Diabetes & Its Effect On The Human Body

Diabetes is a very common disease, and there is a high chance you must know someone in your circle who has it. They could be your friend, neighbor, acquaintance, family member, relative, or even you. According to recent stats, about 422 million people worldwide have diabetes, and more than 4.9 million people in the UK have diabetes. Moreover, about 13.6 million people are at increased risk of type 2 diabetes in the United Kingdom. (1) Diabetes is a long-term health condition that severely affects your overall lifestyle. However, those who don't have it or are at risk of having it and don't know about it must have enough knowledge and awareness, as it is no joke but a serious health concern.


What is diabetes?


Diabetes is a chronic disease that affects your body's conversion of food into energy. 

Most of the food you eat is converted into sugar (glucose) by your body and released into your bloodstream. When your blood sugar rises, your pancreas signals to release insulin. Insulin functions as a key, allowing glucose to get into cells and be used as energy.

The pancreas becomes ineffective at producing or utilizing insulin, which leads to diabetes. Too much blood sugar remains in your bloodstream when insufficient insulin or cells stop responding to insulin. The long-term effects of high glucose levels on the body include organ and tissue damage and failure.


Types of diabetes

1.       Type 1 diabetes can develop at any age, but occurs most frequently in children and adults.

It is acondition in which your immune system destroys insulin-making cells in your pancreas. These are called beta cells.Your body produces very little or no insulin when you have type 1 diabetes, which means that you need daily insulin injections to maintain blood glucose levels under control.


2.       Type 2 diabetes is more common in adults and accounts for around 90% of all diabetes cases. When you have type 2 diabetes, your body does not make good use of the insulin that it produces. The cornerstone of type 2 diabetes treatment is healthy lifestyle, including increased physical activity and healthy diet. However, over time most people with type 2 diabetes will require oral drugs and/or insulin to keep their blood glucose levels under control. 



3.       Gestational diabetes (GDM) is a type of diabetes that consists of high blood glucose during pregnancy and is associated with complications to both mother and child. GDM usually disappears after pregnancy but women affected and their children are at increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes later in life



Symptoms That You May Have Diabetes

1.       Risk of stroke

Diabetes increases your chances of having a stroke by 1.5 times compared to people who do not have diabetes. Diabetes raises the risk of having a stroke, which can damage brain tissue and result in disability or even death.

2.       Lost of Consciousness


The effect of diabetes on the heart

Diabetes and heart disease are closely related, as they co-exist in the body, if you have diabetes then there are high chances that it would progress to heart complications.

Diabetes contributes to high blood pressure and is linked with high cholesterol which significantly increases the risk of heart attacks and cardiovascular disease.

Effect of diabetes on eyes

Diabetes can lead to swelling in the macula, which is called diabetic macular edema in medical terms. As time progresses, this disease can destroy the sharp vision in this part of the eye, leading to partial vision loss or blindness.

Diabetic retinopathy is a complication of diabetes, caused by high blood sugar levels damaging the back of the eye. It can cause blindness if left untreated.

Effect of diabetes on the kidneys

The kidneys are the organ that is at most risk of damage to diabetes and the risk is increased by poorly controlled diabetes, high blood pressure and cholesterol.

Diabetic nephropathy is the medical term for kidney disease. The damage to the kidneys takes place over years and can be picked up by nephropathy screening before it gets too serious.

Diabetes and its effect on digestion

Diabetes can affect the digestive tract in several ways. If diabetes has caused nerve damage, this can lead to nausea, constipation or diarrhea. Another cause of disturbed digestion can be resulting in diabetes in medication.

Some type 2 diabetes medications are prone to causing digestive issues, although these tend to settle down after the body gets used to them.

How diabetes affects the skin

Diabetes effect on the skin is usually a result of high blood sugar levels on the nerves and circulation which can lead to dry skin, slow wound healing, fungal and bacterial infections and loss of feeling in the foot.

People with diabetes are recommended for having their feet checked at least every year. The medical term of the effect of high blood sugar levels on the feet is referred to as diabetic foot.


Having diabetes means that you need to take certain precautions and commit to an approved diabetes management plan.

Regardless of whether you have type 1, type 2, gestational, or any other form of diabetes, taking care of yourself is one of the most important things you need to do.