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Diabetes: 7 Ways The Condition Can Affect Your Body

Diabetes is a condition that requires constant care. To control your diabetes, make sure to control your blood glucose levels with medication or through a lifestyle change.

Diabetes: 7 Ways The Condition Can Affect Your Body

Diabetes: High blood sugar levels can damage blood vessels that carry blood to the brain

HIGHLIGHTS

  1. Diabetes can affect your heart health
  2. It can also affect your eyes
  3. Chronic high blood sugar can impair the blood vessels in the kidneys

When we hear the word "diabetes," our first thought is likely about high blood sugar. Blood glucose (sugar) is an often-underestimated component of our health. And, when it's out of whack over a long period of time, it could develop into diabetes.

Diabetes, is a chronic disease that affects your body's ability to produce or use insulin, a hormone that allows your body to turn glucose (sugar) into energy. Perhaps, it can be effectively managed when caught early. But on the other hand, if left untreated, it can lead to potential complications.


Diabetes: Here's what happens to you your body when diabetes takes effect:

1. Heart: Chronic high blood sugar levels can damage blood vessels. High cholesterol along with the high blood sugar levels can lead to fatty build up in your blood vessels, restricting blood flow and causing blood vessels to harden. Further, if a blood clot forms, a heart attack can occur.

Also read: Diabetes Puts You At A Higher Risk Of Urinary Tract Infection: Here's How

2. Eyes: Over time, uncontrolled diabetes can cause blood vessel damage throughout the body, including your Eyes. Our retina has tiny, fragile blood vessels on it. Due to high blood sugar, these blood vessels swell, weaken and clog which is known as "diabetic retinopathy." leading to blindness, in some cases. Cataracts and glaucoma are also more likely to occur to people with diabetes.

3. Brain: High blood sugar levels can affect and damage blood vessels that carry blood to the brain. This can lead to a stroke. A stroke can cause permanent damage or death. Additionally, chronic high blood sugar levels may also increase the risk for memory issues.

4. Kidney: Chronic high blood sugar levels can impair the blood vessels in the kidneys. These blood vessels filter out waste products. High blood sugar makes your kidneys work harder. The filtering system may begin to work poorly. But, if it stops working, the kidneys fail. Diabetes is the main cause of kidney failure.

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Unmanaged diabetes can increase the risk of kidney failure
Photo Credit: iStock

Also read: 5 Golden Rules To Keep Your Kidneys Healthy

5. Skin: Diabetes can cause wounds or sores in the skin to heal more slowly, which can result in people with diabetes being more susceptible to infections.

6. Nerves: Damage to nerves in your arms, legs and vital organs can occur with chronic high blood sugar levels which is called "diabetic neuropathy." It causes tingling, numbness or loss of feeling. It can be painful and lead to serious problems, such as infection or amputation.

7. Reproductive Organs: Diabetes can also take a toll on the reproductive system. Change in hormones during pregnancy can cause gestational diabetes and, in turn, increase the risk of high blood pressure.

Also read: High Blood Pressure: Warning Signs That You Need Immediate Medical Attention

Well-managed diabetes can keep all these effects at bay and even stop them. Diabetes is a condition that requires constant care. To control your diabetes, make sure to control your blood glucose levels with medication or through a lifestyle change. So, eating healthy, maintaining weight and engaging in regular physical activity all can keep your diabetes under control and your health on track

(Nmami Agarwal is nutritionist at Nmami Life)


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