One of the most commonly used terms in the world of diabetes is complications, which refers to health conditions that can develop as a direct result of having diabetes.

These diabetes related diseases and disorders range from those which can develop quickly into short term complications which then if not controlled over a number of years develop into long term complications.

Most people with diabetes will develop complications to some extent but it’s not a foregone conclusion. With good blood glucose control, diabetic complications may be avoided, delayed or limited to being less severe.

Short term complications

The short term complications of diabetes are dangerous health conditions which can develop quickly as a result of blood glucose levels that are either too low or too high.

The main short term complications are:

  • Hypoglycemia
  • Ketoacidosis
  • Hyperosmolar Hyperglycemic State (HHS)

Long term complications

Everyone with any form of diabetes has a risk of developing serious long term complications. Long term complications typically develop after years or decades of having higher than normal blood glucose levels.

The most common long term complications are:

  • Foot infection and amputation
  • Heart disease
  • Retinopathy (eye disease)
  • Nephropathy (kidney disease)
  • Neuropathy (nerve damage)

However, there are other complications caused by long term, high blood glucose levels.