Complications of Diabetes

With good control, discipline and a healthy lifestyle, the complications of diabetes can easily be minimized or even completely prevented. Taking care of your body is your main responsibility, and it begins with awareness of your illness.

Understanding what diabetes is, how it is treated and what changes it requires in the way of life may be difficult at the first stage. Learning all the information presented is not an easy task, but it is important to get as much accurate information as possible. This first step enables many people with diabetes to successfully live a long and healthy life, subject to continuous monitoring of the disease.

Improper management of blood sugar levels over a long period of time can lead to problems with organs, and in this case serious complications can occur. Since diabetes directly affects the blood vessels and nerves, no part of the body is protected from deterioration and even complete failure.Short-term and late complications of diabetes mellitus depend on improper treatment affecting your body, and how poorly you regulate blood sugar levels over a long period of time. To make sure that you minimize the likely complications of diabetes, check out the information below.

Short-term complications of diabetes are easier to notice than long-term ones, as the body gives warning signals in sufficient numbers to report a problem. Although there is no cure for diabetes, this condition can be managed, especially if you treat your body with due care. Thinking about the complications that your disease can lead to may not be entirely pleasant, but when you are aware of the risks, they are easier to avoid.

Short-term complications of diabetes mellitus occur as a result of too high or too low blood sugar (glucose) levels. By keeping the blood sugar level in the optimal range, you can avoid such short-term complications:


When your blood sugar level is too low (below 4 mmol / l / 72 mg / dl ), your body does not receive enough energy for normal functioning. There may be a number of reasons for this condition, for example:

  • Injecting too much insulin;
  • Skipping meals;
  • Intense load;
  • Drinking too much alcohol;
  • Use of illegal drugs.

Symptoms of hypoglycemia may develop quickly, so it is important to promptly react to such symptoms:

  • Dizziness
  • Sweating
  • Headache
  • Hunger
  • Weakness
  • Blurry vision
  • Dizziness
  • Mood change

Although it becomes easier to notice the signs and symptoms of hypoglycemia over time, there may be a development of impaired sensitivity to hypoglycemia, in which the patient’s ability to recognize a decrease in blood sugar levels decreases.

There are many ways to relieve hypoglycemia – the choice of a particular method depends on how severe the attack is. The light form can be controlled by consuming 15 g of carbohydrates, for example, in the form of carbonated beverages, sweets or fruit juice.


A simple way to explain what hyperglycemia is is to label it as the opposite of hypoglycemia and occur when the blood sugar level is too high. According to the definition of the World Health Organization, the danger is represented by the following indicators 1 :

  • Blood glucose level is above 7.0mmol / L (126 mg / dL) on an empty stomach
  • Blood glucose level is higher than 11.0mmol / l (200mg / dl) 2 hours after meals

Hyperglycemia is a short-term complication of diabetes. However, persistently high blood sugar levels can be a major risk factor contributing to the development of long-term complications in diabetic patients.

Factors that contribute to the growth of blood sugar levels:

  • Introducing an insufficient amount of insulin;
  • Missing a dose of insulin or taking an antidiabetic drug;
  • Eating too much carbohydrates;
  • Exercise, the intensity of which is less than planned;
  • Stress;
  • Infection in the body;
  • Alcohol consumption.

Symptoms of hyperglycemia can develop quite quickly, so you are required to immediately respond to the slightest manifestation of them. The higher the blood sugar level and the longer it is maintained, the more dangerous the condition can be.

Symptoms associated with hyperglycemia include:

  • Excessive thirst;
  • Increased urination;
  • Headache;
  • Fatigue;
  • Blurred vision.

Hyperglycemia can cause discomfort and anxiety, but most importantly, it should be avoided. If left untreated, this short-term complication can cause future complications and even lead to more serious illness –   diabetic ketoacidosis . On the page “Treatment of hyperglycemia”   There is information that will help you figure out what to do in case of a sharp rise in blood sugar levels.

Diabetic ketoacidosis

Patients with both type 1 and type 2 diabetes are at risk of developing diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) – this is perhaps the most dangerous short-term complication of diabetes. This condition can be life threatening, therefore it requires urgent action.

When the blood sugar level is too high, the body burns fat, which is an alternative source of energy, resulting in the formation of ketone bodies. It is the formation of ketone bodies in the bloodstream that can cause DKA and, as a result, vomiting, dehydration and even coma.

The main factors leading to DSA include:

  • The introduction of an insufficient amount of insulin;
  • Skipping a dose of insulin;
  • Eating too much carbohydrates;
  • Exercise, the intensity of which is less than planned;
  • Stress;
  • Infection in the body;
  • Excessive drinking;
  • Use of illegal drugs.

Symptoms DKA, as well as symptoms of hypo – and hyperglycemia, can develop quickly – within 24 hours. These include:

  • The presence of ketone bodies in the blood / urine;
  • Vomiting;
  • Abdominal pain;
  • Respiratory change;
  • Cardiopalmus;
  • Dehydration;
  • Unpleasant smell from the mouth;
  • Consciousness and disorientation;
  • Fainting;
  • To whom.

How to prevent short-term complications

In fact, if the blood sugar level is too high or too low, you will experience these symptoms – in this way, your body asks for help. The best thing you can do for him and your health is not to wait for signs and symptoms to appear.

You can act in advance by following these rules:

  • Check your blood sugar regularly;
  • Do not skip doses of insulin;
  • Do not skip meals;
  • Stick to a balanced diet;
  • Exercise regularly;
  • If necessary, check for ketone bodies.

Talk to your doctor about the dosage of insulin to make sure that they meet the current needs of your body.

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