Uncontrolled diabetes is diabetes that is not being treated at all, or is not being adequately treated, causing blood sugar levels to rise in the patient. If allowed to persist, this condition can cause serious medical complications, eventually leading to death, usually as a result of cardiovascular disease or stroke. People who develop diabetes symptoms should seek a medical evaluation so they can get treatment, and diabetes patients need regular checkups to determine if their condition is responding to treatment.
In people with diabetes, the body's ability to produce or use insulin, an important metabolic hormone, is impaired. There are a number of forms of diabetes and they all act differently, with part of the process of evaluating and diagnosing being a determination of what kind of diabetes the patient has. The patient's blood sugar starts to rise because the body cannot adequately metabolize it, and this causes a cascade of symptoms. In the early stages, diabetes is associated with thirst, frequent urination, and fatigue.
Consistently high blood glucose levels, as seen in uncontrolled diabetes, will cause damage to multiple organs. The kidneys become overloaded and the heart and lungs are stressed. Blood pressure rises and the blood vessels start to become damaged. Diabetic neuropathy, where the nerves are damaged by the free-floating glucose in the blood, occurs. Patients can develop vision problems as a result of injuries to the retina or optic nerve. Patients with uncontrolled diabetes may develop seizures, fall into a coma, and eventually die.
Treatment of diabetes involves using dietary measures to control the amount of glucose in the body. Some patients need to take insulin because their bodies cannot supply enough for their needs. Patients monitor blood sugar levels consistently, making adjustments to their lives as needed to address falling or rising levels. Patients with controlled diabetes can live very active, healthy lives and the prognosis is very good, thanks to significant advancements in diabetes treatment.
Uncontrolled diabetes, as seen when people fail to seek treatment or do not adhere to a treatment regimen, is a serious medical issue. In some regions, populations are not aware of the risks of diabetes and may not understand the importance of seeing a doctor and developing a treatment plan. Other patients have trouble affording medications or making lifestyle modifications. In developing nations, a number of initiatives designed to address uncontrolled diabetes have been created by government health agencies with the goal of making the population healthier.