The complications of diabetes
Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes are different diseases in cause, in effect and in treatment but the same long-term complications can arise in both types of the condition. The complications affect:
Diabetes can affect the blood vessels at the back of the eye [retinopathy] and this can lead to visual impairment or blindness. Diabetes is the leading cause of blindness in the working population.
The heart and vascular system
Diabetes can affect the heart and the vascular system making people more susceptible to heart disease and stroke. It can also cause blood clots in the vessels in the legs which may result in amputation. Amputations are 50-80 times higher in people with diabetes than the general population.
Diabetes can affect the kidneys resulting in damage or kidney failure [nephropathy].
Diabetes may cause nerve damage [neuropathy]. The most common form of nerve damage is in the extremities leading to pain or loss of sensation in the feet and ulceration of the legs. Again this can lead to amputation