Diabetes Complications: What Can We Do?

Do Something Before it is Too Late

People with diabetes have a increased risk of developing other serious health issues if the blood glucose level is not under control. The blood sugar is consistently high for a long period of time it will affect the heart, eyes, blood vessels, kidney and nerves and we call it diabetes complications.

Diabetes Complications

There are a few complications including:-


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High blood sugar with high blood pressure with affect the heart and blood vessels and it might cause other complications such as coronary heart diseases and it will lead to heart attack and stroke. By having high blood pressure, high blood sugar, high cholesterol and overweight will contribute to the increasing risk of diabetes complications or cardiovascular diseases.

Things that you can do:

  • Stop smoking or reduced the frequency of smoking
  • Meals with minimal fats and salt
  • Take 5 servings of green leafy vegetables per day
  • Stop drinking or limit the intake of alcohol (2 unit per day for men; 1 unit per day for women)
  • Start being physically active


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People with diabetic have a higher risk of developing kidney diseases compared to non-diabetic people. Having high blood sugar in the blood can damage the small blood vessels in the body. Kidney is an organ with fine, small blood vessels around and diabetes will cause the blood vessels to thickened and damaged. If the kidney is damage, it will not perform the task properly such as filter the blood and remove the toxic waste from the body. On the other hand, it will start to leak protein into the urine. As time passes by, toxin will start to build up in the body. It could ended up for dialysis if serious case.

Things that you can do:

  • Keep blood glucose as close to normal values as possible by diet and exercise.
  • Keep blood pressure in healthy range(<140/90)
  • Keep blood lipid profile in a healthy range
  • Try to cut down the frequency of smoking.


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High blood sugar and blood pressure will cause damage to the nerves as well. There are a few types of nerve fibers and it will cause different issues such as weakness in the muscle, loss of feeling, indigestion, erectile dysfunction and many more. One of the most common affected areas is the extremities (feet) which will lead to pain, tingling, numbness and loss of feeling. Loss of feelings is important as it could allow injuries to go unnoticed. For example, if you have loss of feelings around feet areas, you can walk all day with a bad blister or even you could step on a nail without any notice. This means that you are more likely to get injury and less likely to get help for the injury. Therefore, it might lead to amputations in serious case.

Things that you can do:

  • Wash and dry your feet everyday carefully.
  • Gently dry between your toes.
  • Check and look at your feet everyday in order to make sure that there is no wound or injury.
  • Do not go on barefoot even in the house.
  • Keep blood sugar, blood pressure and weight in a healthy range.


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High blood sugar will cause damage to the blood vessels around the eye area which is known as diabetic retinopathy that will lead to reduced vision or blindness. People with diabetes have double the risk of getting cataracts and glaucoma compared to non-diabetic people. You should consult a doctor when your vision becomes blurry, having trouble reading, start to see double, feel pressure in the eyes and start seeing spots.

Things that you can do:

  • Consult a doctor for a diabetic eye check
  • Control blood sugar and blood pressure in a healthy range
  • Do not do any vigorous exercise including jogging.


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Diabetic can affect various part of the body including the skin such as bacterial infection, fungal infection and itching. People with diabetic will have a higher risk of developing skin condition. People with diabetic will develop specific skin condition such as dermopathy, necrobiosis lipoidica diabeticorum, diabetic blisters, and eruptive xanthomatosis. 

Things that you can do:

  • Keep your diabetes well managed
  • Keep your skin clean and dry all the time.
  • Avoid very hot showers.
  • If your skin is dry, do not use bubble baths. Moisturizing soap might help.
  • Use a standard lotion after shower. However, do not apply between toes as it will cause fungal growth.
  • Do not scratch your skin as it might cause wound and infection is allowed to set in.
  • Take a good care of your feet.
  • Consult a dermatologist if the problem is not solved or you are having skin problems.

Take Home Messages:

Most of the diabetes complications are likely to occur if you are having high blood glucose and high blood pressure for a longer period of time. The best defense is to keep all of these factors in control by taking your medication on time and lifestyle changes. It is important to control your diet as well as exercise.

Do remember that every reduction in your blood sugar, blood pressure, blood cholesterol and body weight will reduce the risk of developing complications. You do not have to be in the target range in order to reduce the risk. The risk would be lower as long as you are trying to keep every factor as close to recommendation range.

Please do not stress about controlling diabetes. One should stay positive and diabetes care is within your control. If you are willing to do your part, diabetes will not stand in your way for a active and healthy lifestyle.

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