Chapter 5

Warding Off Long-Term Complications

In This Chapter

arrow Dealing with kidney, eye, and nerve diseases

arrow Understanding the effects of diabetes on the heart

arrow Recognizing risks to the blood vessels

arrow Preventing severe foot problems

arrow Identifying skin problems

First, the good news: Between the years 1998 and 2010, lower-limb amputations (which are mostly due to diabetes) dropped 37 percent in the United States. At the same time a striking reduction in other long-term complications, including nerve disease, eye disease, and kidney disease, also occurred. Doctors believe that this reduction is due to improved testing of blood glucose (see Chapter 7) and more use of insulin and other medications to lower the glucose (see Chapter 11). Furthermore, benefits in terms of reduction in complications persist for years after a period of tight control of blood glucose.

Now the bad news: The incidence of type 2 diabetes is increasing so rapidly that it will overwhelm improvements in treatment over ...

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