If remained untreated, diabetes can damage the heart, blood vessels, eyes, kidneys, and nerves. The severity of such damage can lead to serious complication:
- Diabetes increases the risk of heart disease and stroke.
- Combined with reduced blood flow, neuropathy (nerve damage) in the feet increases the chance of foot ulcers, infection and eventual need for limb amputation.
- Diabetic retinopathy can cause blindness, and occurs as a result of long-term accumulated damage to the small blood vessels in the retina.
- Diabetes is among the leading causes of kidney failure.