Over time, high blood glucose levels can damage the body’s organs.
However most diabetes-related complications can be prevented.
The most common complications of diabetes:
- Damage to the big blood vessels (macrovascular/cardiovascular complications) leading to heart attack and stroke.
- Damage to the small blood vessels (microvascular complications) causing problems in the eyes, kidneys, feet and nerves.
- Other parts of the body can be affected by diabetes including the digestive system, skin and immune system.
- Although not considered a complication, people with diabetes may have more thyroid problems than people without diabetes.
- People with diabetes often have increased cholesterol and blood pressure levels. When these are combined with increased blood glucose levels the risk of cardiovascular disease increases.
- Smoking, having a family history of cardiovascular disease and being inactive also increase the risk.