In this article, Professor Luigi Gnudi, renowned consultant diabetologist and endocrinologist, provides an expert insight into the major chronic vascular complications of diabetes. The London-based specialist discusses symptoms, prevention and treatment, among other important points.
What are the major chronic vascular complications of diabetes?
Sugar is not always sweet, and diabetes can damage your vessels, both the big and the small ones. Once the damage to the vessel has occurred, it is very difficult (if not impossible) to repair it, so prevention is key.
Vascular complications of diabetes manifest in two ways:
- Microvascular complications involving the eyes, kidney and nerves.
- Macrovascular complications affecting bigger vessels, which manifest with: peripheral vascular disease, heart disease, strokes, claudication (pain in the legs while walking); and feet ischaemia / non-healing ulcers.
How can patients prevent vascular complications?
Apart from good lifestyle habits (exercise, not smoking, moderate alcohol, being normoweight), glycaemic, blood pressure, and lipid control are crucial. Further, specific types of drugs have also proven to offer particular benefits for the prevention of chronic vascular complications.
What should patients do to ensure they are reviewed regularly?
Patients who have diabetes should be reviewed regularly to prevent and/or delay the progression of vascular complications if these are present.
Diabetes is the major cause of blindness, end stage renal disease (and renal replacement therapy, e.g. dialysis), and poses a significant increase in cardiovascular morbidity and mortality.
How can patients manage diabetic chronic vascular complications with their doctor?
Regular reviews will allow your doctor to:
- Assess the progression of vascular complications
- Support you in the engagement with the disease
- Help you with the management of diabetes
- Choose the best treatment for you
Have there been recent advancements in the treatment of chronic vascular complications?
In the last five years, there has been a tremendous advancement in the treatments available for the prevention and the delay in progression of chronic vascular diabetic complications.
These treatments have been shown to be extremely useful for the treatment of cardio-renal vascular disease in patient who have diabetes.
Professor Luigi Gnudi is an award-winning consultant diabetologist and endocrinologist with over 35 years’ experience.
If you have developed chronic vascular complications of diabetes, do not hesitate to book an appointment with Professor Gnudi via his Top Doctors profile today to receive expert treatment and management.