Why is diabetes dangerous?

Thank you for this question. Diabetes, when left unmanaged, is a disease that can affect a person in many ways, physically and mentally. Diabetes can lead to, among other things, heart disease, renal disease, blindness, and changes in mood/affect.

The key to good management of diabetes is controlling of blood glucose levels through prescribed medications, diet, and exercise. Most people diagnosed with diabetes can eat a "normal" diet of almost everything, in proportion.

The other issue with diabetes that must be tackled in this country is the increasing amount of obese children and adults. Obesity leads to Type 2 Diabetes and until we learn to control our diet and to exercise properly the numbers of diagnosed diabetics will continue to rise. We are obligated to help make our population healthy so they can live long, happy, and productive lives.

William Lee Dubois
Endocrinology Diabetes & Metabolism

One could be forgiven for thinking that diabetes is dangerous. After all, in the media we are assaulted with a barrage of statistics about blindness, amputations, kidney failure, heat attacks, and strokes.

Sometimes you’ll hear that diabetes is the number 2 cause of death in our country.

True. But not true at the same time. It is uncontrolled diabetes that causes untold misery. If your diabetes is kept in control, which simply means keeping your blood sugar at a reasonable level, you are very safe from all of that scary stuff.

I think the best way to picture blood sugar is to think of it as a mild battery acid. Would you want battery acid in your blood stream? Heck no! Well, sugar is corrosive. It is like battery acid.

Keep your sugar down, keep your eyes.

Keep your sugar down, keep your toes.

Keep your sugar down, keep your kidneys.

Keep your sugar down, keep your life.

Toby Smithson
Nutrition & Dietetics

Diabetes is dangerous because of all the "complications" that can occur. For instance, diabetes is the leading cause of kidney failure, eventually requiring dialysis or a transplant. Diabetes increases ones risk for heart attack or stroke by 2 to 4 times. Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death among people with both Type 1 and 2 diabetes. Diabetic retinopathy is the leading cause of blindness among nonelderly, and unmanageable infections (particularly of the lower extremities) are a leading cause of nontraumatic amputation.

Fortunately, diabetes can be managed. Keeping your blood sugar levels as close to normal range as possible with a combination of medication, diet and exercise can greatly reduce the risk for these terrible outcomes. As a bonus, an effective diabetes management lifestyle reduces risks for heart disease too.


Diabetes is a serious, sometimes life-threatening disease. Over time it can affect every body part and may cause kidney damage, nerve damage, amputations and blindness. It also raises your risks for heart and blood vessel disease and stroke. In fact, at least 65% of people with diabetes die from heart disease or stroke, according to the National Institutes of Health. Pregnant women with diabetes have a higher risk of delivering babies with birth defects than women who don't have diabetes. The good news is that diabetes can be managed and all these risks can be reduced. Talk to your doctor for more information about diabetes.
Dr. Michael Roizen, MD
Internal Medicine
As type 2 diabetes continues to spread it is important to do all you can to fight it.

If you've got it, reverse it. Type 2 diabetes is a disease you can almost always kick to the curb if you manage it like a pro. If you've got prediabetes, treat it as a warning and adopt a healthier lifestyle. The number one key to preventing diabetes is to lose even a little weight, especially by avoiding added sugars and saturated fats.

Diabetes doesn't just do in your body (i.e., eyes, heart, kidneys), it also attacks your brain. It restricts circulation and creates so much damaging inflammation that new studies show your brain shrinks by 15%. The most affected areas are your ability to talk, make decisions, handle tasks and remember what you just said.

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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.