Keeping diabetes complications under control


Diabetes is a condition wherein the level of sugar in the blood exceeds normal levels because the body is unable to keep it within normal levels. So what’s the big deal? Why all the fuss about sugar in the blood?

The problem with diabetes is that the excess sugar in the blood can damage the tiny blood vessels of various organs of the body. This causes poor blood flow to these organs, which leads to various complications. The most common complications of diabetes are kidney disease, foot problems (e.g., non-healing wounds), vision problems, heart disease and stroke.1

older man in a wheelchair with a woman comforting him



feet wounds that do not heal are a diabetes complication



Doctor checks mans eyes. Vision problems can stem from diabetes


Focus on heart disease and stroke


How diabetes causes heart disease and stroke is not yet completely clear. What is clear, though, is that diabetes increases the likelihood of getting heart disease and stroke, both by two to four times. We also know that the majority of people with diabetes have high blood pressure (hypertension) and/or high blood cholesterol – both of these also increase the risk of heart attack and stroke. Therefore, taking care of your heart should be one of your priorities when you have diabetes.

To know your risk of heart disease we recommend taking our ASCVD Risk Calculator: Framingham Score Test, a test that estimates a patient’s risk of developing Coronary Heart Disease within a 10-year time period of a person who is currently not yet diagnosed with a particular heart disease.



Freedom from diabetes complications


If you have diabetes, there are many measures you can take to minimize your risk of diabetes complications.

1. Keep your blood sugar in check. This means:

2. Taking care of your feet. This means:

3. Avoid smoking.

4. See your eye doctor every year for regular check-ups.

5. Keep your blood pressure under control.

6. Eating a low-salt, low-processed, low-fat, high-fiber diet.

7. Talking to your doctor about medicines you may need to avoid heart attacks, stroke and other complications of diabetes.


In summary, diabetes may cause serious complications, especially heart attack and stroke, if left unchecked. By minding your diabetes, living a healthy lifestyle, and partnering with your doctor to take measures to avoid diabetes complications, one can live free from worry.2




 1Deshpande AD, et al. Phys Ther 2008;88(11):1254–1264.2018.
 2Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Put the Brakes on Diabetes Complications.
  Available at: Accessed 18 Dec 2019.