Did you know diabetes can affect your body's organs, such as eyes, kidneys, and nerves? Yes, the condition that affects how your body processes blood sugar has a significant impact on your body. If diabetes is not controlled in time, it can lead to the development of various comorbidities, such as obesity, kidney disease, and retinopathy. We spoke to Dr Arun Kumar C Singh, Director - Endocrinology and Diabetology, Metro Heart Institute with Multispeciality, Faridabad, who explained how diabetes affects the organs of your body.
Impact Of Diabetes On Organs Of Your Body
According to Frontiers in Immunology, diabetes can impact every organ system in your body. However, the extent of organ involvement is mostly influenced by the severity and duration of the condition.
Heart and Blood Vessels
According to the World Journal of Diabetes, patients with diabetes frequently have cardiovascular risk factors, such as obesity, hypertension, and dyslipidemia, which puts them at a higher risk of cardiac events. Dr Singh listed the effects of diabetes on the heart as follows:
- Diabetes can increase your chances of developing heart disease and stroke
- High blood sugar levels in your body can damage your blood vessels and lead to atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries)
- It can also contribute to high blood pressure, another risk factor for heart disease
According to the Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology (CJASN), 40% of diabetic patients have diabetic kidney disease, which is the most common cause of Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) worldwide. Dr Singh noted the following points:
- Diabetes is a leading cause of kidney disease (nephropathy).
- It damages the small blood vessels in the kidneys, impairing their ability to filter waste from the blood.
- Over time, this can lead to kidney failure, necessitating dialysis or a transplant.
Dr Singh said, “Diabetes can cause diabetic retinopathy, damaging the blood vessels in the retina. This can result in vision problems and, in severe cases, blindness. Hence, regular eye exams are essential to detect and manage these issues early.”
Dr Singh highlighted, “High blood sugar levels can damage nerves throughout the body, causing neuropathy. Its symptoms may include tingling, numbness, pain, and muscle weakness, often in the hands and feet. Therefore, it is essential to maintain proper blood sugar control to slow the progression of neuropathy.”
Apart from your heart and nerves, diabetes can affect your skin too. Dr Singh added, “Diabetes can affect the skin's health, causing dryness and itching. Also, wounds may heal more slowly, and skin infections are more common. If you are diabetic, you should practise good skincare and go for regular check-ups.”
Dr Singh said, “Diabetes can lead to poor circulation and nerve damage in the feet. You become more prone to foot ulcers and infections. Hence, regular foot care and proper footwear are essential if you are diabetic.”
Dr Singh concluded, “Diabetes affects multiple organs in your body, emphasising the importance of proper management. Regular monitoring of blood sugar levels, a healthy lifestyle, and adherence to your healthcare provider's recommendations can help mitigate these risks and maintain overall health.”
[Disclaimer: The information in this article is shared by a registered healthcare professional and is for information purposes only. Hence, we advise you to consult with your expert to manage your diabetes and prevent health complications.]