Health complications caused by type 1 diabetes


A  diabetes specialist, an endocrinologist or for that matter any medical practitioner will tell you that diabetes is a disorder where the pancreas does not produce insulin to burn up the sugars accumulated in the blood.  This causes impairment to the vital oxygen-carrying blood vessels. Lack of blood and oxygen causes numerous complications in the human body. There are 3(three) classifications of diabetes depending on the origin and symptoms – Diabetes type 1, Diabetes Type II and gestational diabetes which is prevalent during pregnancy. Diabetes type 1 is more complicated and serious requiring constant and detailed monitoring because, as an inherited disease, it strikes at an early age around 12 years. Affecting vital organs at such an early age is very complicated and leads to progressive and debilitating consequences early in life.

Short term effects of diabetes type 1


It is when blood sugar levels go much lower than the normal blood sugar levels, which is as bad as high blood sugar levels. Hypoglycaemia (low blood sugar levels) symptoms are rapid heartbeat with or without sweating, headache, confusion and anxiety, numbness in extremities, hypersomnia or sleepiness, seizures or loss of consciousness. It is important to get timely diabetes treatment.


It is the occurrence of ketones in the blood when normal sugar levels go extremely high. Effects of high ketone levels are hyperventilation, dehydration, and feeling of nausea and can lead to swelling in the brain, coma which can be fatal.  Symptoms of ketoacidosis are extreme thirst and urination, fatigue, fruity smell on breath, stomach pain, and weakness.

Hormone imbalance

Hormonal imbalances can cause low or high blood sugar levels. This can be addressed by diabetes treatment prescribed by an endocrinologist.

Long term effects of diabetes type 1

If undiagnosed, diabetes type 1 symptoms can have long term or irreversible effects.

Diabetic Retinopathy

From vision impairment to complete vision loss is an effect of type 1 diabetes. This is a very debilitating factor which affects the future and entire life especially in a young person. Early blood sugar tests and diabetes treatment can prevent this problem.

Diabetic nephropathy

Kidneys work as body filters for ejecting toxins and waste.  High blood sugar levels can cause the kidneys to fail which is irreversible and a fatal condition. It is easy to keep the kidneys in working condition with diabetes treatment.

Diabetic neuropathy

Neuropathy is a disorder of the nervous system and is a side effect of diabetes type 1. It starts off as tingling or loss of sensation in the fingers, toes, hands, legs. This phase is known as peripheral neuritis. Autonomic neuropathy causes body functions like bladder control, digestion, circulation and reproduction issues impairment or failure. Early assessment and diabetes treatment can avoid or reduce the risk.

Cardiovascular diseases

High blood sugar levels cause the formation of plaque and accumulation of cholesterol causing blood circulation issues.  Blockages and clots can form anywhere in the blood vessels and cause strokes or heart attacks. A diet and exercise regimen along with diabetes treatment is a good way of maintaining heart health.

With progress in medical technology, the risks have certainly reduced and treatment has advanced.  It is easy to monitor sugar levels from home and stay connected to the diabetes specialist or endocrinologist through apps.  An effective exercise and diet plan and diabetes treatment can help to control diabetes – Type I or II

Be aware of your body right from a young age, especially if there is a family member with diabetes.