Long-term complications of diabetes

Updated at: Aug 14, 2015
Long-term complications of diabetes

Diabetes is all the more dangerous because it is accompanied by other ailments as complications. To deal with diabetes better, you must know the possible long-term complications of diabetes. This post explains how having diabetes can affect your f

Himanshu Sharma
DiabetesWritten by: Himanshu SharmaPublished at: Aug 27, 2012

Long-term diabetes complications are often linked to higher blood sugar levels. Not just blood sugar control, other factors such as genes also play a role to complication condition of diabetics. The complications are not confined to any specific part of the body but can affect several different parts of the body, either alone or simultaneously.

Complications of diabetes

Long-term diabetes complications

Diabetes does make your blood sugar higher than normal, but the after-effects become evident after years or sometimes after decades. Prolonged ignorance of high sugar levels can cause harm to your blood vessels, eyes, kidneys, skin, nerves and heart.

  • Eye problems – Cataracts, retinopathy and glaucoma are the major eye problems a diabetic may encounter over a period of time. They may  also have trouble seeing, especially at night.
  • Kidney disease – Diabetic nephropathy
  • Nerve damage – Diabetic neuropathy
  • Heart and blood vessel diseases (cardiovascular diseases) – Heart attack, stroke and blockage of blood vessels in the legs and feet (may lead to foot ulcers, infections and loss of a toe, foot, or lower leg).
  • Gum diseases (periodontal disease) – Tooth decay (either caused by more sugar in their mouth or more plaque and less saliva) and loss of collagen and poor blood circulation in the gums. 
  • Feet sores and infections are long-term after effects and if these persist for a long duration, foot or leg may have to be removed.


Preventing long-term diabetes complications

  • To prevent long-term diabetes complications, you need to keep your blood sugar, blood pressure and cholesterol level under control.
  • Discuss a healthy lifestyle plan with your physician to manage diabetes and stay healthy for as long as possible. A healthy lifestyle will focus on diet, exercises and medication to sustain blood pressure in normal range. 
  • To ensure that blood sugar level remains in the normal range, check your blood sugar daily or more often. If there is any major fluctuation, physician will advise you way to bring it back to normal.
  • Blood sugar testing can be easily done at home with the help of easy-to-use electronic glucometers.

Some diabetes complications may occur years later and theaffected individuals don't even notice symptoms. Therefore, it becomes very important to diabetes management plan and doing everything so that medical care and checkups bring out positives. If you take active part and learn about long-term complications, health care staff administering your diabetes can identify many diabetes problems before they begin to trouble you and help you with the treatment you need.


Image Source: Getty

Read more articles on Diabetes



All possible measures have been taken to ensure accuracy, reliability, timeliness and authenticity of the information; however Onlymyhealth.com does not take any liability for the same. Using any information provided by the website is solely at the viewers’ discretion. In case of any medical exigencies/ persistent health issues, we advise you to seek a qualified medical practitioner before putting to use any advice/tips given by our team or any third party in form of answers/comments on the above mentioned website.

This website uses cookie or similar technologies, to enhance your browsing experience and provide personalised recommendations. By continuing to use our website, you agree to our Privacy Policy and Cookie Policy. OK