There are a number of complications that can result from
Damage to the large blood vessels
Heart attacks and stroke: having diabetes increases your risk of
having a heart attack or stroke. A family history of heart disease
or stroke, smoking and being physically inactive also increase your
Damage to the small blood vessels
Retinopathy: damage to the retinas at the back of your eyes, if
left unchecked, can cause blindness.
Your eyes should be examined regularly by a qualified
optometrist or eye specialist.
Nephropathy: hgh blood glucose levels can damage your kidneys
over time, especially if you have high blood pressure. Keeping your
blood glucose and blood pressure under control will help reduce
Peripheral vascular disease:
Damage to the blood vessels in the feet means their blood supply
is limited, which can cause delayed healing from blisters or sores.
In very serious cases, surgery may be necessary and amputation may
be required. Visiting a podiatrist or health professional regularly
regarding your feet is advised.
Neuropathy: neuropathy is nerve damage caused by high blood
glucose levels. Nerve damage can lead to pain and loss of feeling
to the hands and feet, known as peripheral neuropathy.
Symptoms of neuropathy include:
- Burning or pain at rest
Teeth and gum care
High blood glucose levels can cause tooth decay and gum
infection, which can increase your risk of heart disease.
Warning signs include a dry mouth, burning tongue, red, sore,
swollen or bleeding gums and white film on your gums or the inside
of your cheeks or tongue. Make sure your dentist knows you have
diabetes and keep up regular visits.
Sex and diabetes
Sex is an important part of relationships. While most people
with diabetes, both male and female, are able to lead completely
normal sex lives, diabetes may contribute to sexual problems for
some people. The most common problem is erectile dysfunction
in men (also known as ED or impotence). Sex can also be
an energetic exercise, which means there is a chance of having a
hypo either during or after sex. In the longer term, problems while
having sex are more common for people with diabetes.
Reducing complications from diabetes...
- Manage your diabetes well
- Keep your blood glucose, blood pressure and cholesterol at
- Remember to see your GP for all your recommended screening
- Take all prescribed treatments
- Don't smoke. Call Quitline on 13 7848 for help
- Be physically active for at least 30 minutes, five times a
- Follow a healthy eating plan
- Limit your alcohol intake
- Lose excess weight
- Look after your feet and choose footwear that protects