How diabetes affects the body

By YOU Digital
06 November 2018


This is what happens to your body when you have diabetes

Extreme fatigue, blurred vision and increased thirst are some of the symptoms, but what happens to the body when you have diabetes – and what causes it?

When you eat your food, your body digests it into smaller parts; namely vitamins, minerals, protein, fat and sugar – sugar is also known as glucose. Your pancreas responds by releasing the hormone insulin that helps your body change the glucose from your food into energy your body can use as fuel.

People with diabetes don’t have the right amount of insulin to help balance the blood glucose levels in their bodies. This causes a lack of energy that leaves them feeling weak, drained and thirsty.

When your body doesn’t make enough insulin, or when your body has difficulty using the insulin, you develop diabetes. High glucose levels can damage your organs over time.

Your body might also respond to the lack of insulin by releasing more glucose – and if your blood sugar level gets too high, the glucose could seep into your urine which could seriously damage your nerves and blood vessels.

Untreated diabetes damages the body in many ways, leading to:

  • Increased risk of heart disease due to high blood pressure.
  • Nerve damage during digestion which can lead to nausea, constipation or diarrhoea – especially in the case of type 2 diabetes.
  • Circulation and damaged nerves can lead to dry skin, slow healing wounds, fungal and bacterial infections and foot problems.
  • Toxic acid called ketones may develop, which is a result of your body breaking down fat and protein to get energy, which could be life-threatening.
  • Serious eye damage as a result of pressure and swelling of blood vessels.
  • Kidney failure and high levels of protein in your urine.

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