The International Diabetes Foundation has pictures that show the major effects of diabetes. Diabetes can cause complications, such as cardiovascular disease, kidney disease, blindness and amputations.
Cardiovascular disease is a major cause of death in people with diabetes, with 50 percent of diabetics dying due to this condition, states the International Diabetes Foundation. People with diabetes have an increased risk of heart attack, angina, stroke, peripheral artery disease and congestive heart failure.
Diabetes can cause kidney failure and is the most common cause of end-stage kidney disease, which requires dialysis or kidney transplantation, states the International Diabetes Foundation. Diabetes can also harm the nerves. This can result in problems with urination and digestion, but most commonly, the legs and feet are affected. Diabetes causes loss of feeling in the feet and toes, and this can cause injuries and infections, eventually leading to amputation. Those with diabetes are 25 times more likely to need an amputation than those without.
Diabetes can cause blindness in several ways, notes the International Diabetes Foundation. Diabetes can cause macula edema, which is a buildup of fluid behind the retina. Diabetes also causes proliferative retinopathy, where hemorrhages develop in the retina, leading to blindness. Diabetes also increases the risk of cataracts and glaucoma.