Complications of Diabetes

Uncontrolled diabetes can lead to a number of short and long-term health complications, including hypoglycemia, heart disease, nerve damage and amputation, and vision problems. The majority of these diabetes-related conditions occur as a result of uncontrolled blood glucose levels,particularly elevated blood sugar over a prolonged period of time. It is essential that diabetics are aware of the complications that can occur as a result of diabetes to ensure that the first symptoms of any possible illness are spotted before they develop. In this section, you'll find information on all of the diseases, illnesses and disorders that are linked to diabetes, including the different causes, symptoms and treatments for each condition.

Risk Factors of Diabetes

Risk Factors for Type 1 Diabetes

With type 1 diabetes, which starts in childhood, the pancreas stops producing insulin. Insulin is a hormone your body needs to be able to use the energy -- glucose -- found in food. The primary risk factor for type 1 diabetes is a family history of this lifelong, chronic disease.

• Genetics and family history. Having family members with diabetes is a major risk factor. The American Diabetes Association recommends that anyone with a first-degree relative with type 1 diabetes -- a mother, father, sister, or brother -- should get screened for diabetes. A simple blood test can diagnose type 1 diabetes.

• Diseases of the pancreas. Injury or diseases of the pancreas can inhibit its ability to produce insulin and lead to type 1 diabetes.

• Infection or illness. A range of relatively rare infections and illnesses can damage the pancreas and cause type 1 diabetes.

Risk Factors for Type 2 Diabetes

Type 2 diabetes occurs when the body can't use the insulin that's produced, a condition called insulin resistance. Though it typically starts in adulthood, type 2 diabetes can begin anytime in life. Because of the current epidemic of obesity among U.S. children, type 2 diabetes is increasingly found in teenagers.

Here are the risk factors for developing type 2 diabetes.

• Obesity or being overweight. Diabetes has long been linked to obesity and being overweight. Research at the Harvard School of Public Health showed that the single best predictor of type 2 diabetes is being obese or overweight.

Diabetic Foot

A diabetic foot is a foot that exhibits any pathology that results directly from diabetes mellitus or any long-term (or "chronic") complication of diabetes mellitus.[1] Presence of several characteristic diabetic foot pathologies is called diabetic foot syndrome. These are thus umbrella terms. The most serious foot complications in diabetes are. 1) Ulceration – Research estimates that the lifetime incidence of foot ulcers within the diabetic community is around 15% and may become as high as 25%.2) Infection 3) Neuropathic osteoarthropathy.