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Macrovascular Complications of Diabetes

There can be long-term effects on the body of a person with macrovascular complications of diabetes.

What are the Macrovascular Complications of Diabetes?

Macrovascular diseases affect the large vessels of the body including coronary arteries and aorta and arteries in the brain and limbs.

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A person can suffer from the following conditions as macrovascular complications of diabetes:(1)

These complications can lead to heart failure and even death if proper treatment is not received.

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According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1 person in the United States annually dies from cardiovascular disease.(2)

Why Do Macrovascular Complications Occur In Diabetes?

Macrovascular complications may occur due to the buildup of fat that gradually narrows the blood vessels thereby blocking the supply of blood and oxygen to the heart, brain, and to the rest of the body. This is called stenosis.

The plaque in the blood vessel may also rupture and lead to thrombosis, hemorrhage, embolism and atherosclerosis.

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On worsening, the blood vessels may become, completely blocked increasing the risk of stroke heart attack, claudication and gangrene.

How to Manage Macrovascular Complications of Diabetes?

The management of macrovascular complications of diabetes includes:

  • Blood Sugar Management: Monitoring the blood sugar level can help in reducing the risk of microvascular and macrovascular complications.
  • Laser Therapy: People with diabetic retinopathy can go ahead with laser therapy to prevent blindness
  • Screening: People may opt for screening to monitor the progress or regression of the disease
  • Medication: Angiotensin-converting enzymes are prescribed to people with high blood pressure.

How to Prevent Macrovascular Complications of Diabetes?

  • The complication of diabetes can be prevented or delayed with the following actions.
  • Managing blood sugar, blood pressure, and blood fat levels. People can also go ahead with a regular health check.
  • Managing diabetes by keeping the blood sugar level within moderate limits.
  • Seeking support to quit smoking as smoking increases the blood flow, especially to the heart and feet.
  • Maintaining a nutritious diet by eating fresh fruits and vegetables. Processed foods should be avoided as they may bring down the HbA1c level.
  • Staying physically active can be helpful in lowering blood pressure, cholesterol, and blood sugar levels.

Difference Between Microvascular and Macrovascular Complications

Both microvascular and macrovascular are complications of type 1 and type 2 diabetes. Both have similar risk factors.

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Macrovascular affects large blood vessels and microvascular affects small blood vessels.

Microvascular can lead to retinopathy and neuropathy.(3) Sometimes, the presence of microvascular disease can also increase the risk of heart disease or stroke, irrespective of whether the macrovascular disease is present or not.

Macrovascular complication affects the large blood vessels and affect the delivery of oxygen and blood to the heart and the brain, and also to the rest of the body. People with type1 and type 2 diabetes need to manage their blood sugar levels to keep away microvascular and macrovascular complications.

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