Skip to content

Diabetes Health Center

Font Size

Symptoms of Diabetes Complications

Symptoms of diabetes complications can develop when you have prediabetes, diabetes that has not been diagnosed early, and even diabetes that has been treated.

Complications of diabetes and symptoms of serious problems

Complication of diabetes


Symptoms of consequences

Small blood vessel (microvascular) diseases
Weakening of small blood vessels called capillaries causes blood to leak from the vessel.

Eyes: Damage to the retina, the part of the eye that captures images

  • Impaired vision and, in severe cases, blindness

Kidneys: Impaired functioning of the kidneys, and, in severe cases, kidney failure

  • Fatigue
  • Muscle cramping
  • Inability to think clearly
  • Swelling from retention of body fluids

Nerves: Decreased sensation, especially common in the feet and hands; weakness; abnormal functioning of some organ systems

Large blood vessel (macrovascular) disease
Increased plaque in large blood vessels throughout the body can cause heart attacks, strokes, and compromised circulation.

Heart disease: Problems with the circulatory system that weaken the heart

Strokes: Blood supply to the brain is cut off, usually caused by a blood clot in an artery.

  • Impaired speech
  • Inability to see
  • Inability to walk
  • Paralysis on one side of the body, numbness, or tingling

Peripheral arterial disease: Blood has trouble reaching the extremities, such as the hands and feet.

  • Pain in the calves when walking
  • Coolness of the lower extremities
  • Loss of hair on the legs
  • Ulcers that do not heal promptly, on the legs
Impaired immune system functioning

Frequent infections, sometimes with unusual types of bacteria and fungus

  • Symptoms associated with a variety of infectious diseases, including fever, abscesses, and redness

ByHealthwise Staff
Primary Medical ReviewerE. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine
Specialist Medical ReviewerDavid C.W. Lau, MD, PhD, FRCPC - Endocrinology

Current as ofNovember 14, 2014

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: November 14, 2014
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.

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
Can Vinegar Treat Diabetes
Middle aged person
Home Healthcare

Prediabetes How to Prevent Type 2 Diabetes
type 2 diabetes
food fitness planner