Nephropathy:  this is the term used for damage to the kidneys.  Nephropathy can occur in people with diabetes and or high blood pressure. By controlling your diabetes and or blood pressure you can avoid damage to the kidneys. 

The kidneys are an important organ in the body as they filter the blood and help the body to get rid of waste products from the blood. The kidneys also balance the amount of fluid in the body, the waste products and excess fluid is then passed out of the body as urine.

Neuropathy: this is damage to the nerves. In diabetes uncontrolled blood sugar levels can cause damage to the nerves, this can cause a lot of pain as well as affecting your daily functioning.  There are 2 types of nerve damage that can occur – damage to the nerves that help us feel (sensory nerves) and damage to the nerves that control the automatic things that our body does (autonomic nerves). 

Damage to the sensory nerves is seen in the legs and hands (peripheral neuropathy).  This can affect the feelings in your feet and hands and initially can cause shooting pains and burning. Peripheral neuropathy increases the risk of amputations

Damage to the autonomic nerves affects the functioning of the stomach and bladder causing uncontrolled diarrhoea and/or constipation and the inability to control your bladder.

Controlling your blood glucose levels can prevent damage to the nerves, thus avoiding these complications.

Nocturnal hypoglycaemia: this is hypoglycaemia that occurs overnight while you are sleeping, in other words, your blood sugar level drops below 4.0mmol/l while you are sleeping. Read more information on hypoglycaemia.