oa SA Pharmaceutical Journal - Complications of diabetes mellitus : review



Diabetes mellitus is a chronic metabolic disorder, which is characterised by chronic hyperglycaemia and disturbances of carbohydrate, protein and fat metabolism, resulting from defects in insulin secretion, insulin action or both. The long-term effects of diabetes include the development of retinopathy, neuropathy and nephropathy. People with diabetes are also at increased risk of other diseases, including cardiac, cerebrovascular and peripheral arterial disease. Other long-term complications of diabetes include digestive problems, skin problems, sexual dysfunction and problems with the gums and teeth. Numerous factors, in addition to directly related medical complications, contribute to the impact of diabetes on quality of life and economics. Diabetes is associated with a high prevalence of depression, and adversely impacts employment, absenteeism and work productivity. With the correct treatment and recommended lifestyle changes, many people with diabetes are able to prevent or delay the onset of possible complications.


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