Metabolic Health

Effects of Diabetes on Your Body

Reviewed by

Shifa Fathima

The first thing that springs to mind when you hear "diabetes" is undoubtedly high blood sugar levels. Blood sugar is an often-overlooked aspect of your overall health. It can lead to diabetes if the sugar gets out of balance in bodily functions. Diabetes is harmful to the human body. There are some significant signs and symptoms that you may experience if you get diabetes.

After a person eats or drinks, their body will start breaking down sugars from their meals and use them for power in their cells. To do this, the pancreas must produce the hormone insulin. Insulin assists in drawing sugar from the circulation and storing it as a source of energy in the cells.

The pancreas secretes very little insulin if you have diabetes. It will result in insulin not being able to do its job correctly. Consequently, blood glucose levels rise, but the rest of your cells lack vital energy. It can result in a wide range of side effects of diabetes that impact practically every central bodily system.

Endocrine, Excretory, And Digestive Systems

If the pancreas secretes little or no insulin, or if the body can't use it, other hormones turn fat into energy. High quantities of hazardous substances, such as acids and ketone bodies, might lead to ketoacidosis. The side effects of diabetes ketoacidosis are significant diabetes conditions. Among the signs and symptoms are:

  • Extreme thirst, frequent urination, and exhaustion
  • The increased amounts of ketones in the blood may generate an unpleasant odor on your breath 
  • You can confirm diabetes ketoacidosis by high blood sugar levels and an excess of ketones in the urine. This disorder, if left untreated, can result in loss of consciousness or possibly death
  • HHS (hyperglycemic hyperosmolar syndrome) is a significant intricacy of type 2 diabetes. It entails a lot of work. With this condition, you may get dehydrated and even pass out. HHS is more frequent among those who haven't been diagnosed with diabetes or haven't been able to control it adequately. A stroke, heart attack, or infection can also cause it.

Kidney Damage

Kidney disease caused by diabetes can injure your kidneys and reduce their ability to filter toxins from your blood. If your doctor discovers microalbuminuria or an excessive protein level in the urine, this might indicate that your kidneys aren't functioning correctly.

Diabetes nephropathy is a chronic kidney condition occurring in people with diabetes. The illness does not manifest symptoms until it is advanced. If you have diabetes, your doctor will check for nephropathy to avoid irreparable kidney damage or failure.

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Circulatory System

Diabetes makes you more likely to develop high blood pressure, putting your heart under tremendous strain. As a result of the side effects of diabetes, high blood glucose levels can cause fatty deposits to form in the walls of blood vessels. Over time, it can restrict blood flow, raising the possibility of atherosclerosis (stiffening of the arteries).

According to influential organisations, diabetes is the leading cause of heart disease and stroke. Blood glucose management, monitoring, good nutrition, and regular exercise can all assist in lowering the risk of high BP and high cholesterol levels.

Integumentary System

The side effects of diabetes can injure your epidermis, which is the body's largest organ. In addition to dehydration, the body's lack of moisture produced by high sugar levels in the blood can cause the skin on the feet to peel and dry.

Ensure the feet are dehydrated after swimming or showering. These areas can be treated with petroleum jelly or mild lotions, but don't get them too wet. Infections of the fungal, bacterial, or yeast kind can occur in moist, warm creases of the skin. These usually manifest themselves in the following areas:

  • Groin 
  • Armpits 
  • Corners of the mouth 
  • Between fingers and toes

Central Nervous System

Diabetes neuropathy, or nerve damage, is a complication of diabetes. It can change how you feel about heat, cold, and discomfort. It's also more likely that you won't recognize these injuries and allow them to progress into significant illnesses or diseases.

You can characterise diabetes retinopathy by enlarged, leaky blood vessels in the eye. It can also harm your vision resulting in blindness. Because the symptoms of eye disease might be subtle at first, it's critical to see your eye doctor frequently.

Reproductive System

Gestational diabetes can develop due to hormonal changes during pregnancy, increasing the possibility of high BP. Preeclampsia and eclampsia are two forms of high blood pressure diseases to be aware of during pregnancy.

Diabetes during pregnancy usually is straightforward to manage, and once the child is born, glucose levels begin to recover. The effects of diabetes on the body are comparable to those of other diseases; however, they may also include vaginal and bladder infections.

If you have Gestational Diabetes, you might deliver the baby with higher birth weight. It might make delivery more difficult. You're also at significant risk of acquiring type 2 diabetes after your kid is born.


Hyperglycemia or high blood sugar and high insulin levels start affecting your body years before being diagnosed with diabetes. It will injure your nerves, arteries, and organs if you do nothing about it. And the longer it is ignored, the greater the difficulties get. As a result, you run the risk of developing heart failure, having a heart attack, or having a stroke. You may lose your vision due to the effects of diabetes on the body. It may harm your kidneys, nerves, and other essential organs. However, you can protect yourself. You can quickly manage blood sugar levels, cholesterol, and blood pressure with a healthy diet, exercise, medication, and frequent exams. Even if you feel fine, sticking to your treatment plan might help you avoid significant injury. 

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