Feature on Diabetes Complications

Diabetes complications feature
Managing blood glucose levels is essential to avoid diabetes complications

Managing blood glucose levels is the key to avoiding diabetes complications. Fluctuations in blood glucose can damage nerves, organs and blood vessels.

Furthermore, a raised glucose level may cause very few symptoms, but still be damaging in the long term.

Increasing likelihood

Having diabetes does increase the likelihood of major health issues such as heart disease and stroke. Furthermore, poor blood sugar control increases the risk of a blood vessel becoming blocked.

Types of complications

Major diabetes complications include nerve damage, retinopathy, kidney disease, sexual dysfunction, miscarriage and stillbirth.

Nerve damage, also known as diabetes neuropathy, is caused by high blood glucose levels. Neuropathy can lead to tingling or burning, and also affect the digestive system and cause nausea, vomiting or diarrhoea.

Retinopathy damages the retinas, blocking blood vessels or causing them to leak and preventing light entering the retina. The blockage of small blood vessels in the kidney can ruin kidney function and lead to kidney failure. Diabetes complications also include sexual dysfunction, causing erectile problems.

Smoking has also been highlighted as a cause of diabetes complications. Regular blood glucose testing, learning what your blood glucose means, and setting goals to manage blood glucose can all lower the risk of diabetes complications.

To learn more about managing diabetic complications please read the following guides:

What the community are saying about diabetes complications?

  • Noblehead: Try to tighten up your control and hopefully these early changes in your eyes will not progress to more serious complications. Stable bg control, keeping blood pressure/cholesterol below normal, and of course eating a healthy well balanced diet can all prevent further damage.
  • Cugila: Now, I am all for everybody keeping tight control but there are limits to what is good for you. Most know that high levels are bad for you and will eventually cause complications, however there are many who seem to think that ultra low will make it better. Not so ! There are consequences to everything.
  • Badmedisin: Anyway, I had 'early diabetic changes' for about 15 years before it developed into background retinopathy, so there's a good chance you still have time to prevent your changes getting worse, as long as you stay in control.
  • Catherinecherub: Complications will set in if you ignore it but I like to think that control will delay or even eradicate the inevitable as it is always described as a progressive disease. I don't think it is a question that anyone can truly answer but it is always best to give it your best shot. Never give up and always take control is my motto.
  • Castigers: In my early days I had pictures of what happens when Diabetes truly takes control...was more than enough for me to stick to the straight and narrow.
Your Comments
 
If you're unlucky to live in an area where diabetes consultation is poor and resources likewise, the rot sets in. I suppose after twenty years type 2, I was never told about the negatives untill you 'hit the barrier'. Charcot foot, has given two years of immobility, nothing can reverse the damage through breaking foot bones and lack of inevitable mobility. Like fighting on two fronts and holding down a job. My new Abbot meter connected to the laptop gives a fantastic guide over the highs & lows. I could go on with all the regular events but firmly believe that I cannot rely on the professionals, its my health and control is in my hands... assertive is not popular but essential!
Posted by Steve on Monday, May 31, 2010
I've been having the same problems since before I was diagnosed as diabeic. I'm always tired, very dry and continually urinating. Does anyone have any suggestions to stop all this.
Posted by john wilkinson, Leeds. West Yorkshire on Monday, May 31, 2010
Just what do we diabetic vegetarians do in the summer? If I eat friut it sends my sugar levels up, if I eat tomatoes in salad it does the same... what can I eat!
Posted by paula, truro on Sunday, May 30, 2010
I have seen the damage first hand from my grandmother and in-laws as they progressed into medicine to help their blood glucose levels. I have now a chance to learn from that and manage through diet my glucose levels and I have suffered miscarriages and probably due to uncontrolled diet and fluctuateing levels in glucose. I feel I have a better chance and have spoken to my GP and she agrees that through monitoring I should improve my health a great deal. Many normal foods have natural sugar and we really all should learn more about food and balancing to get results.
Posted by sugarcontrol, Ireland on Friday, May 28, 2010
I was diagnosed diabetic last October. I have brought my blood sugar down to 6.5 from 9 but my blood sugar level keeps going up to between 10 and 27. I am confused by this! I am not on medication as metformin made my blood sugar drop to 1 or 2. I also have developed side problems like throat issues.
Posted by Ally Williamson, Ayrshire on Friday, May 28, 2010
I think more should be said about dental complications arising from diabetes. I've had type 2 for 6 years. It is very well controlled but over the past 2 years I've had dental problems with teeth becoming loose and now face having a full top denture. I should add that my teeth are fine, I visit my dentist regularly and this is all due to what is happening through bone and ligament damage. (According to my dentist). When I mentioned this to my diabetes nurse on my last visit, she said she had never heard of it and didn't know it could happened.
Posted by Fitz, Bucks on Thursday, May 27, 2010
I have type 2 diabetes and am on insulin. I have complications with neuroathy in my feet and hands but I am getting healthier and getting my HbA1c down.
Posted by jean sercombe, carlisle on Thursday, May 27, 2010
I had a hard job convincing the medical team that I had diabetes, even though I had burning feet and foot pain, so I started my diabetes fight, with neuropathy, I do try very hard to keep control, but sometimes I cannot see why my levels are too high, and it is boring forever having to say no thank you, for all the things people offer, I have Novo mix, which is only twice a day, and to be honest, it doesn't help with the midday meal. Losing weight is hard.
Posted by Moonbeam, Norwich, Norfolk on Thursday, May 27, 2010
I am a newly diagnosed type 2 diabetic and am having problems with metformin as it is causing diarrhoea. Does anyone have a suggestion to help the problem please?
Posted by nuttyhasell, Mid Glamorgan on Thursday, May 27, 2010
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