Accountable Healthcare - Diabetes: Symptoms and Complications
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November 6, 2019

Diabetes: Symptoms and Complications

by Kelly Gunn, RN, MBA, NE-BC, Director of Clinical Services at Accountable Healthcare Staffing

Diabetes is a chronic disorder that can have both short and long-term health complications.  Diabetes is one of the leading causes of death in the United States with over 23.1 million Americans diagnosed as having the disorder and an estimated 7.2 million are undiagnosed or have pre-diabetes (CDC, 2017). HCP are responsible for identifying those people that may have undiagnosed diabetes and getting them the medical attention and education needed to control this disease.

Signs and symptoms of diabetes

Diabetes can have severe and life-altering complications that generally develop over time. Having poorly controlled blood sugar levels increases the risk of serious complications that can become life-threatening. Early diagnosis and treatment are imperative in reducing the risk for and severity of complications. HCPs should be familiar with the following chronic complications of diabetes:

  • vessel disease, leading to heart attack or stroke
  • eye problems, called retinopathy
  • infection or skin conditions
  • nerve damage, or neuropathy
  • kidney damage, or nephropathy
  • amputations due to neuropathy or vessel disease