If not controlled, diabetes can put you at risk for a host of complications that can affect nearly every organ in the body. They include:
• The heart and blood vessels
• The eyes
• The kidneys
• The nerves
• The gums and teeth
• Heart Disease, Blood Vessel Disease, and Diabetes
Heart disease and blood vessel disease are the biggest complications that people with uncontrolled diabetes face. Approximately 65% of death from diabetes is due to heart disease and stroke. Diabetes can also cause poor blood flow in the legs and feet (peripheral artery disease).
Many studies show that controlling diabetes can prevent or stop the progression of heart and blood vessel disease.
Blood vessel damage or nerve damage (see below) may also lead to foot problems that can lead to amputations. More than 60% of leg and foot amputations not related to an injury are due to diabetes.
Diabetes and the Eyes
Diabetes is the leading cause of blindness in the U.S. It can cause a number of eye problems, some of which can lead to blindness if not addressed. The eye disorders include:
• Diabetic retinopathy
Studies show that regular eye exams and timely treatment of diabetes-related eye problems could prevent up to 90% of diabetes-related blindness.