- What are complications of diabetes mellitus?
- What causes diabetes complications?
- What types of complications happen with diabetes?
- How do doctors prevent complications from diabetes?
Complications of Diabetes
Diabetes is a disease in which your blood sugar (glucose) levels are too high.
You get diabetes if your body's normal way of controlling blood sugar isn't working right.
Complications are health problems that happen as a result of having a disease. Diabetes damages the blood vessels that supply oxygen and nourishment to your organs. So people with diabetes may have many serious long-term complications.
People with diabetes have complications because not enough blood flows to certain parts of their body. Diabetes causes blood vessels to get more narrow over time. Blood can’t flow easily through narrowed blood vessels or reach certain areas.
Blood vessels narrow because:
Sugar builds up in the walls of small blood vessels, making them thicken and leak
Clumps of fat build up in larger blood vessels, blocking the flow of blood (atherosclerosis)
Narrowed blood vessels and poor circulation of your blood can cause problems all over your body. The complications depend on which organ is affected. You may have one complication or many:
Poor blood circulation to the legs can cause you to need an amputation of your foot or part of your leg.
They will do tests about once a year to check for complications, including:
Strictly controlling your blood sugar lowers the chance of diabetes complications. But your blood sugar level may drop too low. Low blood sugar is called hypoglycemia. Blood sugar is your body's main source of fuel, so low blood sugar can cause serious problems:
Hypoglycemia is a medical emergency and needs treatment right away. To treat hypoglycemia:
Eat or drink something with sugar (like juice or candy) right away to raise your blood sugar level
If you often have low blood sugar, doctors may need to make changes in your medicines
In more serious cases, doctors may need to inject either glucose into your vein or a medicine called glucagon into your muscle