Long-term complications of diabetes


Long-term diabetes complications are often linked to higher blood sugar levels. Not just blood sugar control, other factors such as genes also play a role to complication condition of diabetics. The complications are not confined to any specific part of the body but can affect several different parts of the body, either alone or simultaneously.

Long-term diabetes complications

Diabetes does make your blood sugar higher than normal, but the after-effects become evident after years or sometimes after decades. Prolonged ignorance of high sugar levels can cause harm to your blood vessels, eyes, kidneys, skin, nerves and heart.

Eye problems – Cataracts, retinopathy and glaucoma are the major eye problems a diabetic may encounter over a period of time. They may  also have trouble seeing, especially at night.

Kidney disease – Diabetic nephropathy

Nerve damage – Diabetic neuropathy

Heart and blood vessel diseases (cardiovascular diseases) – Heart attack, stroke and blockage of blood vessels in the legs and feet (may lead to foot ulcers, infections and loss of a toe, foot, or lower leg).

Gum diseases (periodontal disease) – Tooth decay (either caused by more sugar in their mouth or more plaque and less saliva) and loss of collagen and poor blood circulation in the gums.

Feet sores and infections are long-term after effects and if these persist for a long duration, foot or leg may have to be removed.

Preventing long-term diabetes complications

To prevent long-term diabetes complications, you need to keep your blood sugar, blood pressure and cholesterol level under control.

Discuss a healthy lifestyle plan with your physician to manage diabetes and stay healthy for as long as possible. A healthy lifestyle will focus on diet, exercises and medication to sustain blood pressure in normal range.

To ensure that blood sugar level remains in the normal range, check your blood sugar daily or more often. If there is any major fluctuation, physician will advise you way to bring it back to normal.

Blood sugar testing can be easily done at home with the help of easy-to-use electronic glucometers.

Some diabetes complications may occur years later and theaffected individuals don’t even notice symptoms. Therefore, it becomes very important to diabetes management plan and doing everything so that medical care and checkups bring out positives. If you take active part and learn about long-term complications, health care staff administering your diabetes can identify many diabetes problems before they begin to trouble you and help you with the treatment you need.

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