Now playing: Complications from Diabetes

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  • Retinopathy

    Retinopathy

    There are several problems caused by having a high blood glucose level over a long period of... Play Video
  • Neuropathy

    Neuropathy

    A common complication caused by prolonged high blood glucose levels, is nerve damage, known as... Play Video
  • Kidney Disease

    Kidney Disease

    High blood glucose levels can lead to serious or fatal kidney complications. Play Video
  • Heart Disease and Stroke

    Heart Disease and Stroke

    Heart disease and stroke are two to four times more common in people with diabetes. They can... Play Video

Complications from Diabetes

People with diabetes are at a higher risk of certain health problems.

As a person with diabetes, it is important to monitor and maintain healthy blood glucose levels. High blood glucose levels over a long period of time can lead to heart attack and stroke, blindness, kidney failure, and nerve damage.

Heart disease and stroke are two to four times more common in people with diabetes. High blood glucose levels increase the rate of plaque build-up in your artery walls. The plaque makes it difficult for blood to flow through your arteries, and can even block it - causing a heart attack or stroke.

A common eye problem in people with diabetes is Diabetic Retinopathy, which is damage to the eyes. High blood glucose levels over a long period of time can weaken the blood vessels around your eyes. When your body tries to repair itself by forming new blood vessels, it can cause swelling and bleeding inside your eyes.

Another complication associated with diabetes is damage to your kidneys. High blood glucose levels can damage the blood vessels inside your kidneys, causing them to leak. Protein and nutrients are lost in your urine, and toxins build up in your bloodstream, which can lead to fatal complications.

High blood glucose levels over a long period of time can also cause nerve damage, known as Diabetic Neuropathy. When blood containing a high level of glucose passes through your blood vessels, it can damage them, preventing nutrients from reaching your nerve. When the nerve is damaged, you will feel tingling or burning in that part of your body. When it dies, you will have a complete loss of feeling.

By getting daily physical activity, eating a healthy diet, and taking your prescribed medication, along with lowering your cholesterol and blood pressure, you can reduce your chances of developing complications from your diabetes.

Last modified: 2012-03-06

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