La Opinión continued its coverage of diabetes in the Latino community in "'I feel like a prisoner' says man who lost his sight due to diabetes" and "Diabetes to Dialysis, a life-threatening progression".
As parts two and three in their diabetes series, the articles describe the severe vision loss and kidney damage that are common complications of uncontrolled diabetes. La Opinión asked Dr. Joseph Wanski, an endocrinologist at L.A. Care, about how the disease causes such devastating health problems.
Dr. Joseph Wanski says that all of this is associated with blood pressure and sugar levels. "Diabetic retinopathy causes the blood vessels in the back of the eye to weaken, bleed and cause loss of sight," explains Dr. Wanski. "Blood vessels are more sensitive to high levels of sugar." In his experience, one in three people with diabetes has vision problems.
We are all born with kidneys that function at 100% cleaning our bodies of impurities and wastes. When that efficiency falls to 10-15% and “the body cannot take out the toxins”, that’s when dialysis is needed, said Dr. Wanski. "Dialysis patients who are sufficiently healthy are given the opportunity to have a kidney transplant from a relative, but those are often offered to young individuals who can withstand" the surgery.
Learn more about the disease at Understanding Diabetes.
If you have diabetes and are an L.A. Care member, we can help you manage your condition and prevent complications. Visit L.A. Care's Disease Management Program for more information.
About L.A. Care Health Plan
L.A. Care Health Plan is a public entity and community-accountable health plan serving residents of Los Angeles County through a variety of health coverage programs including L.A. Care Covered™, Medi-Cal, L.A. Care Cal MediConnect Plan and PASC-SEIU Homecare Workers Health Care Plan. L.A. Care is a leader in developing new programs through innovative partnerships designed to provide health coverage to vulnerable populations and to support the safety net. With more than 2 million members, L.A. Care is the nation’s largest publicly operated health plan.