Obesity is a significant risk factor for type 2 diabetes. Higher rates of obesity within the Black community, often linked to dietary patterns and physical inactivity, contribute to the increased risk of diabetes. Refusing to make positive nutritional changes may impact one's overall quality of life. Uncontrolled diabetes symptoms can affect daily activities and well-being.
Complications related to diabetes, such as vision loss and lower extremity amputations, are often associated with uncontrolled or poorly managed diabetes over an extended period. Diabetes can affect various organs and systems in the body, leading to complications that impact vision and peripheral nerves.
Diabetic retinopathy is a complication that affects the eyes and can lead to vision loss. Prolonged high blood sugar levels can damage the blood vessels in the retina, the light-sensitive tissue at the back of the eye. This damage can result in fluid leakage or the development of abnormal blood vessels, leading to vision impairment or blindness if left untreated.
Macular edema is when fluid accumulates in the macula, a part of the retina responsible for central vision. Diabetes-related damage to blood vessels can contribute to macular edema, causing blurred or distorted vision.
Diabetes is a risk factor for the development of cataracts (clouding of the eye's lens) and glaucoma (increased pressure in the eye). Both conditions can contribute to vision impairment.
Peripheral neuropathy is a common complication of diabetes that affects the nerves, particularly those in the feet. Prolonged high blood sugar levels can damage nerve fibers, leading to symptoms such as numbness, tingling, and pain. Reduced sensation in the feet can make it difficult to detect injuries or infections.
Diabetes can contribute to impaired blood circulation, particularly in the lower extremities. Reduced blood flow can hinder the body's ability to heal wounds and infections, increasing the risk of complications.
Peripheral neuropathy and poor circulation can lead to the development of foot ulcers. Due to reduced sensation, individuals with diabetes may not be aware of injuries or wounds on their feet. Untreated ulcers can become infected, posing a risk of severe complications.
Diabetes is a risk factor for peripheral arterial disease, characterized by narrowing blood vessels in the legs. Reduced blood flow to the extremities can contribute to non-healing wounds and increase the risk of amputations.
Diabetes can impair the body's ability to heal wounds. Slow or delayed healing increases the risk of infections and complications.
Follow a balanced and nutritious diet rich in whole foods, including fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and healthy fats. Monitor carbohydrate intake and choose complex carbohydrates with a low glycemic index. Limit the consumption of refined sugars, sugary beverages, and processed foods.
Be mindful of portion sizes to help regulate blood sugar levels. Using smaller plates and measuring portions can be helpful.
Engage in regular physical activity, as exercise can help improve insulin sensitivity and lower blood sugar levels. Aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise per week and strength training exercises at least two days a week.
Preventing complications related to diabetes involves effective management of blood sugar levels, regular medical check-ups, and lifestyle modifications. Early detection and intervention are crucial for minimizing the impact of diabetes on vision and preventing foot-related complications. Individuals with diabetes should work closely with healthcare professionals to develop a comprehensive care plan tailored to their needs. Regular eye exams, foot care, and medication adherence are essential components of diabetes management.