If you have diabetes, no matter what type, it means you have too much glucose (sugar) in your blood. Too much glucose can lead to serious health problems.

Long-term complications of diabetes develop gradually. The longer you have diabetes — and the less controlled your blood sugar — the higher the risk of complications. Eventually, diabetes complications may be disabling or even life-threatening.

According to the American Diabetes Association, possible complications of diabetes include heart disease, damage to the kidneys, nerves and eyes, and due to poor blood flow, damage to the skin and feet. Hearing loss and Alzheimer’s disease are more common among diabetics.

If you already have diabetes, take responsibility for monitoring your health. You’ve heard you should examine your feet for any cuts or blisters. Nerve damage in the feet or poor blood flow to the feet increases the risk of complications. When untreated, cuts and blisters can develop serious infections, which often heal poorly. No one wants to think that a blister could lead to toe, foot or leg amputation, but this is unfortunately what can happen.

Monitor your A1C (a measurement of your blood glucose) and have a yearly eye exam. Call your doctor with any concerns.