Avoid complications

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You can prevent diabetes-related complications, which are often caused by blood-sugar levels that have been too high for a long period of time.

The first step in prevention is to learn about the complications and what causes them. Select any of the topics below to learn more.
Short-term diabetes complications include very high blood sugar (hyperglycemia) and very low blood sugar (hypoglycemia).

Long-term diabetes complications include:

chronic kidney (renal) failure/dialysis
eye problems and blindness
frequent infections
heart disease and stroke
neuropathy (damage to the nerves)
foot problems and amputations
tooth and gum problems

Most people with diabetes die from heart attacks and strokes, which are preventable. If you are 55 or older and have type 2 diabetes, talk with your doctor about medications called ace inhibitors and statins that can prevent heart attacks and strokes, and if these medications are right for you.  

Read more about living with complications from type 1 and type 2 diabetes.

Reviewed by: Joshua May, MD, February 2019

© 2019 Kaiser Permanente

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