Type 2 Diabetes Guide

Common Complications of Diabetes

aren't uncommon. Fortunately, the risk for complications can be minimized. Our bodies are not meant to deal with continued high blood glucose levels. Practicing good self-care and keeping blood sugar under control is the best way to lower the risk for diabetes-related complications.

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Possible Complications

Heart Disease or Stroke

Diabetics are at significantly higher risk for heart attack or stroke because the disease causes damage to the arteries. It's estimated that people with diabetes are twice as likely to develop and more likely to develop it at an earlier age. Keeping cholesterol and in normal ranges can also help to lower your risk.

Kidney Disease or Failure

Many factors influence the development of kidney disease, but diabetes increases that risk. Diabetes is the leading cause of kidney failure.

Dry/Itching Skin and Skin Infections

People with diabetes often experience terribly . The natural tendency is to scratch in order to relieve the itch - however, scratching can result in tears in the skin which in turn can give infection a chance to occur. Cuts and wounds heal more slowly in diabetics so any type of wound has the potential to become a serious problem. People with diabetes need to take steps to to try to prevent problems before they occur.

Foot Problems

Diabetes damages the arteries, which can result in poor circulation. Dry skin, cuts/abrasions, calluses, and ingrown toenails are just some of the more common . Because we use our feet so much, foot problems can have a serious impact on our quality of life. can help to minimize problems and keep us mobile. Being able to move around is critical to maintain our health and (or maintain it).

Nerve Damage and Diabetic Neuropathy

A tingling, burning, or "pins and needles" feeling is often reported in diabetics. The feet are usually one of the first parts of the body affected. , can result in sharp pains or numbness. The numbness can give rise to a larger problem if a wound goes unnoticed until it becomes infected.

Eye Problems

Diabetics are at higher risk for problems like cataracts and, in serious cases, even blindness.

Dental Disease

Poor circulation in the gums and can cause faster tooth decay as well as gum disease. Proper and consistent can help to lessen these issues.

Minimizing the Risk of Complications Due to Diabetes

It's important to follow a comprehensive plan to stay as healthy as possible. Eating a and getting can both help to keep your blood glucose levels within a target range. Your doctor may also prescribe or . You can also:

  • Lose weight, if you are overweight. Even a 5 to 10% weight loss can provide significant health benefits.

  • Manage your cholesterol levels: keep the "bad" cholesterol (LDL) lower, and the "good"good" cholesterol (HDL) higher.

  • Keep your blood pressure within normal ranges.

  • Don't smoke.

  • Practice good foot care and wear comfortable, properly-fitted shoes.

  • Visit your dentist regularly.

  • Get your eyes checked regularly.

  • Monitor your . You can do this at home - read about to find one that works for you.

  • Tell your doctor if you notice any changes in blood sugar levels, energy levels, any wounds that aren't healing, or any other changes in your body or your health.

  • Maintain a regular check-up with your doctor. A re-check every 3 months is common.

Above all, keep your blood glucose levels within the target range recommended by your doctor. Take medications as prescribed. Stick with a healthy eating plan and exercise routine. Keeping yourself as healthy as possible will help to lower the risk of complications of diabetes.



The information on this website is based on our own research and personal experience, and is not a substitute for medical advice. Questions about your health and individual situation should be directed to your doctor.