Diabetes affects our blood vessels and nerves and therefore can affect any part of the body.
Diabetes is a condition in which there is too much glucose (a type of sugar) in the blood. Over time, high blood glucose levels can damage the body’s organs. Possible complications include damage to large (macrovascular) and small (microvascular) blood vessels, which can lead to heart attack, stroke, and problems with the kidneys, eyes, gums, feet and nerves.
However, certain parts of the body are affected more than other parts. Diabetic complications will usually take a number of years of poorly controlled diabetes to develop. Complications are not a certainty and can be kept at bay and prevented by maintaining a strong level of control on your diabetes, your blood pressure and cholesterol.
Effects of Diabetes on the Body
Depression can strike anyone, but people with diabetes may be at a greater risk. Diabetes is a serious health effects concern that afflicts an estimated 16 million Americans. Treatment for depression helps people manage symptoms of both diseases, thus improving the quality of their lives. Several studies suggest that diabetes doubles the risk of depression compared to those without the disorder. The chances of becoming depressed increase as diabetes complications worsen. Research shows that depression leads to poorer physical and mental functioning, so a person is less likely to follow a required diet or medication plan. Treating depression with psychotherapy, medication, or a combination of these treatments can improve a patient’s well-being and ability to manage diabetes.
The kidneys are another organ that is at particular risk of damage as a result of diabetes and the risk is again increased by poorly controlled diabetes, high blood pressure and cholesterol. Diabetic nephropathy is the term for kidney disease as a result of diabetes. Damage to the kidneys takes place over a period of years and can picked up by nephropathy screening before it gets too serious. Treatment includes lifestyle changes and may include medicine to treat high blood pressure and cholesterol.
A relatively common complication of diabetes is diabetic retinopathy.As with all complications, this condition is brought on by a number of years of poorly controlled or uncontrolled diabetes. Diabetic retinopathy has a number of symptoms. Retinopathy is caused by blood vessels in the back of the eye (the retina) swelling and leaking. High blood pressure is also a contributing factor for diabetic retinopathy.
Diabetes and coronary heart disease are closely related. Diabetes contributes to high blood pressure and is linked with high cholesterol which significantly increases the risk of heart attacks and cardiovascular disease.
Diabetes can affect digestion in a number of ways. If diabetes has caused nerve damage, this can lead to nausea, constipation or diarrhoea. An alternative cause of disturbed digestion can be the result of diabetes medication. Some type 2 diabetes prevention medications for instance are prone to causing digestive issues, although these tend to settle down after the body gets used to them.
Peripheral diabetic neuropathy can cause pain and burning or a loss of feeling in your feet. It usually starts with your toes. It can also affect your hands and other body parts. Autonomic neuropathy stems from damage to the nerves that control your internal organs. Symptoms include sexual problems, digestive issues (a condition called gastroparesis), trouble sensing when your bladder is full, dizziness and fainting, or not knowing when your blood sugar is low.