If you have been recently diagnosed with diabetes, you may be asking, “Is diabetes a chronic illness?” Diabetes chronic disease can occur when the illness is not well controlled. The chronic effects of diabetes can be severe and even life threatening.

Both acute and chronic complications of diabetes can occur. However, generally, diabetes is a chronic disease. Chronic complications of diabetes mellitus can include nerve damage (neuropathy), eye problems, mouth and gum problems, hearing loss, heart problems, high blood pressure, stroke, kidney disease (nephropathy), peripheral artery disease (PAD), Hyperosmolar Hyperglycemic Nonketotic Syndrome (HHNS), ketoacidosis (DKA), gastroparesis, depression, anxiety, skin disorders, and circulation problems.

The best way to avoid the chronic complications of diabetes mellitus is to control your diabetes well. Maintaining healthy blood sugar levels is the key to living a healthy life without chronic complications.


Diabetes and Chronic Kidney Disease


Chronic kidney disease (nephropathy) can destroy the kidneys if the condition goes untreated. When blood sugar is elevated because diabetes is not controlled properly, the kidneys have to work extremely hard to remove the excess sugar from the blood stream. This process can lead to severe kidney damage. This type of kidney damage can lead to the need for dialysis and even a kidney transplant.

According to the National Kidney Foundation (NFK), about 17 million people living in the United States have some form of diabetes. Several thousands of these people do not even know they have diabetes. The NFK states, “Each year about 798,000 people are diagnosed with diabetes. In addition, about 123,000 children and teenagers age 19 and younger have diabetes.”


Chronic Complications of Diabetes


Diabetes chronic disease can and does take peoples lives. Many people who are unable to control their diabetes suffer from blindness, PAD, neuropathy, and a gamete of other chronic disorders. Uncontrolled diabetes can lead to limb amputation, deafness, serious skin disorders, organ damage, and the need for dentures.


Chronic Pancreatitis and Diabetes


The pancreas is the organ in the body that produces the insulin hormone. The insulin hormone is used to metabolize blood sugar and convert it into energy. Pancreatitis (an inflamed pancreas) leads to the inability for the body to produce insulin properly. With type II diabetes, the body produces insulin, but the body is usually resistant to the insulin hormone.

Chronic pancreatitis can lead to the inability to produce insulin at all. This leads to severe pancreas damage and the need for insulin injections for the rest of ones life.

The best way to combat diabetes chronic disease is to control blood sugar properly. This can be done by monitoring and logging blood sugar several times per day, eating healthy and natural foods that are low in sugar, logging food intake, taking medications and insulin as prescribed, following an activity plan and talking to a specialist about proper nutrients and supplements. If you are following all the guidelines you were given, and you are still having a difficult time controlling your diabetes, contact your physician immediately.

People with diabetes can lead long, happy and healthy lives. The key to living well with diabetes is to keep blood sugar levels within normal limits everyday.


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