Diabetes is being called an epidemic for a reason. With more than 29 million Americans suffering from the disease, and diagnoses on the rise, the disease has quickly become one of the most common reasons for a visit to the doctor in the U.S.
The most common form of the disease, type 2 diabetes can be a byproduct of modern lifestyles (think: more eating, less moving). This can result in the body becoming unable to use insulin, the hormone that normally regulates blood sugar, normally. When insulin function is out of whack, you can end up with sky-high blood glucose levels.
While smart eating and exercise can both help to keep diabetes under control, many patients require oral medications or insulin injections as forms of treatment, too. That’s because type 2 diabetes can wreak real havoc on your health.
Curious how? Watch the video to learn more about the seven ways type 2 diabetes can affect the body.
Don’t have time to watch? Read the full transcript:
Blood vessels: High blood glucose levels can damage blood vessels, which negatively impacts circulation throughout the body.
Nerves: Diabetes can cause neuropathy in the form of pain or numbness in the hands, arms, feet, and legs.
Vision loss: People with type 2 diabetes are 25 times more likely to go blind than those without the disease as a result of both high blood sugar and pressure.
Kidney disease: High glucose levels can damage the structures in the kidney that filter the blood, called glomeruli.
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Sexual problems: Sexual dysfunction – such as erectile dysfunction in men or vaginal dryness in women – is a potential side effect of diabetes.
Heart attack: High blood sugar damage the heart and blood vessels, increasing one’s risk of heart attack.
Stroke: High blood sugar makes plasma clot more readily. If these blockages obstruct blood flow to the brain, a stroke could occur.