People with diabetes can develop complications over time. Problems are more likely to occur if your blood sugar is often out of your target range. Over time, high blood sugar levels can damage blood vessels. This can lead to health problems (complications). Keeping your blood sugar in your target ranges can help prevent or delay complications.

Why Manage Diabetes?

You can take an active role in your health by managing diabetes. It can help you feel better, stay healthy, and limit future health problems. You can manage diabetes by monitoring your blood sugar, eating healthy, exercising, and taking medication if directed. 

Complications to Avoid

Managing diabetes can help you avoid these and other complications:

  • Eye problems, including damage to the blood vessels in the eyes (retinopathy), pressure in the eye (glaucoma), and clouding of the eye’s lens (a cataract)

  • Tooth and gum problems (periodontal disease), causing loss of teeth and bone

  • Blood vessel (vascular) disease leading to circulation problems, heart attack, or stroke

  • Problems with sexual function

  • Kidney disease (nephropathy)

  • Nerve problems (neuropathy), causing pain or loss of feeling in your feet and other parts of your body

  • High blood pressure (hypertension), putting strain on your heart and blood vessels

  • Serious infections, possibly leading to loss of toes, feet, or limbs

Medical Reviewer: Chambers, Jeanette K, PhD, RN, CS; DeLeuw, Bonnie, RN, BSN, CDE Last Annual Review Date: 2012-04-02 Copyright: © 2000-2012 The StayWell Company, 780 Township Line Road, Yardley, PA 19067. All rights reserved. This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your healthcare professional's instructions.

Your Guide to Diabetes