Skip to content

Diabetes Health Center

Font Size
A
A
A

How to Prevent Diabetes Complications

If you have diabetes, you spend a lot of time keeping it under control. That’s good because it can cause a lot of complications that can affect nearly every organ in your body.Learn what you can do to prevent these problems.

Heart Disease

This is one of the most common diabetes complications. In office visits, your doctor may do tests that screen for heart disease to help you prevent serious problems. At every visit, he’ll check your blood pressure. He’ll probably test your blood for cholesterol level and triglycerides at your first visit. And he should do an EKG as part of a complete medical record. Learn more about your risks for heart disease. Does it run in your family? Do you smoke? Make a prevention plan that includes weight loss, regular exercise, and stress management, as well as keeping your blood pressure, cholesterol, and triglycerides at normal levels.

For more detail, see Heart Disease and Diabetes.

Stroke

Symptoms of a stroke include:

  • Sudden weakness on one side of the face or body
  • Numbness in the face, arm, or leg
  • Trouble speaking
  • Trouble seeing
  • Dizziness

If you have any of these, see a doctor immediately. He may refer you to a neurologist or other stroke specialist.

For more detail, see Stroke and Diabetes.

Kidney Disease (Diabetic Nephropathy)

If you have diabetes, get your urine tested every year to look for kidney disease. Your doctor should do a creatinine blood test to check how these organs are working. He’ll also check your blood pressure regularly. It's key to slowing this disease. Your reading should be less than 130/80.

For more detail, see Diabetic Nephropathy.

Nerve Damage (Diabetic Neuropathy)

Over time, diabetes can cause nerve damage. You might feel numbness, burning, or pain in your hands, feet, or legs. If your skin loses feeling, you may not notice small wounds that could grow to become bigger ones. Check these parts of your body daily for redness, calluses, cracks, or other damage. If you notice any of these symptoms, tell your doctor right away.

For more detail, see Diabetic Neuropathy.

1 | 2 | 3

Is This Normal? Get the Facts Fast!

Check Your Blood Sugar Level Now
What type of diabetes do you have?
Your gender:

Get the latest Diabetes newsletter delivered to your inbox!


or
Answer:
Low
0-69
Normal
70-130
High
131+

Your level is currently

If the level is below 70 or 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.

Did You Know Your Lifestyle Choices
Affect Your Blood Sugar?

Use the Blood Glucose Tracker to monitor
how well you manage your blood sugar over time.

Get Started

This tool is not intended for women who are pregnant.

Start Over

Step:  of 

Today on WebMD

Diabetic tools
Symptoms, diagnosis, treatment, and more.
woman flexing muscles
10 strength training exercises.
 
Blood sugar test
12 practical tips.
Tom Hanks
Stars living with type 1 or type 2.
 
kenneth fujioka, md
Video
Can Vinegar Treat Diabetes
Article
 
Middle aged person
Tool
Home Healthcare
Video
 

Prediabetes How to Prevent Type 2 Diabetes
Article
type 2 diabetes
Slideshow
 
food fitness planner
Tool
feet
Slideshow