Diabetes Diet Logo
Home What is
Why conventional
diet is wrong
Diabetes diet
Making the
with doctors
Recipes Tips News Contact us Links
What is Diabetes?
Type-1 Diabetes
Type-2 Diabetes
Other forms
Symptoms of Diabetes
Tests for Diabetes
Diabetic complications
Diabetes Drugs

Complications of diabetes

Many people think of diabetes as a minor complaint. It isn't. People with diabetes are at greatly increased risk of coronary heart disease (CHD). For example, women aged 40-59 with diabetes are 8 times more likely to die of CHD than women without diabetes. And diabetics of all ages and both sexes are at increased risk for heart attacks.

A wide range of complications occurs among patients with diabetes. Most of these diabetic complications concern the cardiovascular system.

These are caused by damage to small blood vessels (microvascular complications) leading in turn to blindness (retinopathy), kidney failure (nephropathy) and nerve damage (neuropathy); and damage to the larger arteries (macrovascular complications) leading in turn to damage to the brain (stroke), the heart (coronary heart disease) or to the legs and feet (peripheral vascular disease). It can also lead to difficulties in pregnancy, infection, periodontal disease, and many other conditions. So a diagnosis of diabetes should be taken very seriously even though, as will become clear later, its cure and prevention are easily accomplished.

Below is a more complete list:

  • Amyotrophy -- A type of diabetic neuropathy that causes muscle weakness and wasting.
  • Angiopathy -- A process that damages the blood vessels.
  • Anomalies -- Birth defects; abnormalities.

  • Arteriosclerosis ( Atherosclerosis ) — Hardening of the blood vessels.

  • Autonomic neuropathy — Damage to nerves that do not control senses or muscles. These nerves control 'automatic' processes, like heart rate and body temperature. They can be damaged by diabetes, just like 'regular' somatic nerves, but the results are 'system-wide', not just pain or muscle weakness.

  • Background retinopathy — Also known as non-proliferative retinopathy

  • Congenital defects — Problems or conditions that are present at birth.

  • Congestive heart failure — Heart failure caused by loss of pumping power by the heart, resulting in fluids collecting in the body.

  • Coronary disease — interference with the heart's blood supply, typically by clogging of coronary arteries.

  • Dupuytren's contracture — A condition that causes the fingers to curve inward and may also affect the palm.

  • Gastroparesis — A form of nerve damage that affects the stomach and intestines.

  • Glaucoma — an increase in the internal pressure in the eye which can lead to blindness.

  • Hypertension — High blood pressure

  • Intermittent claudication — Pain in the muscles of the leg that occurs off and on, usually while walking or exercising, and results in lameness

  • Macrosomia — Abnormally large babies

  • Macular oedema — A swelling (edema) in the macula, an area near the center of the retina of the eye that is responsible for fine or reading vision

  • Myelopathy — Spinal cord damage found in some people with diabetes.

  • Nephropathy — Disease of the kidneys caused by damage to the small blood vessels or to the units in the kidneys that clean the blood

  • Neuropathy — Nerve damage, usually affecting the feet and legs; causing pain, numbness, or a tingling feeling

  • Preeclampsia — A condition that some women with diabetes have during the late stages of pregnancy.

  • Retinopathy — damage to the retina caused by growth of very small blood vessels.

  • Stiff hand syndrome — Thickening of the skin of the palm that results in loss of ability to hold hand straight. This condition occurs only in people with diabetes.

  • Stroke — an interruption in the blood supply to the brain.

  • Thrush — An infection of the mouth usually caused by high levels of glucose in mouth
  • fluids.
  • Ulcers — People with diabetes may get ulcers from minor scrapes on the feet or legs and cuts that heal slowly.

Bookmark and Share

Featured Books
Trick and Treat
Trick and Treat cover
A great book that shatters so many of the nutritional fantasies and fads of the last twenty years. Read it and prolong your life.
Clarissa Dickson Wright
"NH&WL may be the best non-technical book on diet ever written"
Joel Kauffman, PhD, Professor Emeritus, University of the Sciences, Philadelphia, PA

Last updated 23 January 2009

Disclaimer: The Diabetes Diet website should be used to support rather than replace medical advice advocated by physicians.

Valid XHTML 1.0 Transitional

A Second Opinions Publication.
? second-opinions.co.uk 2007-2009
Copyright information