Complications of diabetes can be related to unhealthy lipid levels, damage to blood vessels (vascular and microvascular), organ damage such as to the kidneys (diabetic nephropathy), and nerve damage (diabetic neuropathy).
It is important for diabetics to work closely with their health practitioners and a diabetes educator, to have regular check-ups (several times a year) that include monitoring tests such as urinary albumin (microalbumin) and A1c, and to get immediate attention for the complications listed above. Others may include:
- Wound infections, especially on the feet; they can be slow to heal and, if not addressed promptly, may eventually lead to an amputation. Aggressive and specialized measures are often necessary, and the affected person may need to consult with a diabetic wound specialist, a health practitioner trained in working with the altered healing of diabetics.
- Diabetic retinopathy, which can lead to eye damage, a detached retina, and blindness; laser surgery can often be used to reattach the retina.
- Urinary tract infections, which can be frequent and resistant to antibiotic treatment; delayed or inadequate treatment can lead to or exacerbate kidney damage.