6 Long Term Effects Of Diabetes Everyone Should Know About

You might know what diabetes means and what its signs, symptoms and risk factors are. You may even know the relationships between diabetes and heart conditions, but did you also know that diabetes has a couple of long terms effects on your body? Maybe not. Diabetes has so many complications that don’t always show up, sometimes not until after many years. This process might take decades and in fact, sometimes, the signs will develop silently such that even if people with diabetes aren’t showing signs of complications, they may still develop them eventually.

It’s true that thinking about long-term complications can be scary but getting to know what these could possibly be, ahead of time, will help you start developing a healthier lifestyle right now. Starting today to fight diabetes by eating right, getting regular exercises, having enough sleep and making sure your stress levels are in check are essential steps you will need to take to stay healthy.
The body parts which are usually most affected by complications from diabetes are the eyes, kidneys, nerves, hearts and blood vessels, gums and feet. Read on to learn more about the ways diabetes can affect these important organs.


It is recommended that people with eye problem see an eye doctor for an eye exam, once or twice in a year, because they’re at greater risk of developing eye problems such as:

Cataracts – A cataract is the thickening and clouding of the lens of the eye, and this in turn causes a person’s vision to get blurry or make it difficult to see at night, because the lens is the part of the eye that helps you focus on what you see.

Retinopathy – This involves changes in the retina, the light-sensitive at the back of the eye. These changes occur due to the damage or growth problems in the small blood vessels of the retina. This condition should often leads to blindness if it gets worst.

Glaucoma – With this disease, pressure builds up inside the eye, which can cause a decrease in blood flow to the retina and optic nerve, causing them to get damaged. In it’s initial stages, affected individuals might not have issues seeing, but if left untreated, this disease can cause a person to lose vision completely.


When a person’s blood sugar is high, it can cause great damage to the blood vessels in the kidneys, thereby leading to kidney disease.  This condition is sometimes referred to as diabetic nephropathy. In the early stages of this disease, there are hardly any symptoms however, over time, it can lead to kidney failure.


A type of nerve damage called diabetic neuropathy is another condition developed by people who have had diabetes for a long time. Diabetic neuropathy can affect nerves in different parts of the body and there could early symptoms like numbness, tingling, sharp pain in the feet or lower legs. If this is not treated, it can lead to a lot of problems. For example, due to the numbness, a person can have a burn or cut and might not realize it, which could easily lead to it getting infected.

Hearts and Blood vessels

People with diabetes have a higher risk of developing certain problems with the heart and blood vessels. (cardiovascular diseases.) Some of these problems are:

Heart attacks (caused by a blockage of the blood vessels supplying blood to the heart).
Stroke (caused by a blockage of the blood vessels supplying the brain).
Blockage of blood vessels in the legs and feet, which can lead to foot ulcers, infections, and even loss of a toe, foot, or lower leg.


People suffering from diabetes are at greater risk of developing gum diseases. This is due to the following:
• More plaque and less saliva (too much plaque on the teeth and not enough saliva can contribute to tooth decay).
• Higher blood sugar levels (a person has more sugar in their mouth, which can also lead to tooth decay).
• Some loss of collagen, a protein that’s found in gum tissue.
• Poor blood circulation in the gums.


Feet problems are solely caused due to poor blood flow in the leg, and also due to nerve damage. This in turn can cause slow healing to sores. Some of the symptoms include sharp pain in the leg and numbness. In serious cases, there might be a need for amputation.


You should be relieved to know that all these can be prevented by just doing four simple things that would probably cost you relatively little or nothing: Eat well, exercise regularly, get sufficient sleep, and manage your stress levels effectively.

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