Diabetes - What are the Complications?

How does diabetes affect the body? If the blood sugar (glucose) is not controlled, it can lead to a number of complications:

  • Eye problems
  • Heart disease
  • Stroke
  • Kidney failure
  • Nerve damage
  • Loss of limbs
  • Tooth and gum problems

Diabetes injures the blood vessels that serve a number of key body organs. This can go on to damage your vision, your heart, your kidneys. It can delay or prevent tissues from healing. If wounds do not heal, it can lead to amputation.

Blood vessel injury can lead to:

  • Heart attacks and heart failure
  • Stroke
  • Loss of vision, even blindness
  • Poor kidney function, even kidney failure
  • Poor wound healing, including minor injuries
  • Poor circulation
  • Amputation, usually of toes, feet or lower legs, can result from poor circulation and poor wound healing

Poor circulation

Poor circulation prevents nutrients and oxygen from reaching the cells to help heal wounds and infections.
Cells without oxygen or nutrients die.
The affected area becomes numb or tingly or sometimes painful.
Sometimes the poor, slow circulation causes blockage in a blood vessel. Blood that cannot flow through an artery can become a clot which can cause a heart attack, stroke or other blockage.

Poor circulation and infections

A cut or wound will not heal well or quickly if there is high blood sugar The germs feed off the sugar and multiply. The damaged blood vessels are not able to transport enough infection-fighting cells, natural antibodies, antibiotic medicine or nutrition to the wound to heal well.