How Does Diabetes Affect the Body?

Sep 11, 2019 by

People with diabetes develop several major complications attributed to the increase in the level of blood sugar which remain high for a prolonged period. Risk factors for diabetes include high blood pressure, increased cholesterol levels and the inability of the body to control blood glucose level. Diabetes can either by insulin-dependent, also referred to as type 1 diabetes or insulin-independent also referred to as type 2 diabetes. Both type 1 and type 2 diabetes cannot be treated and usually have similar effects on the body. Understanding how diabetes affects the body is crucial especially from diabetes patients to take proper care of their bodies and prevent such complication which can be fatal from occurring.

Diabetes affects several organs and body systems, including the endocrine, reproductive, circulatory, integumentary, nervous, excretory, and digestive systems. Regarding the excretory system, diabetes causes kidney damage impairing the ability of the kidney to filter toxic substances from the blood. This condition is referred to as diabetic nephropathy and can lead to kidney failure in later stages. In the circulatory system, diabetes causes high blood pressure due to the deposition of fats in the blood vessels leading to their constriction. Diabetes can also impair blood flow to various organs especially in the lower limbs increasing chances of amputation. Diabetes affects the skin causing your feet to dry and develop cracks. People with diabetes are likely to develop diabetic neuropathy which refers to damaged nerves and predisposes them to severe infections. In the reproductive system, diabetes interferes with hormonal control of pregnancy in females leading to gestational diabetes characterized by high blood pressure.

Nonetheless, the complications caused by diabetes can be alleviated through proper diabetes management, lifestyle changes, and access to diabetes supplies. Below is an infographic illustrating how diabetes affects the body.

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