Complications of diabetes

Complications of diabetes

10 Common problems of diabetes

Aminu Mohammed, MD

Aminu Mohammed is a pediatric gastroenterologist at GI Care for Kids, where he leads the efforts on pancreatic disorders.

by Aminu Mohammed and Jessica Hutchins

High blood glucose levels can cause serious damage to the body's tissues and and organs. That's why it is so important for those with diabetes to keep their blood glucose under tight control, so these complications don't develop.

Complications of diabetes

  • Heart disease including narrowing of arteries of the heart that can lead to decrease in blood flow to the heart and cause a heart attack.
  • Strokes may occur due to damage of the blood vessels in the brain.
  • Kidney damage (nephropathy)- This can lead to the need for dialysis or kidney transplant. 
  • Eye damage (retinopathy)- This can lead to blindness, cataracts or glaucoma. 
  • Nerve damage (neuropathy) – Aching, stabbing, cramping pain, tingling or numbness can be signs of nerve damage of the legs and feet, interfering with their ability to walk and increasing their risk of injury.   The nerves of the bladder and intestines can also be affected, decreasing their function.
  •  Sores and poor healing: Damage to the immune system and blood vessels results in sores that have difficulty healing, especially on the legs.
  • Infection: People with diabetes are at increased risk for a number of infections from bacteria and yeast, due to elevated glucose levels and immune system damage.
  • Skin infection with bacteria and fungi especially on feet and lower legs which can lead to amputation. 
  • Blindness: Damage to the tiny blood vessels in the retina of the eye may result in permanent blindness. Hearing impairment
  • Depression from being different, having to take medicines, following a strict diet and worrying about possible complications

All of these are enough reasons to keep sugar levels under control and to prevent diabetes and obesity when possible. 

complications of diabetes

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