Talking about diabetic complications is never fun. But learning about complications and what seems to cause them may help you to work harder to avoid them.
What are "complications," anyway?
Sometimes, when you have a disease, it makes it harder for your body to do some of its other work properly. This can lead to the body developing other problems, which are known as "complications."
What are the most common diabetes complications?
Hypoglycemia, or low blood sugar, is the most basic complication of diabetes. If you have diabetes, you are probably dealing with low blood sugar on a day-to-day basis. But many complications of diabetes are longer-term. That means that the body of a person with diabetes develops them over a long period of time. These longer-term complications can include heart, kidney, eye, and nerve problems.
What causes diabetes complications?
Scientists are still not completely sure why diabetes complications occur, but they seem to be caused by too much sugar, or glucose, in the blood, which then causes problems in the body's cells. For example, over time, having extra glucose in the blood can cause damage to the small blood vessels in organs like your eyes and kidneys, which can cause loss of vision or kidney disease.
Will I get complications?
Not everyone who has diabetes gets diabetes complications. It is very hard to say who will have them and who will not. But usually, most patients with juvenile diabetes do have some type of long-term diabetes complications.
But there is some good news. Keeping good control of your blood sugar levels does seem to help prevent complications from developing. Research has shown that the more diabetes patients are able to control their blood sugar levels, the less they develop complications.
It's important to know that some people just seem to be luckier than others, though, and that even if you do everything right with your meal and exercise routine, and your insulin, you might still one day develop diabetes-related problems. But you should keep in mind that scientists are creating many new treatments that can help with those complications. So you can worry less about complications in your future.
In the meantime, what can you do? Talk with your family and care providers about any worries you have, and take care of yourself. Science shows that it makes a difference.