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Home > Patient & Family Resources > Health Library > Diabetes Complications
Sometimes complications develop even when risk factors such as blood sugar level and blood pressure have been controlled. But following your treatment to control your blood sugar levels is still an important part of your treatment.
The most common serious complications from diabetes are coronary artery disease (CAD) and stroke, kidney failure, blindness, and foot disease. All diabetes complications can require specialized medical treatment depending on their severity. Some of these conditions, such as CAD, may be adequately managed by your primary care doctor. If the disease progresses, you may need to see a specialist.
Symptoms of diabetes complications can develop when you have prediabetes, diabetes that has not been diagnosed early, and even diabetes that has been treated.
Complication of diabetes
Small blood vessel (microvascular) diseases
Eyes: Damage to the retina, the part of the eye that captures images
Kidneys: Impaired functioning of the kidneys, and, in severe cases, kidney failure
Nerves: Decreased sensation, especially common in the feet and hands; weakness; abnormal functioning of some organ systems
Large blood vessel (macrovascular) disease
Heart disease: Problems with the circulatory system that weaken the heart
Strokes: Blood supply to the brain is cut off, usually caused by a blood clot in an artery.
Peripheral arterial disease: Blood has trouble reaching the extremities, such as the hands and feet.
Impaired immune system functioning
Frequent infections, sometimes with unusual types of bacteria and fungus
Current as of: April 16, 2019
Author: Healthwise StaffMedical Review: E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal MedicineAdam Husney, MD - Family MedicineKathleen Romito, MD - Family MedicineDavid C. W. Lau, MD, PhD, FRCPC - Endocrinology
Current as of:
April 16, 2019
Medical Review:E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine & Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine & Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine & David C. W. Lau, MD, PhD, FRCPC - Endocrinology
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