How does type 1 diabetes affect the body?

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Over the long term, serious complications can develop as a result of type 1 diabetes. Type 1 diabetes is related to cardiovascular disease, nerve damage, stroke, blindness and kidney failure. Poor circulation can also result in foot problems that, if left untreated, could leave to amputation of the foot or leg. Uncontrolled diabetes can also lead to pregnancy complications and birth defects.

The risk of these complications can be considerably reduced with early diagnosis and by consistently maintaining proper blood sugar levels.

Type 1 diabetes can affect other illnesses if blood sugar levels are not well controlled. High levels of sugar in the blood affects blood vessels, which can lead to complications, including the following:

  • gradual changes in the retina, which may cause loss of vision
  • damage to the kidneys, which may eventually lead to dialysis treatments
  • injuries to nerves, which may cause pain and loss of feeling
  • high blood pressure, which increases the risk of heart attack and stroke
  • poor blood flow to extremities, which may lead to infections

Continue Learning about Diabetes Complications

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.