Complications from Diabetes & How to Overcome or Prevent Them

Complications from Diabetes & How to Overcome or Prevent Them

People with diabetes are at significant risk for other serious health issues that can complicate their condition and compromise their wellbeing. Proper medical care and preventative measures can reduce the risk of complications from diabetes and allow individuals with the condition the opportunity to live healthy, fulfilling lives.

Education is a key factor in healthcare and patients with diabetes need to be cautious in many areas of life to prevent and/or manage potential health complications. Awareness is the first step to proactive behavior, and anyone with diabetes needs to be cognizant of the common problems linked to the condition. Some common complications from diabetes, as outlined by the American Diabetes Association, are listed below.

Foot Complications

Diabetes can cause nerve disease and/or poor circulation both of which are conditions that potentially affect the feet. Some common diabetic complications of the foot are listed below. 

  • loss of sensation.
  • skin changes (dryness, cracking).
  • callouses.
  • foot ulcers.
  • slow wound healing (because of circulation deficiencies).
  • and, amputation. 


If you have diabetes, be alert for changes in your feet and take good care of the skin. Notify your doctor of any concerns and follow medical instructions for care of callouses or ulcers. Refrain from smoking, as this affects the small blood vessels and can contribute to circulation problems. Many people who require amputation of the foot are smokers.

DKA (Ketoacidosis) and/or Ketones

Glucose is an essential nutrient that your body needs to function properly. When glucose levels get too low, the body begins to burn fat for energy. This causes the production of ketones, which may cause a diabetic coma and even death when not controlled.

You can prevent ketoacidosis and/or manage your ketone levels by eating your recommended diabetic diet and monitoring your blood sugar and ketone levels in your urine.

Watch out for the following warning signs that you may be in the danger zone. 

  • dry mouth.
  • excessive thirst.
  • frequent urination.
  • dry skin.
  • pain in the abdomen.
  • vomiting or nausea.
  • difficulty breathing.
  • confusion.
  • or, a fruity odor to your breath.


Kidney Disease

High blood sugars can cause the kidneys to work too hard and cause damage over time. Protect your kidneys by keeping your blood sugars in their target range as much as possible. 

  • follow doctor’s instructions.
  • regularly test your blood sugar.
  • and, eat a healthy diet (as prescribed).


High Blood Pressure

The American Diabetes Association reports that two out of every three people with diabetes suffer from high blood pressure or take medication for hypertension. This is a dangerous complication that can lead to heart disease and stroke if not managed properly. Lifestyle changes and/or medication are often required to control high blood pressure.

To prevent high blood pressure do the following. 

  • maintain a healthy weight.
  • avoid smoking.
  • avoid excessive alcohol consumption.
  • and, manage your salt intake.



According to the American Diabetes Association, people with diabetes are 1.5 times more likely to suffer from stroke. That likelihood increases with certain genetic factors as well as lifestyle implications. Keeping your blood sugar levels, blood pressure, and cholesterol levels in a healthy range can help prevent stroke. Exercise, proper diet, and medication if needed are excellent ways to prevent this complication.


This condition involves the stomach taking too long to empty its contents and causes heartburn, nausea, vomiting, bloating, and other debilitating side effects. Treatment can include medicine, dietary changes, or feeding tube.

To prevent gastroparesis, it is essential to maintain healthy blood sugar levels by following all of your doctor’s instructions and eating a healthy diet.

If Disabled from Complications from Diabetes, You May Qualify for Disability

These are just a few examples of possible diabetic complications. In some cases, complications from diabetes can leave an individual disabled for a long-term or permanent period of time. If you are unable to work because of complications of your disease, you may be eligible for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI).

Rob Levine & Associates can help you determine what options are available to you and assist with the claims process. Call us today at 866-LAW-SSDI to set up a consultation.

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