In the US, diabetes is the 7th leading cause of mortality, and is the main cause of stroke and cardiac problems (National Institute of Health, 2011).
In adults, the risk of having heart attack, stroke, angina, and coronary artery disease is increased 2-4 times among people who are diabetic (National Diabetes Education Program, 2007). This is because high levels of blood sugar damages the blood vessels, and restricts blood flow towards the heart.
Poorly controlled diabetes is oftentimes related to chronic renal failure (Wedro, 2011). If the renal blood vessels are damaged, the kidney will become less effective in filtering waste products from the blood (Wedro, 2011).
Diabetic neuropathy is classified into peripheral, autonomic, proximal or focal, and in various ways, affect different body parts. The mild symptoms of diabetic neuropathy may go unnoticed for years, but some are sudden and severe for others, especially those who have focal neuropathy (National Diabetes Information Clearinghouse, 2011).
Focal neuropathy results to sudden weakness of a nerve or nerve group that causes weakness or pain in the muscle. Symptoms of neuropathy are due to weight loss and depression that accompanies it and not due to the neuropathy itself (National Diabetes Information Clearinghouse, 2011).
A change in digestion, bowel, bladder, sexual responses, and respiration is caused by autonomic neuropathy, and affects the nerves that supplies the heart, lungs, eyes, and controls blood pressure. In extreme cases, a condition called hypoglycemia unawareness caused by autonomic neuropathy is a condition in which the warning symptom of low levels of blood glucose is experienced by diabetic individuals (National Diabetes Information Clearinghouse, 2011).
High levels of blood sugar damages the blood vessels of the lower extremities restricting the blood