Health and Fitness

How Does Diabetes Affect the Body?

Whether you’ve been diagnosed with diabetes or you’re just trying to avoid developing it, there are many things you should know about how it can affect your body. Read on to discover what’s involved in preventing diabetes and how it may affect your heart, eyes, kidneys, nerves, and more.

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Whether you are a new diabetic or have been dealing with the disease for a long time, your eye is a sensitive organ that can be affected by diabetes. It is essential to stay on top of your blood sugar and get regular eye exams. This way, you can prevent vision loss and keep your eyes in shape.

Diabetes affects blood vessels in the eyes and causes damage to the retina. This can lead to blurry vision, poor color perception, and other problems. It can also cause the macula to swell and edema.

Fortunately, diabetes can be prevented by controlling your blood sugar. In addition to lowering your risk of vision loss, a regular diabetic eye exam can identify and treat problems early on.

The macula is the retina’s center, providing sharp central vision. When diabetes damages the retina, the area may swell and blur. The resulting swelling can damage the optic nerve, which connects the eye to the brain.

Glaucoma is another eye problem caused by diabetes. When blood vessels in the eye become weak, they can bleed, causing dangerous pressure inside the eye. The pressure can damage the optic nerve and retina, resulting in a gradual loss of vision.


Glucose is one of the primary sources of energy for the heart. When glucose use is curtailed, the heart becomes depleted of energy and may become less efficient. Besides glucose, fatty acids play an essential role in the heart. Fatty acid accumulation can cause a decrease in glucose oxidation and an increase in intramyocardial lipids. These can decrease contractile performance in animal models of diabetes.

Obesity has been linked to many cardiovascular diseases and is a significant risk factor for diabetic heart disease. A healthy diet and physical activity can decrease insulin concentration, reduce insulin resistance, and improve cardiovascular risk. A healthy eating plan may also lower the need for diabetes medicines.

Diabetes can also affect the heart through decreased glucose utilization. This may involve the accumulation of glycolytic intermediates. A study in diabetic rats showed increased total CoA levels. This may contribute to the development of heart dysfunction.

Increased levels of VLDL have also been reported. However, VLDL is not a preferred substrate for the heart. This may explain why VLDL utilization by the heart is altered in diabetes.

The heart also utilizes more VLDL for ATP production during sepsis and endotoxemia. This may be due to VLDL acting as external energy storage.


Various nerves in the body can be affected by diabetes. The most common type of diabetes-related nerve injury is called peripheral neuropathy. Other types of nerve injury are less common. Diabetic peripheral neuropathy affects the motor and sensory nerves in the legs and hands. The symptoms of peripheral neuropathy are pain, numbness, and weakness.

A physical examination for neuropathy begins with measuring sensations in the hands and feet. The examiner will also check the heart rate and balance. Many doctors will also check coordination. Some may also check for abnormal lung sounds. The examiner will also check for any hardness or atrophy in the skin.

Nerve blood flow (NBF) measures how much blood flows through the nerve. Injury to nerves often leads to increases in NBF. A careful NBF analysis may reveal new insights into nerve disorders.

Arteriovenous shunts dominate the blood flow in the peripheral nerve trunk. The microvasculature in the nerve plays a vital role in maintaining the nutrient supply in the nerve. In rodent models, neuropathic pain is related to the peripheral nerve microvasculature. The capillaries in the endoneurial compartment are much larger than the capillaries of other tissues.


Keeping your feet healthy is an essential part of managing your diabetes. If you have foot problems, you should contact your GP or out-of-hours healthcare service to schedule an appointment. A foot check can help you identify any issues before they become serious.

Diabetes can lower blood circulation in your feet. This can make it harder to heal wounds and infections. In addition, poor circulation can change the shape of your foot. You may develop a foot ulcer if your foot cannot heal properly. A foot ulcer can be infected and, if left untreated, can lead to amputation.

The best way to avoid foot problems caused by diabetes is to control your blood glucose levels. Maintaining a healthy weight, exercising, and eating a healthy diet can reduce your risk of complications. You should also check your feet daily for signs of injury or infection.

If you have diabetes, you should have your feet examined by a healthcare provider at least once a year. You should also check your feet for signs of gangrene, which is tissue death due to a lack of blood circulation.

A foot ulcer can be difficult to heal and, if left untreated, can result in gangrene. Gangrene is a painful, disfiguring condition and can result in amputation.


Having diabetes is not only a risk factor for many health conditions, but it can also cause kidney damage. It’s one of the leading causes of chronic kidney disease and end-stage renal disease. Fortunately, you can take steps to avoid or slow down this disease.

Each kidney contains a network of tiny filters called nephrons that filter blood. During kidney disease, nephrons become damaged, leaking fluid and protein into the urine. A kidney transplant or dialysis can help replace a damaged kidney with a healthy one.

People with diabetes are at risk of kidney damage because high blood sugar damages the filtering system in the kidney. They can also be at risk from other medical conditions, such as high blood pressure.

Damage to the kidney’s filtering system can be detected through blood tests. This is important for early detection and prevention. The tests measure the amount of creatinine, a breakdown product of muscle, in the blood and urine. These test results are sent to your electronic medical record and can be reviewed by your doctor.

Using ACE inhibitors and ARBs can help slow the progression of kidney disease. Using medications to control high blood pressure can also help.

Stress, anxiety, and depression

Managing a chronic condition such as diabetes can be stressful. The stress may increase blood sugar levels, make it harder to cope with day-to-day tasks, and raise your risk of developing complications. Recognizing and managing stress is essential to get the most out of your life.

There are many strategies that you can use to reduce stress. Your doctor can provide you with suggestions to help you manage stress. You can also learn to recognize and avoid stress warning signs.

Talking with a friend, family member, or healthcare professional can be calming. You can also use a diabetes support group to help you cope with stress.

You may want to consult your doctor about a possible diagnosis of an anxiety disorder. Anxiety symptoms include intrusive thoughts, avoidance of certain situations, and physical symptoms such as high blood pressure. You may also consider working with a professional to learn relaxation techniques.

The American Diabetes Association recommends having a mental health professional on your treatment team. While there are not many diabetes clinics that integrate behavioral health services, there are several resources available online.

You may want to make an appointment with your doctor to discuss the possible connections between stress and diabetes. Taking steps to manage stress can lower blood sugar levels, improve mood, and reduce the likelihood of complications.

Pregnancy-related risks

Among women who are pregnant, diabetes presents an increased risk of complications. Pregnant women with diabetes have higher rates of preeclampsia and gestational hypertension. These are severe problems and can result in premature delivery.

The risk of maternal hypoglycemia is also higher in women with diabetes. In addition, the risk of fetal hypoglycemia is greater. Consequently, optimal glycemic control is necessary to improve obstetric outcomes.

A woman with diabetes can have a higher risk of developing preeclampsia, which is a condition that can result in seizures in the mother. Preeclampsia can also lead to brain damage, especially in women with a history of diabetes.

In addition to hyperglycemia, diabetes may increase fetal hypoglycemia risk. High blood glucose levels and insulin combined can cause the baby to grow too large, which can cause complications during delivery.

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Women with diabetes have an increased risk of preeclampsia, gestational hypertension, and postpartum hemorrhage. These complications can also increase the risk of miscarriage. Pregnant women with diabetes should be closely monitored for these symptoms.

The incidence of diabetes in pregnancy has increased dramatically in the United States since 1999. There is also an increased incidence of obesity. This is a major teratogenic factor.

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