Complications of diabetes
For additional information, see: Diabetes resources.
After many years, diabetes can lead to serious problems throughout your body, including your eyes, kidneys, and nerves.
Diabetes can also damage blood vessels in the eyes, causing vision problems or blindness. Conditions may include:
FOOT AND SKIN PROBLEMS
People with diabetes are more likely to have foot problems because of nerve and blood vessel damage. Small sores or breaks in the skin may turn into deep skin ulcers if not treated properly. If these skin ulcers do not improve, or become larger or go deeper, amputation of the affected limb may be needed. (See: Diabetes foot care.)
HEART AND BLOOD VESSELS
If you have diabetes, your risk of a heart attack is the same as someone who has already had a heart attack. Both women and men with diabetes are at risk. You may not even have the typical signs of a heart attack. Other problem with the heart and blood vessels include:
Diabetes can damage nerves, which means you may not feel an injury until a large sore or infection develops. Nerve damage causes pain and numbness in the feet, as well as a number of other problems with the stomach and intestines, heart, and other organs. (See: Diabetic neuropathy.)
Call your health care provider if you have:
American Diabetes Association. Standards of medical care in diabetes -- 2009. Diabetes Care. 2009;32:S13-S61.
Buchwald H, Estok R, Rahrbach K, et al. Weight and type 2 diabetes after bariatric surgery: systematic review and meta-analysis. Am J Med. 2009;122(3):248-256.e5. Review
Eisenbarth GS, Polonsky KS, Buse JB. Type 1 Diabetes Mellitus. In: Kronenberg HM, Melmed, S, Polonsky KS, Larsen PR, eds. Williams Textbook of Endocrinology. 11th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2008: chap 31.
In the clinic. Type 2 diabetes. Ann Intern Med. 2007;146:ITC-1-15.
U.S. Preventive Services Task Force. Screening for type 2 diabetes mellitus in adults: U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommendation statement. Ann Intern Med. 2008;148(11):846-54.
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