Diabetes can complicate many aspects of a person’s life. It can be a very stressful condition, partly because of the close watch one must have on his or her blood sugar levels, the fact that there are 2 types of diabetes, and also because other medical conditions that may come along with it. This makes it very important for a diabetes patient to take good care of themselves.
According to the American Diabetes Association (ADA), diabetes is a disease that causes the body to not produce enough insulin, a hormone that converts sugar, starches and other foods into energy. There are two major types of diabetes. It all depends on the patient’s body, and awareness of the disease that determines which of these a patient may sadly acquire. They are known as Type 1, and Type 2 diabetes.
Type 1 Diabetes
Type 1 diabetes is usually diagnosed in children or young adults, with this type of diabetes the body does not produceany insulin.
Type 2 Diabetes
Type 2 diabetes is the most common form of diabetes, and usually occurs in adulthood, and is often associated with poor diet and lack of exercise. Rather than Type 1, which causes the body to not produce insulin at all, Type 2 causes the body to either not produce enough insulin, or the causes the cells to simply ignore it. This causes a buildup of glucose in the blood, instead of getting it converted into energy.
Although a unique result of Type 2, Hyperosmolar Hyperglycemic Nonketotic Syndrome (HHNS) is often found in older patients, often brought on by a separate infection. This syndrome causes the kidneys to pass the excess sugar brought on by diabetes through the urine. If not treated or noticed, HHNS may lead to a seizure or a coma.
Many diabetes patients are effectively managed with oral medications and, of course, it those are not successful diabetic often self-inject insulin. Daily monitoring of insulin levels is critical, as is adherence to diet restrictions and regular exercise. If these suggestions aren’t working, patients sometimes are prescribed an insulin pump, which is a catheter that pumps insulin into the body 24 hours a day, at regulated, body-specific levels.
The symptoms of diabetes are caused by hypoglycemia, or low levels of blood sugar, hyperglycemia, or very highlevels of blood sugar, and include, excessive fatigue, frequent urination, nausea, blurry vision, and tingling and/or numbness in the hands and/or feet. In more serious cases, ketoacidosis, causing a high level of ketones, or acids built up in the blood occurs. This is a very serious condition, as it could cause a diabetic coma, and can be fatal.
The list of complications as a result of having diabetes is without a doubt daunting to a patient with this disease. That’s why we stress the importance of you taking care of yourself and listening to your doctors, but below are several problems that may arise:
- Heart Disease, because of the potentially poor circulation of blood,
- Kidney Disease, as a result of not being able to filter out waste, and in effect filter too much blood, making them do far more extra work,
- Glaucoma, which is essentially nerve damage in the eyes,
- Cataracts, which causes the lens of the eye to block light, making too much light on the eyes painful, and
- Retinopathy, causing blood vessels in the eye to become blocked, which blurs vision and may eventually cause loss of vision entirely.
We probably don’t have to tell you just how daunting diabetes can be. It causes blood sugar levels to fluctuate rapidly, and can damage or destroy essential organs in the human body. But, it can also cause nerve damage in the body.
- Diabetic Neuropathy is the term used to define nerve damage as a result of diabetes. There are three kinds, the first being sensorimotor neuropathy, which causes a tingling, pain or weakness in the hands and/or feet. The other is called autonomic neuropathy, which causes several side effects, such as problems digesting, dizziness, and even the loss of the typical warning signs of a heart attack. The third, known as focal neuropathy, affects a nerve or group of nerves, causing sudden weakness or pain. Compressed nerves may also occur, which would therein prevent a nerve from sending any signals to the brain.
It is important to know that nerve damage may occur anywhere on the body, especially the feet and lower legs, as well as the hands and forearms. If this is the case, then the patient may have trouble walking or grasping and holding on to objects, in which case it would create more potential for the problems to spread, as a result of the lack of energy it causes.
As if the lists compiled above weren’t enough, diabetes can also cause serious skin damage. It is often the first obvious sign that someone has diabetes, which makes it more imperative to understand.
- Fungal Infections are one of 2 kinds of skin infections, which creates itchy rashes surrounded by blisters. These occur in warm folds of the skin, such as under the breasts, around the nails, or between the fingers and toes.
- Bacterial Infections can be identified as having a sty, boils, or an infected hair follicle. Thankfully, these can be treated quickly (if identified quickly), with antibiotics.
Diabetes is a serious health issue, and complicates daily life for almost everyone who has it. But, the best way to combat this illness is to take care of yourself. Watching your diet, paying close attention to your blood sugar and blood pressure, monitoring your cholesterol intake, and simple exercise are the ways most recommended by doctors to live long, healthy lives. Having diabetes is not a death sentence, and we want you to understand this to the fullest extent possible. We want to help you in any way that we can to get you the benefits you deserve, as a result of not being able to work because of this potentially very disabling condition.
Disability Claims & Diabetes
Social Security defines “work” as an eight hour a day, five-day week endeavor. As in most Social Security Disability claims, the judge’s decision really boils down to whether or not he or she believes that you can perform the basic functions of work (concentrating, interacting appropriately with people encountered in the workplace, etc.). The fact that a claimant can only perform these basic functions sporadically, but not consistently, is the basis for the large majority of successful Social Security Disability claims.
We have represented many people with this disorder; what we have found is that clients who are truly unable to work and who participate in their care by following their doctors’ orders, and who are truly trying to get better but just cannot, are usually successful in their claim for Social Security disability benefits.
We hope this article has helped you in more ways than one. Although it’s a lot of information to process, and we certainly understand your concerns, we aim to only assist you in these hard times you are likely facing. You are more than welcome to call our office if you have any other inquiries, or concerns you’d like to discuss. Again, we want you to know that while having serious medical conditions may certainly be tough, we believe our clients are tougher. When we take a case it’s because we believe in you, and we will fight for you.
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