Complications of Diabetes

Type 1 diabetes and type 2 diabetes are chronic life-long conditions that require careful monitoring. Discussing the complications associated with diabetes is often very sensitive and upsetting for people, but people with diabetes need to be aware of the strategies that are available to themselves to reduce the risk of developing or exacerbating complications. Diabetes without proper management can lead to very high blood sugar levels which can result in long term damage to various organs and tissues and increase the risk of developing infections.

Good diabetes management has been shown to reduce the risk of complications: keeping blood glucose levels under control, sticking to a healthy diet and doing plenty of exercise will help lower the risk of problems developing. When diabetes is not managed well, long term complications include cardiovascular disease, stroke, amputations, and damage to the eyes, nerves and kidneys leading to disability and premature mortality.

Cardiovascular Disease includes heart disease, strokes, and other diseases of the heart and circulation caused by fatty deposits on the lining of the blood vessels.

Diabetic related Neuropathy can affect up to 50 per cent of patients with diabetes. Many people suffer with nerve damage caused by their diabetes. This is when there is damage to the nerves that connect the brain and spinal cord to the muscles, skin, blood vessels and other organs. This can cause erectile dysfunction. Good control of diabetes reduces the progression of nerve damage.

Diabetic Retinopathy affects the blood vessels supplying the retina (the light-sensitive tissue lining the inner surface of the eye). Blood vessels become blocked, leak or grow abnormally, this can result in blindness.

Diabetic Nephropathy (Renal Disease) caused by long term diabetes. Bllood vessels that supply the kidneys can become damaged, preventing them from filtering waste of out the urine properly.

Remember good diabetes management should also include wearing diabetes medical ID so if unable to speak for yourself in an emergency situation, health professionals will instantly know how to treat the patient and ensure they give the correct treatment quickly.