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Complications Of Diabetes Mellitus

Diabetes Mellitus can inflict many complications that develop quickly and influence many organ systems. People having diabetes must normally monitor and control their blood sugar. The complications of diabetes mellitus can damage the quality of life and cause long-lasting disability. Moreover, complications are less common in people with well-controlled blood sugar levels.

Other health problems of the chronic complications of diabetes such as smoking, obesity, high blood pressure, elevated cholesterol levels, and lack of regular exercise. Complications of diabetes mellitus have a strong risk factor for severe COVID-19 illness. People suffering from diabetes mellitus have many long-term complications that influence many parts of the body.

Complications Of Diabetes Mellitus

1. Short-term Diabetes Complications

Hypoglycemia is low blood sugar. Especially if you’re taking insulin or a sulfonylurea drug it is possible for your blood glucose to drop. If you eat less than usual or are more active with these medications, your blood glucose may dip too much.

Other problems that cause hypoglycemia include certain medications (aspirin, for example, if you take a dose of more than 81 mg lowers the blood glucose level and too much alcohol (alcohol keeps the liver from releasing glucose).

The symptoms of low blood glucose can easily be noticed:

  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Sweating
  • Whiteness of skin
  • Anxiety
  • Numbness in fingers, toes, and lips
  • Sleepiness
  • Confusion
  • Headaches
  • Slurred speech


In many cases, by drinking orange juice eating a glucose tablet, hypoglycemia can be managed which will quickly increase your blood glucose level.

You should always carry glucagon if you have diabetes mellitus and take insulin and you will need a quick injection of glucagon if you feel unwell or unconscious because of hypoglycemia. Glucagon is a hormone process that starts in your body and increases your blood glucose level.

2. Long-term Complications

You can avoid long-term complications of diabetes by maintaining your blood glucose level in a healthy range through meal planning, physical activity, and medications.

Over many years these complications develop and relate to how blood glucose levels can influence blood vessels. High blood glucose can harm your body’s blood vessels both small and large over time.

# Microvascular Complications: Eye, Kidney, and Nerve Disease

Over time you have small blood vessels that are damaged by high blood glucose. Damaged blood vessels don’t transfer blood so that they cause other problems, specifically in the eyes, kidneys, and nerves.

  • Eyes: For a long period of time blood glucose levels out of range can damage cataracts and/or retinopathy in the eyes. Both can damage vision.
    To prevent eye problems with diabetes, keep your blood glucose maintained and go for eye check-ups yearly that cover a dilated eye examination with an eye doctor to check your eye health.
  • Kidneys: Kidney disease (also called diabetic nephropathy) causes impaired kidney function, dialysis, and/or kidney transplant if untreated. They’ll be unable to clean the blood properly if uncontrolled (or poorly controlled) diabetes can cause the kidneys to fail.
    To avoid diabetic nephropathy, you should be checked for microalbuminuria every year, it is a problem that’s a sign of kidney problems. The test checks how much protein is stored in the urine. With a urine sample, this test is easily done. They start to release too much protein when the kidneys begin to have problems. Once microalbuminuria is diagnosed medications can help prevent further damage.
  • Nerves: Diabetes causes nerve damage and is also known as diabetic neuropathy. If the blood vessels are damaged, then the nerves will also be damaged as well.
    Some people will already show signs of nerve damage when they’re diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. This is a case where keeping the blood glucose level in control can prevent further damage.

    Different types of diabetic neuropathy include peripheral, autonomic, proximal, and focal. The most common form of nerve damage is Diabetic peripheral neuropathy, and it influences the nerves going to the hands and feet.
    People who have suffered from type 2 diabetes for a very long time and who can’t manage their blood glucose may lose impact in their feet. They also give more pain, weakness, or tingling.

    One of the main complications of diabetic peripheral neuropathy that people may experience is swelling on the feet. The infection can spread and become infected and the foot may require to be cut off to keep the infection from spreading more. Make sure to have regular foot exams done by a podiatrist. You should also consider with your healthcare provider to take care of your feet every time you have an office visit.


# Macrovascular Complications: The Heart, Brain, and Blood Vessels

Type 2 diabetes can also influence the large blood vessels, causing plaque to build up and potentially leading to complications in the heart, brain, etc. These complications include heart attack, stroke, or vessel blockage in the legs (peripheral vascular disease).

To avoid heart disease and stroke of diabetes, you should control your diabetes well, but in other areas, you should also make heart-healthy choices of your life: don’t smoke, keep your blood pressure controlled, and pay attention to your cholesterol.


Diabetes mellitus arises with certain short-term and long-term complications, but if you control your blood glucose you can avoid them. People suffering from diabetes have a high risk of developing serious health problems. High levels of blood glucose can cause serious diseases. Moreover, people having diabetes also have a higher chance of risk developing infections. Keeping your blood glucose levels, blood pressure and cholesterol can help delay or prevent diabetes complications. Therefore people with diabetes require regular monitoring.

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