Diabetes complication tool

Diabetes Complications from Head to Toe

Move your mouse over the picture and click to learn more about diabetes complications in each area of the body.

Diabetes Complications Diagram
  • Brain Diagram

    Brain (stroke)

    People with diabetes can reduce their risk of stroke by quitting smoking.

  • Eyes Diagram


    Diabetic retinopathy (damage to the small blood vessels in the eye caused by diabetes) is the most common cause of blindness among North Americans of working age. Ask your doctor about prevention and annual screening.

  • Heart Diagram

    Heart (coronary artery disease)

    Keeping blood pressure and cholesterol in control using diet, exercise and, medications if needed, can help to prevent heart disease in people with diabetes.

  • nerves in legs/hands Diagram

    Nerves in legs/hands

    Nerve damage can occur in the legs and hands of people with type 1 or type 2 diabetes. Talk to your health care professional about prevention and treatment.

  • Kidneys Diagram


    Medications called "ACE Inhibitors" and "ARBs" can prevent nephropathy (kidney damage) from getting worse in people with type 1 or type 2 diabetes.

  • Feet Diagram

    Feet (foot ulcers)

    Being properly fitted for shoes is the best place to start. Or talk to your doctor about custom-made insoles. Avoid over-the-counter insoles – they can cause foot damage if they do not fit your feet properly.

  • Mental health issues Diagram

    Mental health issues

    Living with diabetes can be burdensome and can take a toll on your mental health. Decreased mood, distress, and anxiety can affect your ability to cope with and care for your diabetes. Your mental health is just as important as your physical health in managing your diabetes.

  • Digestive system Diagram

    Digestive system

    Diabetes can cause nerve damage along the digestive tract. This can result in a condition known as gastroparesis, where the stomach can take longer to empty the food it is digesting. Gastroparesis can make blood sugar levels harder to control and cause nausea or vomiting. Your doctor can help in managing gastroparesis.

  • Sexual health Diagram

    Sexual health

    Erectile dysfunction (ED) can affect up to 45% of men with diabetes. In men with type 2 diabetes, low testosterone is also common. Regular screening from your doctor in addition to keeping blood pressure, cholesterol, and blood sugar in target ranges can support the sexual health of men with diabetes.