Complications From Diabetes
If blood sugar levels are often above a target range for a long period of time, a person is at risk for developing diabetes complications. Children with diabetes seem to be protected from having complications until they become adolescents; then their risk increases.
Whether complications develop also may be affected by:
Keeping blood sugar at a target range lowers the risk of developing complications. Children with type 2 diabetes have the same goals recommended for adults.
People with diabetes are at risk for blood vessel and nerve damage. They can develop one or several complications.
Blood vessel damage
High blood sugar causes changes in hormones and cells that can damage blood vessels or nerves, or both. Damaged blood vessels are more likely to build up plaque, increasing the risk of coronary artery disease, heart attack, and stroke. When large blood vessels are affected, complications are called macrovascular disease. Damage to small blood vessels can lead to loss of vision, kidney disease, and nerve problems throughout the body. When small blood vessels are affected, the condition is called microvascular disease.
Nerve damage (diabetic neuropathy) can decrease or completely block the movement of nerve impulses or messages through organs, legs, arms, and other parts of the body. Nerve damage can affect your internal organs and your ability to feel pain when you are injured.
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