Complications That Arise If Diabetes Is Left Untreated

Diabetes mellitus is the scientific name for a group of diseases that affect the body's ability to use blood sugar. Glucose is a vital element of an individual's health because it provides important energy sources for the muscle and tissue cells throughout the body. It's also the primary type of fuel your brain uses. Diabetes can have many underlying causes depending on the type. All forms of diabetes can cause a person to have excess sugar in their blood. A too-high glucose level in the blood might cause serious health complications, especially if the diabetes is left untreated. The two chronic diabetes conditions are type 1 and type 2 diabetes. There are also diabetes conditions with the potential for reversal, including prediabetes and gestational diabetes. Prediabetes occurs with increased blood sugar levels that aren't quite high enough for a diabetes diagnosis, while gestational diabetes occurs during pregnancy.

These are five of the most severe complications an individual may experience if diabetes is left untreated.

Metabolic Emergencies


Metabolic emergencies are common in patients who have either major type of diabetes. Their body isn't capable of processing the sugar in their body through insulin, so their glucose levels become extremely heightened, which can lead to emergencies requiring immediate medical intervention. The metabolic abnormality most commonly faced by individuals with diabetes is hypoglycemia, which occurs in patients undergoing a course of hypoglycaemic therapy involving insulin.

A more serious metabolic emergency is diabetic ketoacidosis, which must be diagnosed as soon as possible. If a patient comes in with respiratory difficulty, coma, shock, dehydration, major illness, or some combination of those symptoms, it's essential to test them for capillary blood glucose along with urinary ketones.

Hyperosmolar non-ketotic state is a type of complication seen in elderly type 2 diabetes patients who have problems with infections, most commonly respiratory tract infections. This condition presents with severe hyperglycemia, severe dehydration, and an absence of vomiting and acidosis.

In sporadic cases, diabetes patients might experience lactic acidosis, along with comorbid conditions like heart failure, septic shock, and tissue hypoxia.

Continue to understand another complication of untreated diabetes.