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Guide to Diabetes

Complications of Diabetes
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If your diabetes is not controlled properly, high levels of glucose in the blood can affect the body in many different ways and lead to a wide variety of seemingly unconnected complications, as follows:


  • Slow healing of wounds

  • Impotence / erectile dysfunction

  • Heart attacks

  • Kidney damage / failure

  • Stillbirth / congenital malformations

  • Strokes

  • Blindness

  • Amputations

  • Death


Diabetes can affect small blood vessels (microvascular) in the eyes (retinopathy), kidneys (nephropathy), nerves (neuropathy) and the feet. Thus cause long-term problems with your eyes, feet, kidneys, heart, your circulation and nervous system.

Although some people may be fortunate enough to escape these complications, about 1 in 5 of those living with diabetes will experience two or more complications, further complicating their treatment plan.

There are common factors that can all lead to long term complications these include:

  • Smoking
  • High Blood Pressure
  • Cholesterol/ Raised Blood Fats
  • Not Eating a Balanced Diet
  • If you are Overweight
  • No Exercise


Preventing Complications

High blood pressure can affect the small blood vessels at the back of the eyes and kidney and cause them to become narrow and leak. High levels can also affect the heart and large blood vessels, which can be affected by high blood fat levels. 

Research has shown that the risk of diabetes complications is very much reduced if blood pressure,  blood glucose and blood fat(lipid) levels are kept under good control preferably near as possible to normal. 

Continuous monitoring is essential to catch any potential problems early on hence it is important to visit your clinic regularly to check for any health problems and to attend your annual review, which enables early detection and treatment of any problems.