Read more . Maintaining blood glucose levels, blood pressure, and cholesterol at or close to normal can help delay or prevent diabetes complications. The acute complications of diabetes are hypoglycaemia and hyperglycaemia. Damage to blood vessels and nerves can restrict the amount of blood flowing to your sexual organs so you can lose some sensation. You can go back to this later in your, Opens a new window for Diabetes UK on facebook, Opens a new window for Diabetes UK on Twitter, Opens a new window for Diabetes UK on youtube, Opens a new window for Diabetes UK on instagram. Cutting straight to the chase, the main long term complications of diabetes include: There are steps we can take to prevent, delay or minimise the effect of complications. This is caused by high blood sugar levels and high blood pressure. With the correct treatment and recommended lifestyle changes, many people with diabetes are able to prevent or delay the onset of complications. A hormone called insulin helps the glucose get into your cells to give them energy. This can make it harder for the nerves to carry messages between the brain and every part of our body so it can affect how we see, hear, feel and move. Other Complications of Diabetes Mellitus A patient with diabetes often develops microvascular disease, which may impair skin healing, so that even minor breaks in skin integrity can develop into deeper ulcers and easily become infected, particularly in the lower extremities. The duration and degree of hyperglycaemia is directly related to the severity of the disease. Nerve damage can affect the feeling in your feet and raised blood sugar can damage the circulation, making it slower for sores and cuts to heal. Diabetes can cause damage to your kidneys over a long period of time making it harder to clear extra fluid and waste from your body. You might hear your healthcare team talk about two types of diabetes complications: serious ones that build up over time called chronic complications and ones that can happen at any time called acute complications. But it’s not just about blood sugars. Get clinically trusted advice that's tailored to you and based on real experiences - whenever you need it. The sooner you can spot the evidence of complications, the better position you’ll be in to hold them back. It’s called an HbA1c blood test . Diabetes increases your risk for many serious health problems. That’s why it’s important to tell your GP if you notice any change in how your feet look or feel. If retinopathy is picked up – usually from an eye screening test - it can be treated and sight loss prevented. Hypoglycaemia occurs rapidly when blood glucose levels are too low. Heart Disease. We know it’s not always as simple as that, but we’re here to help. Complications are more likely if the condition goes undiagnosed or is poorly controlled. Heart attack and stroke Even a slightly high HbA1c increases your risk. Complications. These steps include: If you’re finding it difficult to control your levels, your doctor will usually be able to put you onto a course to help you get better control. In order to prevent or delay such consequences in the future, it is important to recognize which patients are at high risk of complications. Content on Diabetes.co.uk does not replace the relationship between you and doctors or other healthcare professionals nor the advice you receive from them. Sexual problems in women If you have diabetes, your blood glucose, or blood sugar, levels are too high. These are long-term problems that can develop gradually, and can lead to serious damage if they go unchecked and untreated. However, by watching the amount and types of food you eat (your meal plan) , exercising, and taking any necessary medications, you may be able to prevent these complications. High blood sugar levels damage your blood vessels and make you more at risk of serious diabetes complications. High sugar levels in your blood over a long period of time can seriously damage your blood vessels. When the blood flows through tiny capillaries, these large sugar molecules can cause damage to the area. Some people with diabetes may develop nerve damage caused over time by high blood sugar levels. The blood vessels in your gums can also become damaged, making gums more likely to get infected. If you have diabetes, you’re more at risk of developing certain cancers. In office visits, … Foot Health. Neuropathy is one of the long-term complications of diabetes. To keep your feet healthy, you should: Check and care for your feet every day. Most of the complications of diabetes are the result of the presence of excess sugar in the blood. When you have diabetes, high blood sugar for a period of time can damage your blood vessels. Good diabetic control can directly reduce the risk of complications; in studies when the HbA1c was kept below 7%, the risk of developing complications was reduced by 60% over 9 years. If you don’t get this eye problem treated in time, it can lead to sight loss. The longer you have diabetes — and the less controlled your blood sugar — the higher the risk of complications. This long-term measure of blood glucose is important for people with diabetes as the higher their HbA1c value, the greater the risk of developing serious diabetic complications. It’s thought to be the result of a problem with the nerves and muscles that control how the stomach empties. Diabetes can lead to a number of serious complications, such as diabetic foot syndrome, eye diseases, kidney dysfunction and occasionally also cancer. Complications of diabetes can be a scary topic for anyone with diabetes, but if spotted early, they can be prevented from being a problem. Find support, ask questions and share your experiences. This means you need to stay on top of your health checks and blood sugar levels when you’re managing other problems. Complications of Diabetes. The Diabetes.co.uk Forum is a great option for picking up on the valuable experience of others with diabetes. No matter how careful you may be, … The sugar molecules in the form of glucose are larger than other components of the blood. But you can take action to prevent or delay many of these problems. Make sure you are wearing the right kinds of socks and shoes. Long-term complications of diabetes develop gradually. COMPLICATIONS OF DIABETES Complications are the negative effects of having a condition or illness, and there are a range of complications that may develop with diabetes. The first comprehensive, free and open to all online step-by-step guide to improving hypo awareness. About 68% of people over age 65 with diabetes die from heart disease, and roughly 16% die from stroke. However it is important to remember that not everyone with diabetes will develop all or some of the complications. Treated patients still have a lower life-expectancy than non diabetic patients. Kidney disease is a common complication because high levels of glucose cause the kidneys to filter too much blood, making them work extra hard, according to the American Diabetes … With type 1 diabetes, your body does not make insulin. However, if you have had less well controlled diabetes, have led a less healthy lifestyle, or had undiagnosed diabetes for a number of years, the complications of diabetes are more likely to develop earlier. eCollection 2018. The Hypo Program is the world's first and only structured education program. There are 2 main types of diabetes: type 1 diabetes – where the body's immune system attacks and destroys the cells that produce insulin; type 2 diabetes – where the body does not produce enough insulin, or the body's cells do not react to insulin; Type 2 diabetes is far more common than type 1. NHS-approved evidence-based behaviour change app for people with type 2 diabetes, prediabetes, obesity and those looking to optimise their health and wellbeing. Symptoms vary, but include confusion, dizziness, hunger, mood changes and sweating. In almost all high-income countries, diabetes is a leading cause of cardiovascular disease, blindness, kidney failure, and lower limb amputation. Keeping blood sugar, blood pressure and blood fats under control will hugely help to reduce your risk of developing complications. Diabetes.co.uk - the global diabetes community © 2003 - 2021 Diabetes Digital Media Ltd. People who use Low Carb Program have achieved weight loss, improved HbA1c, reduced medications and type 2 diabetes remission. We're also investing in research to help us identify and protect against complications. And poor circulation makes other diabetes complications worse – like problems with your eyes and feet. Diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) is a serious complication of diabetes characterized by hyperglycaemia (or a diagnosis of diabetes), metabolic acidosis, and ketonaemia [Joint British Diabetes Societies Inpatient Care Group, 2013; Karslioglu French, 2019]. It can be caused by taking too much insulin, excess alcohol consumption, physical exertion and missing meals. Find support, ask questions and share your experiences with 328,007 members of the diabetes community. Attending your diabetic reviews and screenings are an essential part of avoiding the effects of complications. Join the world's most active diabetes community JOIN NOW. Diabetes is a lifelong condition that causes a person's blood sugar level to become too high. If you have been diagnosed with one of the complications of diabetes, it can be possible to live unhindered by the condition at first. 215199) and in Scotland (no. How can diabetes affect my feet? Someone is diagnosed with diabetes every two minutes. Your donation can change lives. When you have one chronic complication, you’re much more at risk of developing other complications. Increase in the glucose level of the body damages the blood vessels, nerves, and other organs that in turn lead to long-term effects on the individual who may have to lie in bed being unable to move if untreated. This can sometimes lead to heart attacks and strokes. Cardiovascular (heart) disease. The majority of these diabetes-related conditions occur as a result of uncontrolled blood glucose levels, particularly elevated blood sugar over a prolonged period of time. By reducing HbA1c and keeping blood pressure and cholesterol levels well controlled, people with diabetes can reduce their risk of diabetic complications. If you have high blood sugar, you are also more likely to get thrush or a urinary tract infection. Nerve damage can lower your ability to feel pain, … If your blood vessels aren’t working properly, blood can’t travel to the parts of your body it needs to. But you need to take action and it’s all about managing your diabetes well. Gastroparesis a long-term complication of diabetes that can be caused by fluctuating blood sugars causing nerve damage (neuropathy). They’re not inevitable. This means your nerves won’t work properly either and means you lose feeling in parts of your body. And if your doctor says you’ve got slightly raised levels, this still may not be safe and you need to take action to bring them down. Cardiovascular disease. Therefore people with diabetes need regular monitoring. Types of diabetes screenings For adults, make sure you’re checked at least once […] a major complication and the leading cause of premature death among people with diabetes. Damage to these nerves can result in gastroparesis, where food isn’t moved out of the stomach as quickly as normal. Losing your sight could affect your career, your family life and your independence. Possible complications include: 1. Having diabetes means that you’re more at risk of serious foot problems and which can lead to amputation if untreated. Some people go on to develop an eye complication called diabetic retinopathy. SC039136). We're determined to bring about improvements to treatments and care in people with diabetes, having already set up the first diabetes foot clinic in the UK, helping to reduce amputations. The complications of diabetes can be serious, but if you make appropriate lifestyle changes and pay attention to your blood glucose control, you can substantially reduce the risk of these complications. By getting checked each year, you’ll put yourself in the best position to beat the threat of complications. Get a foot exam by your provider at least every 6 to 12 months and learn whether you have nerve damage. This is a frightening fact. Diabetes can affect your eyes in many ways. Uncontrolled diabetes can lead to a number of short and long-term health complications, including hypoglycemia, heart disease, nerve damage and amputation, and vision problems. Over time, high blood glucose (sugar) levels can damage the small blood vessels which supply the nerves in your body. This means going to your diabetes health checks and finding out from your diabetes healthcare team how to look after yourself between appointments.You can prevent or delay the complications of diabetes. Diabetic complications are the name given to when one or more parts of your body become damaged as a result of diabetes. We know that the higher your HbA1c level, the more you’re at risk of developing complications. © The British Diabetic Association operating as Diabetes UK, a charity registered in England and Wales (no. Without a good blood supply you may have problems with cuts and sores healing. Complications of diabetes. Advice for people with diabetes and their families. Complications of diabetes mellitus include problems that develop rapidly (acute) or over time (chronic) and may affect many organ systems. can lead to a number of short and long-term health complications, including hypoglycemia, heart disease, nerve damage High blood pressure, smoking and a lot of fat in your blood (cholesterol) can all damage your blood vessels and put you even more at risk. Complications caused by diabetes People with diabetes must routinely monitor and regulate their blood sugar. It is very important though to do whatever you can to follow the healthy lifestyle recommendations to prevent the complications becoming more damaging. Once you’ve damaged the blood vessels and nerves in one part of your body, you’re more likely to develop similar problems in other parts of your body. If you don't make the effort to get a handle on it, you could set yourself up for a host of complications. Some people with diabetes develop an eye disease called diabetic retinopathy which can affect their eyesight. It is common for most people with diabetes to begin to develop complications after having diabetes for a number of years. Eventually, diabetes complications may be disabling or even life-threatening. Long-term complications of diabetes. If you have diabetes insipidus, your body will find it difficult to retain enough water, even if you drink fluid constantly. Keeping a close eye on these levels and understanding your numbers will help you take control of your health. This is because raised blood glucose, also known as blood sugar, can damage the sensation in your feet. Includes chest pain , heart attack, stroke, and coronary artery disease (atherosclerosis). It is known as diabetic nephropathy or kidney disease. Stay alert for symptoms of skin infections and other skin disorders common in people with diabetes. Stroke. It’s much easier to treat complications in the early stages than it is once they’ve developed. As a result, the nerve fibres can become damaged, and they may disappear. And some cancer treatments can affect your diabetes and make it harder to control your blood sugar. It’s a scary prospect but we can help to prevent the onset of complications. These are called the complications of diabetes. Gum disease and other mouth problems The parts of the body that can be most affected by diabetes complications are heart and blood vessels, kidneys, eyes, nerves, gums and feet. With type 2 diabetes (also called type 2 diabetes mellitus), if you don’t work hard to keep your blood glucose level under control, there are short- and long-term complications to contend with. Too much sugar in your blood can lead to more sugar in your saliva. Eye complications. Kidney problems (nephropathy) Last revised in April 2020 Complications of type 2 diabetes include: Macrovascular complications — cardiovascular disease (CVD, for example myocardial infarction), cerebrovascular disease (for example stroke and transient ischaemic attack), and peripheral arterial disease (for … This can lead to dehydration, a severe lack of water in the body. Giving up smoking is the best thing you can do if you have diabetes because smoking makes it even harder for blood to flow around your body. It may lead to erectile dysfunction, sometimes called impotence. Cardiovascular disease affects your circulation too. 2018 Mar 11;2018:3086167. doi: 10.1155/2018/3086167. A company limited by guarantee registered in England and Wales with (no.00339181) and registered office at Wells Lawrence House, 126 Back Church Lane London E1 1FH, Page saved! Eye problems (retinopathy) Find out more about our life-changing research. So if your feet are damaged, serious heart problems can follow. Whilst different treatments will be available for different complications, many of the most common diabetes-related condition can be better controlled, and their development limited, by following the healthy lifestyle steps for preventing complications. It can also affect your circulation, which can lead to you getting less blood supply to your feet. Having diabetes means you’re at much greater risk of developing foot problems. When you have diabetes, you're more at risk of heart disease. So if your blood vessels are damaged in your feet for example, the damage can happen to other parts of your body like your kidneys and heart too. The amount of blood flowing to your sexual organs can be restricted which may cause you to have difficulty getting aroused. Related conditions, like cancer  This prevents essential nutrients reaching the nerves. Our online forum is also a place you can talk about and share your concerns with others who have had similar experiences. Join 614,096 people who get the newsletter, HbA1c to average blood glucose level converter, Whole blood results to plasma readings converter, Hyperosmolar Hyperglycemic Nonketotic Syndrome, High triglyceride levels (Hypertriglyceridemia), Attend all your diabetic reviews and screenings, Avoid or cut down on smoking and drinking. Dehydration. Heart disease is one of the most common diabetes complications. Living a healthy lifestyle takes in the following: Processed foods, including takeaways, can increase problems for the body and are best replaced with home prepared food where possible. Nerve damage (neuropathy) The 2 main complications of diabetes insipidus are dehydration and an electrolyte imbalance. Stopping smoking and lowering your HbA1c levels, blood fats and blood pressure will prevent or slow down these complications. Foot problems In this section, you’ll find information on all of the diseases, illnesses and disorders that are linked to diabetes, including the different causes, symptoms and treatments for each condition. The complications of diabetes can dramatically impair quality of life and cause long-lasting disability. This is also called cardiovascular disease (CVD) or coronary disease, and can lead to heart attacks and strokes. Join 450,000 people on the award-winning app to support healthier habits and weight loss for people with obesity, prediabetes and type 2 diabetes. Sexual problems in men Complications of Diabetes 2017 J Diabetes Res. Complications of diabetes High blood sugar levels can seriously damage parts of your body, including your feet and your eyes. Smoking makes diabetes complications worse. The good news? If you do smoke, work with your provider to find a way to quit. Once you have had type 1 for a couple of years you’re at risk of developing some subtle changes to the organs containing non-insulin requiring cells. With good diabetes control and living a healthy, active lifestyle, it is possible for people to go a number of decades complication free. Glucose comes from the foods you eat. You will be given as much time as you need and although the service is confidential, you can choose to remain anonymous if you prefer. Authors Konstantinos Papatheodorou 1 , Maciej Banach 2 , Eleni Bekiari 3 , Manfredi Rizzo 4 , Michael Edmonds 5 Affiliations 1 Outpatient Clinic of Diabetes… This is serious, that’s why we want you to have all the facts so you can prevent complications from getting worse. People with type 2 diabetes are 1.5 times more likely to have a stroke than people who don’t … This brings bacteria which produces acid which attacks your tooth enamel and damages your gums. Skin complications. 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