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Diabetes Complications

Complications in the Feet

Diabetes can also cause problems with the feet. In fact, almost 30 percent of people with diabetes aged 40 years or older have impaired sensation in the feet (that is, at least one area that lacks feeling).
The most common complications of diabetes seen in the feet include:
  • Nerve damage, also known as diabetic neuropathy
  • Poor blood flow, known as peripheral vascular disease
  • Infections.
All of these foot problems can increase the risk for a foot ulcer, which is a potential serious diabetes complication. Diabetic foot ulcers are at high risk of becoming infected, and sometimes they cannot be healed. Non-healing foot ulcers are a frequent cause of amputation in people with diabetes. Patients with foot ulcers may use wound dressings, skin substitutes, or other treatments to protect and heal their skin.
(Click Diabetic Feet or Diabetic Neuropathy for more information.)

Complications in the Kidneys

Each year in the United States, nearly 100,000 people are diagnosed with kidney failure, a serious diabetes complication in which the kidneys fail to rid the body of wastes. Kidney failure is the final stage of a slow deterioration of the kidneys, a process known as nephropathy. Diabetes is the most common cause of kidney failure. People with kidney failure must either have dialysis treatment (to substitute for some of the filtering functions of the kidneys) or receive a kidney transplant.
High blood pressure, or hypertension, is a major factor in the development of kidney problems in people with diabetes. Both a family history of hypertension and the presence of hypertension appear to increase chances of developing kidney disease. Hypertension also accelerates the progress of kidney disease where it already exists.
(Click Diabetes and Kidney Disease for more information.)
Common Symptoms of Diabetic Neuropathy

Diabetic Complications

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