How Does Diabetes Affect the Body?

March 10, 2017

Most people try to do whatever they can to make sure they remain healthy in order to live a healthy, active life. However, there are some conditions that if not diagnosed prior to them turning into a disease, will end up being a lifelong battle that can be difficult to manage. And diabetes is one of those diseases.

What is Diabetes?

According to the CDC, 29.1 million people or 9.3 percent of the people in the United States has diabetes. With 21.0 million of them being diagnosed and 8.1 million of them being undiagnosed. So what exactly is diabetes?

Diabetes is a disease that comes in several different forms and it occurs when the body stops being able to produce or respond to the hormone insulin properly. This results in an abnormal metabolism of carbohydrates, which then results in higher levels of glucose in the body’s blood and urine. That means the body can’t properly process food to use as energy.

What Are the Most Common Types of Diabetes

There are several different types of diabetes and each form of this disease carries its own set of consequences and health issues.

  • Type 2 Diabetes. This is a chronic form of the disease that affects the way the body uses blood sugar, also known as glucose.
  • Type 1 Diabetes. This is also a chronic form of the disease that occurs when the pancreas produces little to no insulin.
  • Prediabetes. This is when the body’s blood sugar is high but is not yet high enough to be considered type 2 diabetes.
  • Gestational Diabetes. This is a form of high blood sugar that only affects pregnant women.

How Does Diabetes Affect the Body?

How diabetes will affect the body depends on whether it is being properly managed or not. If diabetes is being well managed using diet, exercise and depending on the severity of the disease, medication, then a person can expect to live a relatively normal life.

However, if diabetes goes undiagnosed and therefore uncontrolled, there are a whole host of ways it can severely damage just about every organ in the body. For example:

  • Eyes. Resulting in glaucoma, cataracts, retinopathy, or vision loss
  • Kidneys. Resulting in kidney failure.
  • Nerves. Resulting in any given nerve or nerves in the body, which in severe cases could lead to amputations.
  • Teeth. Resulting in a higher risk of gum disease.
  • Heart. Resulting in heart and blood vessel problems which could lead to strokes and other heart-related issues.
  • Digestive System. Resulting in diarrhea, constipation, upset stomach, and an inability to properly absorb food and other nutrients into the body.

The Bottom Line

It is important to learn the causes and recognize the symptoms of diabetes in order to effectively avoid and/or treat this disease before it reaches an advanced state. If proactive care is not taken and this disease continues untreated, it could result in a reduced quality of life, major damage to the body and in some cases even death.

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