Diabetes Related Complications – The Facts

Diabetes Complications

Diabetes management is essential for long-term health. Diabetes-related problems can be reduced if your diabetes is well-managed and you take care of your overall health.

What are the most frequent diabetic complications?

Diabetes problems can cause harm to:

• Complications of major blood arteries (macrovascular/cardiovascular), resulting in a heart attack, stroke, or circulation difficulties in the lower limbs

• Small blood arteries (microvascular issues), causing difficulties in the eyes, kidneys, feet, and nerves

• Other areas of the body, such as the skin, teeth, and gums

Large Blood Vessels

Atherosclerosis is the leading cause of significant blood vessel damage in diabetics.

Atherosclerosis develops when plaque, which is composed of cholesterol and other lipids, accumulates within the walls of blood vessels. Blood vessel

This causes the arteries to constrict, limiting blood flow to organs and other areas of the body.

If the plaque rips, a blood clot can develop, completely cutting off blood flow to organs and other areas of the body.

This can impact the blood arteries that provide blood to the heart, brain, and lower limbs.


• Reduced blood flow raises the chance of suffering a heart attack.

• A heart attack happens when a blood artery in the heart gets clogged, causing damage to the heart muscle.

• Symptoms of a heart attack may include intense central pain with a crushing sensation that may travel up the neck or down the left arm, as well as trouble breathing.Man having a heart attack

• Due to never damage, some diabetics may not have any symptoms of a heart attack.


• Reduced blood flow raises the chance of suffering a stroke.

• A stroke may develop when the blood supply to one of the blood arteries leading to a brain region is suddenly cut off.

• A stroke may develop when the blood supply to one of the blood arteries leading to a brain region is suddenly cut off.

• Symptoms of a stroke include weakness or numbness along one side of the body, droopiness on one side of the face, and trouble speaking.

Lower Limbs

• Reduced blood supply to the lower limbs might have an impact on your legs and feet. This is known as peripheral vascular disease.Picture of Vascular disease

• This can result in discomfort, cold and distended lower legs and feet, sluggish healing wounds, glossy skin on the legs, and pain in the buttock, thighs, or calves when walking.

• A lack of blood flow in the lower limbs over time can lead to ulcers and infection, increasing the risk of amputation.

The risk of damage to the large blood vessels Is higher If you:

• Have blood glucose levels that are higher than the desired range

• Have a high blood pressure

• Have excessive amounts of blood fats (cholesterol or triglycerides)

• Are you overweight or carry additional weight around your waist?

• Are you a smoker?

• Have a family history of heart disease.

Small Blood Vessels

Long durations of elevated blood glucose levels can harm the eyes, kidneys, and nerves.


• Over time, the tiny blood vessels in the retina might get damaged and leak fluid or bleed. This is known as retinopathy.

• Other eye problems, such as cataracts and glaucoma, are more frequent among diabetics.Picture of an eye

• Eye problems can be handled more successfully if they are detected and treated early.

• Have your eyes tested by an optometrist or ophthalmologist (eye expert) at least every two years to look for early indications of damage.


• High blood pressure and blood glucose levels can harm the tiny blood capillaries in the kidneys.

As a result, the tiny blood vessels that filter the blood become leaky, and the kidneys fail.

This is known as diabetic nephropathy or diabetic kidney disease.

• Have your kidneys examined by a doctor at least once every 12 months.

As part of your yearly diabetes check-up, you will be given a urine test and a blood test (also known as your annual cycle of care)

• Early identification and treatment of renal issues yield the most significant results.

Aim for regular medical visits and an annual health check with your diabetes care team.

These tests are critical for determining your overall health and the risk of diabetes-related problems.

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Diabetes Related Complications - The Facts