Another harmful factor generated in diabetes are products called 'advanced glycation end-products', or AGEs. AGEs develop essentially when proteins in your body (or fats or other compounds) are tagged with a sugar molecule. While this may see relatively harmless, we must understand that a central tenant in biology is that "form dictates function." When we add sugar residues, we have changed the form of that molecule. That will invariably lead to an alteration in function.
These AGEs can go on to make blood vessels stiff (not a good thing), generate free radicals and promote inflammation. If all of that sounds a little to "science-ey" for you, then how about this; AGEs also make your skin age.
AGEs are often discussed outside of the context of diabetes. While they can be generated in our body, we also consume them in our diet. Diet sodas are a common source of AGE consumption because of the aspartame and caramel colourant. Animal derived foods with lots of fat and protein are another common source of AGEs.
While we always have some level of AGE production, exogenous intake and extraordinary production during diabetes promotes pathogenic processes. In fact, doctors often monitor a patient's A1C, a marker of glycated end products, to determine how well blood sugar management has been over an extended period of time.
In summary, diabetes produces AGEs. AGEs then promote more insulin resistance (with oxidative stress and inflammation) that exacerbate the diabetes. Then we make more AGEs.... and the vicious cycle goes on and on.