Nephropathy (kidney disease) occurs when excess sugar in the blood damages the small blood vessels of the kidneys. This is referred to as diabetic nephropathy. When someone suffers from diabetic nephropathy, their kidneys are no longer able to act as filters and remove waste from their body.


Neuropathy: a condition that affects the nerves 

We have 2 types of nerves: 

  • peripheral nerves, which control muscles and are responsible for our sense of touch
  • nerves of the autonomic nervous system, which control the body’s autonomic functions (digestion, breathing, heart muscles, etc.)

Diabetes can affect both types of nerves.

Diabetic neuropathy can cause numbing and tingling or a loss of feeling in the hands and feet, pain, or even paralysis.

Heart and arteries

  • Thrombosis: occurs when a blood clot obstructs the arteries. Note: hyperglycemia stimulates the formation of blood clots.
  • Myocardial infarction: heart attack
  • CVA: cerebrovascular accident (stroke)
  • Retinopathy: serious complication of diabetes characterized by damage to the retina.


  • Cavity: occurs when a tooth’s enamel is destroyed by dental plaque
  • Gingivitis: inflammation of the gums caused by bacteria. What are the symptoms of gingivitis? Redness and bleeding while brushing your teeth.
  • Periodontitis (gum disease): a serious infection that damages the soft tissue in your gums and destroys the bone that supports your teeth. Periodontitis can cause teeth to loosen.

The hands and the feet 

  • Diabetic cheiroarthropathy: syndrome responsible for stiffness in the fingers
  • Dupuytren’s contracture: prevents the extension of fingers and can lead to the permanent bending of one or more fingers
  • Carpal tunnel: causes numbing and tingling in the fingers and sometimes pain that extends from the palm to the forearm
  • Neuropathy masks the sensation of pain associated with minor foot injuries, which can become infected and aggravated, possibly leading to amputation.


Certain complications associated with diabetes and its treatments can affect a person’s sex life.

  • Mycoses: fungal infections 
  • Vaginal dryness
  • Prostatitis: prostate infection
  • Erectile dysfunction and ejaculation problems


  • Insomnia: a condition that can take many different forms. Difficulty falling asleep, waking up several times during the night, inability to fall back asleep early in the morning…  
  • Hypersomnia: strong desire to sleep during the day
  • Restless legs syndrome: an uncontrollable urge to move one’s legs
  • Obstructive sleep apnea/hypopnea syndrome: repeated interruptions in breathing while asleep.