Diabetes is a known underlying cause of several health complications, including kidney disease, loss of vision and heart disease. While most people are aware of the common side effects of uncontrolled diabetes, some of its adverse effects on vital body systems are not as well known.
Here are five ways unmanaged diabetes can affect one’s health and thereby their quality of life.
Decline in cognitive ability
Several studies have indicated a link between Type 2 diabetes and reduced cognitive ability, which can lead to conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease. Researchers have found that diabetes affects a person’s memory and cognition over the years and induces changes in the brain, thus increasing the risk of brain disorders.
Maintaining oral hygiene is an important part of managing your diabetes to protect your teeth and gums from the long-term adverse effects of high blood glucose.
If you frequently develop oral problems such as swollen or bleeding gums, it could be due to high blood sugar. See you dentist to rule out periodontitis, a gum infection common in people with diabetes.
Higher risk of mental disorders
Diabetes has long been linked with mental disorders, including acute stress and depression. Studies have found that people who have diabetes are at a higher risk of developing a mental illness as managing diabetes can sometimes take a toll on a person’s mental health.
If you feel stressed, anxious or irritable and can’t sleep well, acknowledge these feelings, resolve to fight them and see a mental health professional at the earliest.
People with diabetes often complain of reduced sexual performance, which results from damage to the blood vessels caused by the abnormally high levels of sugar in the bloodstream. If you’re experiencing loss of libido, erectile dysfunction or other sexual health issues, seek help from a qualified doctor as these problems can further lead to mental health issues such as anxiety and depression.
Furthermore, women with diabetes are a greater risk of vaginal yeast infections, so watch out for any abnormal discharge, itching or foul smell and treat the infection in time.
Poor bone health
Not many people are aware of the potential adverse effects on diabetes on the composition of bones. According to recent research, people who have diabetes are at a greater risk of bone diseases such as osteoporosis as high blood sugar makes the bones weak over time. Some diabetes medicines have also been linked to loss in bone density over the years.
Possibly the best gift you can give yourself if you have diabetes is to change your lifestyle and make healthy eating and exercise an indispensable part of your life. The second important step to control diabetes than letting it control your life is to keep track of your blood glucose levels by using a quality glucometer and diabetic testing supplies.
Protect your vital body systems by ensuring your fasting and postprandial blood sugar levels are in check even when you are travelling.