senior woman holding diabetes supplies

How Diabetes Affects the Body

It’s estimated over 34 million people across the world have diabetes, with approximately 7 million adults living undiagnosed. Diabetes results when blood glucose (sugar) levels are too high. Whether it is type 1, type 2 or gestational, diabetes may negatively impact various parts of the body. 

Symptoms may appear different for each person, but equipping yourself with the knowledge of how diabetes impacts the body will reveal signs to look out for and guide you as you manage the condition.

6 Ways Diabetes Affects the Body 

The classic symptoms of diabetes when in the undiagnosed stage include frequent urination, fatigue, blurred vision, tingling in hands, feet or legs, and increased thirst. However, more specifically, the internal organs and biological systems experience their own symptoms and long-term damage. 

The following are six ways diabetes impacts parts of the body:

  1. Heart— Diabetes is closely related to coronary heart disease and makes the body more susceptible to higher blood pressure and increased cholesterol levels. As a result, heart attacks and cardiovascular disease are more prominent in individuals struggling with diabetes. 
  1. Kidneys— Poorly controlled diabetes will often lead to diabetic nephropathy or kidney disease. Kidney damage worsens over a period of years, but a nephropathy screening will detect kidney damage and its severity. 
  1. Eyes— Diabetic retinopathy, glaucoma and cataracts are related to diabetes. Diabetic eye disease encompasses a range of eye problems that may lead to loss of vision and blindness. 
  1. Nerves— Nerve damage, or neuropathy, is another common occurrence when diagnosed with diabetes. A person’s body may feel numbness or tingling in hands and feet, excessive sweating or sexual dysfunction. 
  1. Digestion— When diabetes leads to nerve damage, digestion problems also may follow, resulting in nausea, constipation or diarrhea. 
  1. Skin— The ripple effect of diabetes on the nervous system impacts the skin due to a lack of circulation. This leads to dry skin and slow healing of cuts, burns and wounds. Diabetic foot is a medical term used to describe the lack of feeling a person may experience in their feet which could lead to amputation. 

Post Acute Care and Diabetes

Receiving specialized care from a post-acute care facility helps diabetes patients manage symptoms while reducing the advancement of diabetes. Diabetes care usually involves controlling blood pressure and hypertension, creating a glucose / dietary regimen, cholesterol monitoring and much more. Lifestyle modifications are also a key consideration when receiving post-acute care for diabetes. Individualized care plans will determine the best medical, nutritional, and lifestyle adjustments to make for a resident with diabetes. 

The loved ones of a post-acute care patient with diabetes should work closely with the medical team to coordinate communication and cooperation between the patient and the care plan for the best results.  

If you have a history of diabetes or have any underlying factors that contribute to the increased likelihood of developing it, it’s important to keep an eye out for any of these signs. Early testing and diabetic management is always the best way to reduce the severity of the condition.

South Coast Post Acute is Southern California’s Premier Post-Acute Partner

Better health and healing are possible with the right professional oversight. At South Coast Post Acute, we deliver specialized skilled nursing services to restore health, regain autonomy and reduce the occurrences of rehospitalization. 

South Coast Post Acute is here for you, at any age. Our innovative care, experienced staff, and welcoming accommodations combine to bring you the high level of care you’ve come to expect from Southern California’s leading post-acute provider. 

Contact us today for more information on how we can help you on your journey back to restored health.

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