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Is J. Jayalalitha's prison sentence actually ruining her health?

Tamil Nadu CM Jayalalitha has been imprisoned, here is what the sentence could do for her health.

Written by Pavitra Sampath |Published : September 29, 2014 2:27 PM IST

Jayalalithaa in prisonTamil Nadu chief minister J. Jayalalithaa has been found guilty of corruption and has been sentenced to four years in prison. The lady spent her first night in prison as a VVIP prisoner that allowed her a large number of luxuries like a separate bathroom, toilet, cot, carpet, an air cooler, television set and table. While the prison is abuzz with the high profile prisoner in their midst, the chief minister has been under supervision by the prison doctor as she is suffering from diabetes and high blood pressure.

Both these conditions need to be monitored round the clock and can be life threatening if left unattended. To make matters worse Jayalalithaa is under considerable amount of stress and anguish (as per reports citing that she had not slept all night) which further aggravated her condition.

Here's why diabetes is a dangerous disease and can actually lead to severe complications in the Tamil Nadu chief minister.

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Diabetes is a silent killer. If uncontrolled, it can lead to deadly complications like;

  1. Effect on fat and metabolism (Diabetic ketoacidosis): Since the hormone insulin which breaks down glucose is lacking, in uncontrolled cases, the body starts using fat as the fuel source. While you might think it s not such a bad idea to lose some fat, what this leads to is build up of byproducts of fat digestion called ketones . If you re not taking your insulin doses regularly, have fever/diarrhea/vomiting and/or going through a lot of stress or an alcoholic, you need to be extra careful about developing this condition called ketoacidosis . If you develop symptoms like deep gasping breathing, acute pain in the abdomen, bad dehydration leading to weakness and fainting, vomiting, it s time you take it seriously and contact your doctor.
  2. Effect on the eyes (Diabetic retinopathy): Retina (the innermost layer of your eye) is affected by ineffective blood glucose control. . The small blood vessels in the retina are damaged and weakened. The early symptom of eye problems related to diabetes is blurred vision and double vision. It can also cause a severe, permanent loss of vision. Diabetes increases the risk of developing cataracts and glaucoma.
  3. Effect on kidneys(Diabetic nephropathy): If you notice swelling in your feet and legs or around your eyes, your kidneys might get affected because of the uncontrolled blood sugar levels. If you have hypertension (or high BP), your chances of developing this is even higher.
  4. Effect on nerves: Some of the nerves, especially around your peripheries like legs might get affected first leading to a loss of sensation. You might not be able to figure out if you ve had an injury and it may end up getting infected. Diabetic gangrene (infection of the leg, leading to decay of flesh) can occur and the leg may have to be amputated. Uncontrolled diabetes can also affect nerves that control your heartbeat, blood pressure, digestion, blood flow to organs etc leading to diarrhea, erectile dysfunction, loss of bladder control, vision changes, and dizziness.
  5. Effect on heart: If you are a smoker, have high blood pressure, are grossly overweight and/or have a family history of diabetes and are diagnosed with diabetes, you have a greater risk of developing heart disease, strokes.

In the same vein, hypertension too can lead to several complications like a stroke, coma and even death. Read more about the risk you face if you have high blood pressure.

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