Consequences of type 2 diabetes

In type 2 diabetes, acute complications most often affect the lower extremities (especially the fingers). One or both legs may start to hurt. It is imperative to remember what symptoms of diabetes mellitus exist, and at the first fear, consult a doctor. If the vessels are affected, the changes are often irreversible. But type 2 diabetes is dangerous because for a long time (several years) warning signs do not appear, so a person does not even have a reason to go to the hospital. Pathology is often discovered unexpectedly during a general examination. In this case, the consequences of type 2 diabetes are as follows:

  • High risk of hyperosmolar and hypoglycemic coma .  
  • Eye damage . The retina and lens are the most affected. Because of this, cataracts develop, bleeding appears, and tissue detachment begins.
  • Kidney damage . They stop working fully. Protein reabsorption is impaired. Scar tissue displaces the kidney.
  • Vascular problems . The walls change, become brittle, blood clots appear, atherosclerosis develops.
  • Neuropathy . Nerve tissue loses sensitivity, pain appears.
  • Diabetes encephalopathy . Depression appears, a person is poorly oriented in time, inadequately reacts to events.

These are all acute complications, so medical attention is required immediately.

The consequences of diabetes in men

Diabetes mellitus in men significantly impairs their lives. Most often, problems relate to blood vessels: the risk of heart attack and stroke increases. The disease has a bad effect on the digestive system, kidneys, liver. It has been established that men live 10 years less than women with this disease. In addition, sexual and reproductive functions are impaired: the level of testosterone in the blood decreases, blood flow in the pelvic organs worsens. All this leads to impotence. Another complication of diabetes mellitus in men is infertility, as the quality of sperm decreases, its quantity decreases, and DNA is disrupted.

The consequences of diabetes in women

Diabetes mellitus also causes various complications in women. Most often it is edema. They can be both local and systemic. Sometimes they are asymmetrical. Blood pressure becomes unstable. Nephropathy caused by diabetes mellitus causes hypertension, while angiopathy of the lower extremities, on the contrary, causes hypotension. In addition, legs often hurt, especially after physical exertion.

The consequences of diabetes during pregnancy

Diabetes mellitus that develops during pregnancy is called gestational diabetes . Caused by hormonal imbalances. It negatively affects the development of the fetus. In the early stages, there is a risk of miscarriage or developmental abnormalities. The heart and brain are most commonly affected. This is due to the fact that the fetus does not have insulin (the pancreas has not formed), but it receives glucose from the mother. If the disease appears in the second or third trimester, then this is also dangerous for the child – it causes feeding and overgrowth in the fetus. After birth, he will no longer receive the same amount of sugar, so the level will drop to critically low levels. In the second trimester, the fetus has already formed a pancreas, but it works hard, since it not only utilizes glucose in its own small body, but also normalizes the sugar concentration. After childbirth, this can lead to an excess of insulin, which will lead to hypoglycemia, asphyxia, and due to low glucose levels, the nutrition of the brain is disturbed, which leads to developmental delay. As for the complications of diabetes in a pregnant woman , the following are distinguished: 

  • gestosis ;
  • polyhydramnios;
  • fading pregnancy;
  • infectious diseases of the urinary system;
  • ketoacidosis .

With diabetes, the likelihood of a cesarean section increases.

Drinking alcohol during diabetes: consequences

Alcoholism and diabetes are incompatible concepts. Alcohol can lead to both a sharp drop and a jump in glucose levels. This largely depends on the amount drunk. The following factors also affect:

  • A small amount of grape drinks increases blood glucose levels, but large amounts provoke hypertension, hypoglycemia, and even coma.
  • Alcohol increases appetite, so that often the patient does not adhere to the diet.
  • Drinking alcohol and taking drugs at the same time is prohibited. This is especially true for hypoglycemic agents.

With diabetes mellitus of the first type, only light beer or dry wine is allowed, and no more than once a week, and with the second, only a small amount of cognac or vodka is allowed, and very rarely. With regard to the consequences of hard drinking, hypoglycemia is considered the most likely. It manifests itself in the form of hyperemia, hyperhidrosis , photophobia, panic, vision problems, hunger. With alcoholism, convulsions, hallucinations, tremors, problems with coordination of movements, hepatitis, pancreatitis, gout, cirrhosis of the liver, and renal failure occur.


The late consequences of diabetes mellitus develop only several years after the onset of the disease. These include:

  • Angiopathy – problems with blood vessels, which cause thrombosis, stroke, hypertension. 
  • Nephropathy is a kidney problem that leads to hypertension. 
  • Retinopathy is a violation of blood flow in the retina of the eye, which causes blindness. 
  • Polyneuropathy is degenerative changes in nerve fibers. 
  • Diabetic foot syndrome . It is caused by the fact that small vessels and nerve fibers are affected. The foot ceases to be sensitive, so that the patient does not feel damage, temperature changes. Legs heal for a long time, infections often join. Antibiotics help in the initial stages, but gangrene develops in advanced situations. Then a blood transfusion or even leg amputation is required.

Similar complications occur in almost all patients, regardless of the type of diabetes.

Is it possible to avoid the consequences and complications of diabetes

The main thing in the prevention of complications of diabetes mellitus is to maintain the level of glucose and glycated hemoglobin in the blood at a normal level. This requires a hypoglycemic therapy chosen by the doctor. In addition, you should adhere to a special diet and control your own body weight. It is imperative to give up bad habits. Always monitor your blood pressure: the norm is 130/80 mm Hg . It is extremely important to undergo planned research:

  • blood analysis;
  • Analysis of urine;
  • Doppler ultrasonography of blood vessels;
  • examination of the fundus.

It is imperative that you regularly undergo examination by a cardiologist, neuropathologist and vascular surgeon.

It is important to pay attention to examining the body, especially the limbs, in order to identify wounds, cracks, ulcers and treat them. To prevent diabetic foot syndrome, warm baths, wearing woolen socks, comfortable shoes, therapeutic exercises for the feet, and the use of fortified moisturizers are recommended.

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