Diabetes affects our body’s ability to use glucose or blood sugar, thus leading to serious health problems such as kidney, nerves, eye, heart, and gum diseases.
There are two types of diabetes: Type 1 diabetes ( juvenile diabetes or insulin-dependent diabetes) is an immune system disorder; Type 2 diabetes is related to insulin resistance; and prediabetes which can be effectively managed with diet, exercise, and careful monitoring of blood sugars.
Here are some of the long-term damage brought by diabetes to our body:
With diabetes, our kidneys’ ability to filter toxins and other waste products from the blood is affected and this can further damage the said organ.
A person with diabetes has an elevated risk of coronary heart diseases, high blood pressure and stroke, according to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. It was also found that high blood sugar levels contribute to the formation of fatty deposits in the walls of the blood vessels.
Diabetes affects the largest organ of our body – which is the skin. High blood sugar levels cause the feet’s skin to dry and crack. Completely drying out the feet after swimming or bathing is recommended since moist, warm folds in the skin are susceptible to fungal, bacterial, or yeast infections which usually develop between fingers and toes, the groin, armpits, or in the corners of the mouth.
Unmanaged diabetes can also lead to three skin conditions:
- Digital sclerosis – causes thickening of the skin, most often on the hands or feet
- Diabetic dermopathy – can cause brown patches on the skin
- Eruptive xanthomatosis – causes hard yellow bumps with a red ring
During pregnancy, a woman experiences hormonal changes that cause gestational diabetes and increases the risk of high blood pressure ( preeclampsia or eclampsia). Symptoms of this condition include vagina and bladder infections.
Central Nervous System Problem
Diabetes causes damage to the nerves or diabetic neuropathy which can make us more susceptible to injury and can affect our perception of heat, cold and pain.
Aside from these, diabetes can also cause diabetic retinopathy, a condition that leads to swollen, leaky blood vessels in the eye which can even lead to blindness and other eye problems like glaucoma and cataracts.
A person is at higher risk of gum diseases due to diabetes because it causes thickening of the blood vessels, thus slowing down the flow of nutrients and the elimination of toxic waste material as well as weakening of the gums and bone tissues. Due to this, the gums become red, swollen, and easily bleeds.
Effects On Digestion
Diabetes can cause gastroparesis, a disorder that occurs when the stomach takes a long time to empty out food. Due to this, a person experiences constipation, nausea, vomiting, and feeling of fullness