How Diabetes Affects your Body Parts

Updated at: Oct 15, 2013
How Diabetes Affects your Body Parts

Diabetes can affect several body parts. Know how diabetes affects your body to prevent complications from developing.

Himanshu Sharma
DiabetesWritten by: Himanshu SharmaPublished at: Oct 11, 2013

If you have diabetes, the condition’s complications may affect several body parts. There could be problems in the heart, eyes and kidneys.

effect of diabetes on bodyAs sugar is transported throughout the circulatory system, health of various body parts is at risk when sugar levels change. Added sugar or glucose in the blood vessels damages the walls, which builds up cholesterol and reduces blood circulation. You may suffer major health problems due to diabetes, such as cardiovascular diseases, kidney failure and blindness.

There are various short-term and long-term effects of diabetes; some develop early while others become evident after years. Below is how diabetes affects different body parts.



If you are diabetic, you may have eye problems because small blood vessels in the eyes are destroyed by the increase in sugar levels. Diabetic retinopathy, cataract and glaucoma are some of the common eye problems you are up against. Also, diabetes can blind you. It is advised to see your eye doctor regularly and have a dilated-eye exam once in 6 months.



Your kidney functions are affected; kidney may filter too much blood or the filters may leak. Protein in the urine is one sign that suggests that  your kidneys are not working right. You may feel tired more often, have sleeping trouble or feel like vomiting. It is recommended to test your blood sugar regularly and make sure your protein levels in urine are controlled. Early identification of kidney disease is very crucial to prevent permanent damage.


Nervous System

Nerve damage is a common diabetes complication. You may feel numbness or loss of feeling in your limbs. Di Diabetes may cause digestion problems, bladder problems and impotence. See your doctor and discuss about how to keep your blood glucose levels controlled to prevent diabetic neuropathy.



You may get red, sore, or swollen gums that bleed when you brush your teeth. High blood sugar helps plaque grow. Bad breath, gum disease and tooth loss are among other ways in which diabetes can affect your mouth. To avoid these complications, make sure to visit your dentist every 6 months.


Heart and Blood Vessels

Fatty deposits can form in the blood vessels in a diabetic condition, which may cause serious problems to the heart and blood vessels. High blood pressure is common in diabetics, that  leads to heart attack. You are advised to see your healthcare provider about ways to control your cholesterol levels, blood pressure and weight so that heart health and blood vessels are not affected. Moreover, have your A1C tested every 6 months and cholesterol tested at least once a year.


Feet and Hands

Nerve damage in the feet is another common complication related to diabetes, which occurs because of the irregular blood flow in the feet. The complication makes harder for cuts or sores to heal. You must keep a check on your feet, and report immediately to your health care provider if there are cuts, sores, bruises, dry cracks, loss of feeling or other signs of infection or redness. Get your feet checked whenever you visit a health care provider. Moreover, make sure you wear comfy socks and shoes.



Read more articles on Diabetes.




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