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A person is at risk for
diabetes complications if blood sugar levels are often above a target range for a long period
Whether complications develop also may be affected by:
Keeping blood sugar at a target range lowers the risk for complications.
People who have diabetes are at risk for blood vessel and nerve damage.
They can develop one or several complications.
High blood sugar causes changes in hormones and cells that can
damage blood vessels or nerves, or both. Damaged blood vessels are more likely
to build up
plaque, increasing the risk of
coronary artery disease,
heart attack, and
stroke. When large blood vessels are affected,
complications are called macrovascular disease. Damage to small blood vessels
can lead to loss of vision, kidney disease, and nerve problems throughout the
body. When small blood vessels are affected, the condition is called
Nerve damage (diabetic neuropathy) can decrease or
completely block the movement of nerve impulses or messages through organs,
legs, arms, and other parts of the body. Nerve damage can affect your internal
organs and your ability to feel pain when you are injured.
August 1, 2012
John Pope, MD - Pediatrics
& Stephen LaFranchi, MD - Pediatrics, Pediatric Endocrinology
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