The Devastating Side Effects
of Diabetes


The side effects of diabetes are probably not something you think about when you're first diagnosed with juvenile diabetes. In fact, our family wasn't even aware of what they were.

The links below will discuss what the complications of diabetes are, their symptoms, causes and treatment. I'll include, where possible, some tips to help prevent or postpone these diabetes complications.

I've also included a list of daily practices. Make these habits to help you reduce the risk of complications.

I wanted to include this information on my site not to scare you, but to make you aware of diabetes complications. My purpose is to arm you with information to prompt you to take action if necessary. I hope you'll never need it!

When Jake got a diagnosis of juvenile diabetes, we were just so happy to finally know something could be done to help him feel better. We thought if we gave Jake insulin with each meal, we could have this disease under control.

Little did we know how the side effects of diabetes could impact your body!

Although this site focuses on juvenile type 1 diabetes, these diabetes complications can occur in people with other diabetes types.

If diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, you have the constant challenge of trying to mimic what happens automatically in a non-diabetic person. You externally administer insulin to stay within your normal range blood sugar levels.


Learn how your body reacts when you're experiencing high blood sugar symptoms. Then follow the steps to bring the level down.

You must learn to take quick action when you feel low blood sugar symptoms coming on.

If you're a caregiver for an infant, young child or (as in Jake's case) someone with juvenile diabetes who's unable to care for himself, you must take responsibility for spotting these complications and seeking treatment.

Most of the side effects of diabetes take years to develop. The possibility of developing a diabetes complication increases if you were young when diagnosed and you have difficulty controlling your blood sugar levels.


Diabetes Complications


The side effects of diabetes can impact your body from head-to-toe! And I mean that literally!

Some diabetes complications target specific parts of your body, while others are more general.

  • Diabetic ketoacidosis
    I want to start with one very important side effect of diabetes. It's a condition called diabetic ketoacidosis. This occurs when blood sugar levels remain high over a period of time.

    In fact, you may have had ketoacidosis to some degree before you were diagnosed with juvenile diabetes.

    I started with this diabetes complication because it's somewhat different. Most complications take years to develop. Diabetes ketoacidosis can start showing symptoms within 24 hours.

    Before the discovery of type 1 diabetes, anyone (mostly children) experiencing symptoms of juvenile diabetes eventually died as a result of diabetic ketoacidosis!
  • Stroke
    Diabetes can increase your chances of stroke because it puts stress on your blood vessels.
  • Eye Complications
    If you have diabetes, you have a higher chance of vision problems. Learn what to do to preserve your sight.
  • Dental Issues
    Good care of your teeth is important to everyone. Diabetics need to be more conscientious about dental health. Find out why.
  • Hearing problems
    About 1/3 of those with juvenile diabetes will experience hearing problems.
  • Heart Disease
    As with stroke, your heart can be impacted by the extra stress on your blood vessels increasing your chance for heart related problems.
  • Kidney Disease
    Juvenile diabetes can cause your kidneys to fail or not filter out waste products. It's medical term is called diabetic nephropathy.
  • Gastroparesis
    In some cases, your diabetes may slow the digestion of food from your stomach. This causes a condition called gastroparisis.
  • Diabetic Neuropathy
    Type 1 diabetes can cause damage to your nerves called neuropathy. This is one of the most common side effects of diabetes.
  • Foot Complications
    Foot problems are typical complaints if you have juvenile diabetes. We'll discuss the issues and how you can protect your feet.
  • Skin Conditions
    Your diabetes can make you prone to skin conditions including infections and itching. Persistent skin infections can be one of the first signs you have juvenile diabetes.
  • Bone Density
    Lower than normal bone density may develop because of your juvenile diabetes. Low bone density can lead to a condition called osteoporosis.
  • Major Depression and mental health
    Sometimes the on-going demands of your diabetes can make you feel sad. If the feelings of sadness continue for more than a couple of weeks, you should talk to your doctor.
  • Diabetes and the Flu
  • Diabetics already have a compromised immune system. As a result, each year many juvenile diabetics fall prey to influenza.


These pages are meant to make you aware of the side effects of diabetes. You cannot neglect managing your diabetes!

Seeing or feeling anything out of the ordinary is reason to talk to your doctor.

My goal is to give you enough information to alert you to have a conversation with your doctor. I hope you can use this to prevent any of these side effects of diabetes from becoming serious.

Remember, I am not a medical professional. Your doctor has the last word on any of these diabetes complications!

The stress of juvenile diabetes on your body can increase the potential of other side effects of diabetes.

Pay attention and take care of yourself! You can live a long and productive life!



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