Updated: Apr 27
With World Diabetes Day on November 14th, National Diabetes Month occurs every November. It is when communities around the nation join together to bring awareness and educate people about diabetes, prediabetes, and the risks associated with them.
According to the CDC, 1 in 3 adults have prediabetes in the United States, that’s 88 million people, but the majority of people don’t know they have it.
How Does Diabetes Affect Your Health?
We all know that diabetes cannot be completely cured and it can cause and develop other health issues. Nevertheless, diabetes can be controlled and well-managed when proper steps are taken. In this awareness month, let’s learn about the complications of diabetes. These effects depend on the type of diabetes you have.
People with diabetes are also more likely to have other conditions, particularly heart diseases. Adults with diabetes have a 2-to-3-fold increased risk of heart attack and stroke. Over time, high blood sugar can damage blood vessels and the nerves that control your heart.
Damage of nerves and reduced blood flow can lead to insufficient oxygenated blood and nutrients to your extremities, which increases the chances of foot ulcer, infection, and slow healing. Unfortunately, the nerve damage caused by diabetes can’t be reversed.
Diabetes is among the leading cause of kidney failure. They affect the kidney’s ability to filter waste products from your blood. If the damage gets bad enough, the kidneys can stop working, and sadly, this type of kidney damage can't be reversed either.
Skin or Integumentary Damage
Diabetes can also damage your skin when left uncontrolled. People with diabetes can develop a skin condition called Acanthosis Nigricans, where your skin usually darkens and thickens, and it might feel velvety. This particularly occurs in the back of the neck, groin, folds of elbows, knees, knuckles, and armpits.
Diabetic retinopathy is a diabetic complication again, and this occurs as a result of long-term accumulated damage to the small blood vessels in the retina (back of the eye). Initially, this condition might cause no symptoms or merely some mild vision problems, however, over time it can lead to blindness.
Having diabetes can put a lot of pressure on you, but it can be controlled by following a healthy lifestyle and healthy eating. With the help of modern medicine, there is also a chance that you can reverse prediabetes. It is always wise to prevent diabetes than trying to control it afterward. So, let’s ring the alarm of the diabetes epidemic together.