What causes long-term complications?
When you have diabetes, high blood sugars are a common problem. Insulin is a big part of the problem. It's needed to take sugar out of the blood. Insulin also helps the body use sugar. A person with diabetes may not make enough insulin. Or, their insulin may not work well. Also, blood sugars go up when the liver sends more sugar into the blood than needed.
Once you have diabetes, blood sugars can run high for other reasons:
- Eating too much
- Too little exercise
- Under a lot of stress
- Not on the right pill or insulin program yet
What are the long-term complications of diabetes?
If blood sugars run too high for many years, health problems can result. High blood sugars cause damage to the nerves and blood vessels, making these health problems more likely:
- Artery disease (hypertension, heart attack, high cholesterol, stroke, and poor blood flow to the legs and feet)
- Nerve disease
- Foot ulcers and amputations
- Eye disease that leads to blindness
- Kidney disease
- Gum disease
It can be stressful to learn about these long-term problems. It may help to know that you can prevent some or all of these. Recent diabetes research shows that good blood sugar control can prevent or delay these health problems. This offers hope that diabetes can be controlled, and that you can lead a healthy life with diabetes.
Take steps to control your blood sugars. This can keep you healthy and help you feel in control of your life. It can also improve the quality of your life. Read on to learn more about these long-term problems.