Common complications of diabetes: an essential guide

An Overview

Diabetes mellitus, a metabolic disease characterized by high levels of glucose in the blood, can lead to a range of both acute and chronic complications. These conditions can affect various organs and systems of the body, including the heart, kidneys, nerves, and eyes, with serious consequences for overall health.

Cardiovascular Issues and Infections

Diabetes can cause narrowing of blood vessels, increasing the risk of conditions such as angina, heart failure, and stroke. Additionally, the disease can impair the body’s ability to fight infections, making patients more susceptible to bacterial and fungal infections, particularly on the skin and in the mouth. This phenomenon is exacerbated by high blood glucose levels, which hinder white blood cells from reacting effectively.

Eye and Kidney Damage

Damage to the eye blood vessels caused by diabetes can lead to conditions such as diabetic retinopathy, which can result in severe eye problems and even blindness. Similarly, the kidneys can suffer significant damage, known as diabetic nephropathy, which in extreme cases may require dialysis or transplantation.

Neuropathy and Skin Conditions

Diabetic neuropathy, damage to peripheral nerves, can manifest with symptoms such as numbness, tingling, and burning pain, significantly affecting the patient’s quality of life. Skin conditions, such as bacterial and fungal infections, are also common among diabetic patients, often due to poor circulation and the body’s reduced ability to fight infections.

Prevention and Management

Although diabetes complications can be serious, the good news is that their prevention is possible through careful management of blood glucose levels, a balanced diet, and a healthy lifestyle that includes regular physical activity. Regular medical check-ups are essential for monitoring health and preventing complications before they become severe.


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