If blood sugar levels are often above a target range for a long period
of time, a person is at risk for developing
diabetes complications. Children with diabetes seem to
be protected from having complications until they become adolescents; then
their risk increases.
Whether complications develop also may be affected by:
Does the light touch of a bed sheet make your feet burn? Does your heart sometimes race when you’re resting? Do you have problems with sexual arousal?
As different as these symptoms are, they can all have the same cause: diabetic nerve damage, also known as diabetic neuropathy. About half of people with diabetes develop nerve damage. The two most common forms are:
peripheral neuropathy, which affects the nerves that serve the farthest reaches of the body, such as the legs and hands;
Keeping blood sugar at a target range lowers the risk of developing
complications. Children with type 2 diabetes have the same goals recommended
People with diabetes are at risk for blood vessel and nerve damage.
They can develop one or several complications.
Blood vessel damage
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
Blockages in the heart or brain increase the
risk of heart attack or stroke. When the large blood vessels in the legs are
affected (peripheral arterial disease), blood circulation to the legs and feet
is reduced, causing changes in skin color, decreased sensation, poor wound healing, and leg
Diabetic retinopathy refers to complications affecting
diabetic nephropathy affects the kidneys.
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.
Diabetic autonomic neuropathy occurs when
nerves that control involuntary functions-such as those of the heart, digestive
tract, urinary tract, and sex organs-have been damaged.
peripheral neuropathy occurs when the nerves that detect sensation (including
pain and position) become damaged. Peripheral neuropathy usually affects longer nerves first, for example, the nerves going to the legs and feet.
Primary Medical Reviewer
John Pope, MD - Pediatrics
Specialist Medical Reviewer
Stephen LaFranchi, MD - Pediatrics, Pediatric Endocrinology
July 16, 2010
WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise
July 16, 2010
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor.
Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this
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Your level is currently
If the level is below 70 and you are experiencing symptoms such as shaking, sweating or difficulty thinking, you will need to raise the number immediately. A quick solution is to eat a few pieces of hard candy or 1 tablespoon of sugar or honey. Recheck your numbers again in 15 minutes to see if the number has gone up. If not, repeat the steps above or call your doctor.
People who experience hypoglycemia several times in a week should call their health care provider. It's important to monitor your levels each day so you can make sure your numbers are within the range. If you are pregnant always consult with your health care provider.
Congratulations on taking steps to manage your health.
However, it's important to continue to track your numbers so that you can make lifestyle changes if needed. If you are pregnant always consult with your physician.
Your level is high if this reading was taken before eating. Aim for 70-130 before meals and less than 180 two hours after meals.
Even if your number is high, it's not too late for you to take control of your health and lower your blood sugar.
One of the first steps is to monitor your levels each day. If you are pregnant always consult with your physician.
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