Diabetes Complications that Attack the Little Arteries


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Most people that think of diabetes complications have strokes and heart attacks in mind. Do you know that there are multiple other diabetes complications out there that only doctors know about? Let’s change that and bring everyone up to date. Eye complications, foot complications, nerve complications and many more.

Eye Complications

Although damage to the eyes is the most feared complication, it is actually the most manageable. Generally, the disorders are very minor and there are a number of procedures available to treat them. Those who do not properly maintain their diabetes can face blindness when the tiny blood vessels attached to the retina are damaged. Cataracts (a clouding of the lens of the eye) and glaucoma (a buildup of pressure in the eye) can also be a cause of vision loss and the reason for having your eyes checked regularly by a professional is a part of good diabetes maintenance.

Foot Complications

Diabetics also run the risk of neuropathy, a condition that causes a person to lose feeling in their feet. Neuropathy takes away a person’s ability to feel pain or discomfort, meaning any signals of injury will be unheeded leading to further injury. On top of that, poor circulation in the feet reduces the ability to heal. Diabetics often face changes in their feet or toes leading to further problems. Diabetics are more likely to find themselves in the hospital due to foot problems than any other complications linked to diabetes.

Diabetes and Nerve Damage

Those with diabetes can develop nerve damage and when it occurs; it is likely due to a number of factors instead of just one. High blood glucose levels as well as low insulin levels, and irregular blood fat levels mixed with the duration of having diabetes all have a hand in damaging the nerves of the body.

Nerves in the bladder, genitals or intestinal tract can also become damaged. This is called autonomic neuropathy. Damage to these nerves can disrupt their function, making them work less efficiently. This is why diabetics often have trouble with their urinary tract or with maintaining an erection.

Kidney complications

Diabetes alone is the most prevalent cause of kidney failure and those with the disease often have to face this complication. Diabetes patients are likely to suffer frequent kidney and bladder infections. Thanks to the high levels of sugar in the blood, the kidneys work overtime filtering blood to get rid of waste. Although it can take years, the filters in the kidneys will eventually begin to leak. Kidneys with injured blood vessels just cannot properly cleanse the blood any longer. Waters and salts build up in the body, resulting in bloating and swelling.

Skin Complications

Those with diabetes can suffer from skin afflictions such as:

  • vitiligo- a condition that affects the coloration of the sufferer’s skin as he or she loses pigment, resulting in white patches that cover various parts of the body.

  • Bacterial Infections- a stye, which is the infection of glands in the eyelid; boils and infections of hair follicles, are very common.

  • Fungal infections- Candida Albicans, a fungal infection commonly referred to as thrush, creates rashes of moist, red areas that are itchy and can be surrounded by small blisters. Diabetics are also prone to athlete’s foot.

  • Blisters- blisters on the feet are very important to watch for as they are the result of improperly fitting footwear. As diabetics are prone to losing the feeling in their feet, there is a potential for infection to set in.


    Due to the amount of vascular and nerve damage that is prevalent in diabetics, impotence is an extremely common diabetic complication. As erectile function is a largely vascular process, nearly half of all diabetics suffer from impotency due to vascular damage. The physical effects can lead to psychological effects and vice versa. It’s very important for men who suffer from impotence to talk to their doctor.

    As we see above, diabetes has its hands on almost every system in the body. It is very important to keep your diabetes under control and keep these ill-favored possibilities away from you.

    This content is provided by Dr Pieter de Wet a general practitioner and in practice for 20 years. It may be used only in its entirety with all links included. Get your diabetes, diabetes symptoms and diabetes treatment advice at http://www.thediabetesdoc.com

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