Diabetes Complications

Over time persistent high blood glucose levels (BGLs) can damage the body’s organs. This damage is referred to as diabetes related complications. While these complications are serious and can be life threatening, with appropriate lifestyle changes and attention to blood glucose control, people with diabetes can substantially reduce the risk of these complications.

What are the risks and complications – Roger Chen – Endocrinologist

Diabetes is the 6th highest cause
of death by disease in Australia

Diabetes and eye disease

Diabetic retinopathy is the leading cause of blindness in Australians aged under 60. The development of retinopathy is strongly related to the length of time diabetes has been present and the degree of blood glucose control. Regular checks and treatment can prevent blindness caused by retinopathy.

Diabetes and kidney disease

Your kidneys help to clean your blood. They remove waste from the blood and pass it out of the body as urine. Over time diabetes can cause damage to the kidneys which causes them to leak. You won’t notice damage to your kidneys until it’s quite advanced so it is important you have the recommended tests to pick up any problems early.



Diabetes and lower limbs

Neuropathy or peripheral nerve disease and vascular damage may lead to leg ulcers and serious foot problems from which lower limb amputation may result. Personal daily foot checks and thorough annual foot examinations conducted by your doctor or podiatrist will help to reduce your risk of lower limb complications. Click here to download information on how to care for your feet.

Diabetes and heart disease/stroke

People with diabetes are at increased risk of heart disease and stroke due to raised blood glucose levels (BGLs), in association with high blood pressure and cholesterol.

For more information

Follow the links below to complications specific to your type of diabetes:

Speak to a member of your diabetes team or contact the Diabetes NSW Customer Care Line on 1300 342 238 and ask to speak to a Diabetes Educator.