Complications of diabetes

What is Diabetes?

Diabetes is a complex condition that can affect both your physical and emotional health.

If you do not manage your blood glucose levels, over time high levels of glucose in your blood will damage your blood vessels and create further complications.

The potential complications are the same for type 1 and type 2 diabetes.

  • Heart attacks and strokes are up to four times more likely in people with diabetes.
  • Diabetic retinopathy and potential vision loss affects one in six people with diabetes.
  • Kidney damage is three times more common in people with diabetes.
  • Amputations are 15 times more common in people with diabetes.
  • Nerve damage (neuropathy) can affect the hands and feet, digestive system and sexual organs of people with diabetes. Erectile dysfunction can result from nerve damage.
  • Depression, anxiety and distress affects roughly one in three of all people with diabetes.
  • Tooth decay and gum infections are more common in people with high blood glucose levels.

It is important to understand that good management of your diabetes will go a long way in reducing your risk of these complications.

Read more about managing diabetes and other health conditions in our resource library.

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