Coronary heart disease Type 1 Diabetes

Untreated Type 1 Diabetes Triggers Coronary Heart Disease

– Unlike type 2 diabetes which occurs due to insulin resistance, type 1 diabetes occurs when the body does not produce insulin or at all. This makes people with type 1 diabetes need additional insulin from outside, so that the glucose that enters the body can be converted into energy.

Normally, blood sugar levels are controlled by the insulin hormone produced by the pancreas. When food is digested and enters the bloodstream, insulin binds to glucose in the blood and carries it into the cells to be converted into energy. However, in people with diabetes, the body cannot process glucose into energy. As a result, glucose will accumulate in the blood.

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Coronary Heart as Complication of Type 1 Diabetes

If not treated properly, type 1 diabetes can lead to complications. One of them is coronary heart disease, which is when the blood vessels of the heart become clogged with fat deposits. This condition can eventually make the vessels narrower and cause less blood flow to the heart.

Then, why type 1 diabetes can cause coronary heart disease? The reason is because diabetes can cause the walls of blood vessels to thicken and block blood flow. This makes blood vessel blockages more prone to occur. Especially if the condition of diabetes is not treated properly.

Actually, not only coronary heart disease can be a complication of type 1 diabetes. If not treated, this condition can lead to various heart and other blood vessel diseases, such as the risk of heart attack, high blood pressure, and stroke .

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Various Other Complications of Type 1 Diabetes

Apart from heart and blood vessel disease, untreated type 1 diabetes can also lead to a variety of other serious complications, such as:

  • Hypoglycemia. This condition occurs when blood sugar levels are too low. This complication can occur due to injecting too much insulin, or lack of carbohydrate intake or excessive exercise.
  • Hyperglycemia. The opposite of hypoglycemia, this condition occurs when sugar levels are too high. For example, due to eating too many portions or insufficient doses of insulin.
  • Nerve damage (neuropathy). Diabetes can damage the walls of the small blood vessels (capillaries) that provide nutrients to the nerves, especially the nerves in the legs. This condition triggers pain, a burning sensation, or numbness in the tips of the toes. In addition, nerve damage can also occur in the digestive tract, causing people to experience nausea, vomiting, diarrhea or even constipation.
  • Kidney damage (nephropathy). Sugar levels that are too high can damage the filtering system of the kidneys. If the damage is severe enough, the person may experience kidney failure, or even need to undergo dialysis and a kidney transplant.
  • Eye damage. Diabetes increases the risk of eye damage such as cataracts and glaucoma. In addition, this disease can also cause damage to the blood vessels of the retina (diabetic retinopathy) which can lead to blindness.
  • Sexual dysfunction. In men, especially those who smoke, damage to nerves and blood vessels can lead to erectile dysfunction. Meanwhile, in women with diabetes, sexual dysfunction that occurs can include vaginal dryness, difficulty achieving orgasm, or pain during intercourse.

Here’s How to Prevent Amputation in People with Diabetes

That is the explanation of coronary heart disease as a complication of type 1 diabetes, and other complications that can occur. If you have questions about diabetes, you can download the application to ask the doctor when and where.

Diabetes UK. Accessed 2020. What is Type 1 diabetes?
US Food & Drug Administration. Accessed 2020. What is the Pancreas? What is an Artificial Pancreas Device System?
World Health Organization. Accessed 2020. Fact Sheets. Diabetes.
WebMD. Accessed 2020. Type 1 Diabetes.
Mayo Clinic. Accessed 2020. Diseases and Conditions. Coronary Artery Disease.