Sometimes complications develop even when risk factors such
as blood sugar level and blood pressure have been controlled. But following your
treatment to control your blood sugar levels is still an important part of
The most common serious complications from
coronary artery disease (CAD) and
stroke, kidney failure, blindness, and foot disease.
All diabetes complications can require specialized medical treatment depending
on their severity. Some of these conditions, such as CAD, may be adequately
managed by your primary care doctor. If the disease progresses, you may need to
see a specialist.
diabetes complications can develop when you have
prediabetes, diabetes that has not been diagnosed
early, and even diabetes that has been treated.
Complications of diabetes and symptoms of serious problems
Complication of diabetes
|Small blood vessel (microvascular)
- Weakening of small blood vessels called
capillaries causes blood to leak from the vessel.
Eyes: Damage to the retina, the part of the eye that captures
- Impaired vision and, in severe cases,
Kidneys: Impaired functioning of the kidneys, and, in severe
cases, kidney failure
- Inability to think clearly
- Swelling from
retention of body fluids
Nerves: Decreased sensation, especially common in the feet
and hands; weakness; abnormal functioning of some organ systems
- Numbness, tingling, weakness in the feet
- Swings in heart rate and blood
- Nausea and vomiting from abnormal functioning of the
- Impotence in men
- Double vision
|Large blood vessel (macrovascular)
plaque in large blood vessels throughout the body can
strokes, and compromised circulation.
Heart disease: Problems with the circulatory system that
weaken the heart
- Chest pain and shortness of
- Decreased tolerance for physical
- Chronic fatigue
- Swelling of the legs and
- Palpitations (feeling like the heart is racing or
Strokes: Blood supply to the brain is cut off, usually caused
by a blood clot in an artery.
- Impaired speech
- Inability to
- Inability to walk
- Paralysis on one side of the
body, numbness, or tingling
Peripheral arterial disease: Blood has trouble
reaching the extremities, such as the hands and feet.
- Pain in the calves when
- Coolness of the lower extremities
- Loss of hair
on the legs
- Ulcers that do not heal promptly, on the legs
|Impaired immune system functioning || |
Frequent infections, sometimes with unusual types of bacteria
- Symptoms associated with a variety of
infectious diseases, including fever, abscesses, and redness
E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine
Jennifer Hone, MD - Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
July 1, 2011
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