Daily monitoring of blood sugar levels is an important part of diabetes care along with frequent monitoring of blood pressure and cholesterol levels to help prevent long-term complications. Monitoring isn’t hard to do. Your diabetes care provider or pharmacist can show you how.
Diabetic eye disease is referred to as retinopathy. It occurs when the blood vessels in the eye become weak and can break, which may lead to blindness.
High blood sugar over long periods of time can cause nerve damage called neuropathy. Symptoms can vary depending on the type of nerve that is affected. Peripheral nerves, which are responsible for body movement and feeling, can also be affected. Typically it is the nerves of the feet that are most often affected. This can cause burning, tingling or numbness. Loss of feeling and decreased blood flow in the feet can put you at risk for a slow healing or infected wounds if the area is injured.
Heart disease is two to three times more likely in people with diabetes. But careful management of the ABC’s of diabetes (blood sugar, blood pressure and cholesterol) can help lower that risk.
Just like with the heart and eyes, diabetes can cause damage to the blood vessels in the kidney called nephropathy. If this happens, the kidneys may not work as well in cleaning out toxins in the body. Some people may even end up needing dialysis as a treatment.
Diabetes can also cause poor oral health such as cavities, gum disease and tooth loss.