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Having Diabetes Increases Your Risk for These Serious Health Conditions

If you’ve recently been diagnosed with diabetes, there’s a lot of new information to learn. You want to manage your diabetes so it doesn’t get out of control. 

Dr. Dexter G. Turnquest and Dr. Victoria Chang, our board-certified general and bariatric surgeons at Turnquest Surgical Solutions, treat many patients who have diabetes. Excess weight is one of the risk factors for diabetes.

If you have diabetes and haven’t been successful at losing weight, we provide several options for weight loss surgery. 

Diabetes escalates your risk of a number of very serious health conditions. Instead of just having to manage your diabetes, you could end up having to deal with other chronic illnesses. Having even one major chronic health condition, much less two or three, affects your quality of life, and not for the better. 

Diabetes can precipitate these serious diseases:

COVID-19

There’s so much we still don’t know about COVID-19, but researchers already have evidence that Type 2 diabetes makes you more prone to serious illness from this global virus, which doesn’t show signs of slowing down any time soon. Even a vaccine won’t be a foolproof solution for COVID-19. 

Heart disease and stroke 

Type 2 diabetes increases your risk of heart disease and stroke. Why? You have a greater-than-normal risk because you likely have some of the conditions that also add to the risk of heart disease, such as:

Two of every three people with diabetes also have high blood pressure or take medication for it. Your heart is working overtime, so your risk for heart disease and stroke increases. Both could leave you permanently disabled. 

Blindness and loss of vision

Diabetes increases your risk for cataracts, glaucoma, and retinopathy, which means harm to the blood vessels in your retina. The No.1 cause of blindness in adults today is diabetes. Just thinking about losing your vision may function as a scared-straight program for you. 

Kidney disease 

Your kidneys do a lot of hard work every day removing waste from your blood. Diabetes impairs kidney functioning, and your kidneys could fail. Acute kidney failure requires dialysis — hours hooked up to a machine — and it can be fatal. 

Neuropathy leading to amputations

Having diabetes places you at risk for diabetic neuropathy, or nerve damage. If you have diabetes, you have about a 50% chance of developing some type of nerve damage.

With nerve damage, you may not realize you have a cut or abrasion on your foot or leg, which can lead to an infection called a diabetic ulcer. These ulcers are hard to treat. They can lead to bone and tissue damage that requires amputation. 

About 85% of amputations today are the end result of a diabetic ulcer. 

After weight loss surgery

To reduce your risk of diabetes or complications of the disease, you must get your weight under control. At Turnquest Surgical Solutions, we can help with surgical weight loss procedures.

Once you have weight loss surgery, you don’t feel like eating much sugary, fatty, and high caloric foods that cause trouble with your diabetes. You shed those pounds and improve your health at the same time. And once you make some lifestyle changes, you may mitigate your diabetes or even reverse prediabetes. 

Contact us at Turnquest Surgical Solutions at one of our two Houston, Texas, locations to learn more about how we can help you control your diabetes through weight loss surgery and lifestyle changes.

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