The 4 Most Common Complications of Diabetes

Diabetes is a disease that affects the blood, but its effects are not limited to blood-related issues like hypoglycemia (low blood sugar). Your blood nourishes every cell of your body, and diabetes can disrupt the proper functioning of virtually every organ in the body.

Here are the four most common complications associated with diabetes:

1. Heart disease

A diabetic has twice a non-diabetic’s likelihood of dying of heart disease, including stroke. This is because the high blood sugar levels associated with diabetes damage blood vessels and nerves, including the blood vessels of the heart and the nerves that control it. The longer person has diabetes — particularly out-of-control diabetes — the higher their risk of heart disease.

2. Foot problems

Diabetes reduces circulation. Since proper blood supply to a wound is required for healing, reduced circulation means that wounds and infections take longer to heal. This is especially true in the feet, which are the farthest extremities, and diabetes is the leading cause of lower limb amputation.  Diabetics must always be aware of wounds, particularly foot wounds, since the impaired blood supply can mean that these wound and infections will not heal, and will lead instead to gangrene.

3. Kidney disease

Diabetes is the foremost cause of kidney disease. Kidney disease affects one-quarter  of adult diabetics, and diabetes leads to more than half of all cases of kidney failure in the US.

4. Eye problems

If diabetes is out of control, and blood sugar levels are too high, it can lead to swelling in the eyes, which will cause blurred vision. Although this issue will resolve on its own when blood sugar levels return to normal, if levels remain high, it can cause more serious, long-term complications, such as glaucoma, cataracts, and diabetic retinopathy. Diabetic retinopathy is the most common cause of vision loss in diabetics.

Keeping diabetes well-controlled greatly reduces the risk of these complications.

Beacon of LIFE, a government-approved PACE program in Oceanport, NJ, was created to provide seniors, their family, caregivers and professional health care providers the flexibility to meet their health care needs while continuing to live in their community.

Beacon of LIFE maintains an interdisciplinary team of professionals who give each client the coordinated care they need. This is especially important when dealing with the varied needs of diabetics. Moreover, our staff specializes in working with older people, and work with each client and their family to develop the most effective plan of care.

We provide a variety of services, including primary care, hospital care, medical specialty services, prescription drugs, nursing home care, emergency services, home care, physical therapy, occupational therapy, adult day care, recreational therapy, meals, dentistry, nutritional counseling, social services, laboratory / X-ray services, social work counseling, and transportation.

Our care and services allow people who would otherwise need to live in a nursing home to live where they want — in their own communities, in their own homes.


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