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How Does Diabetes Affect The Body Systems

How Is Diabetes Managed

How Diabetes Can Affect Your Body

Diabetes affects your whole body. To best manage diabetes, youll need to take steps to keep your risk factors under control and within the normal range, including:

  • Keep your blood glucose levels as near to normal as possible by following a diet plan, taking prescribed medication and increasing your activity level.
  • Maintain your blood cholesterol and triglyceride levels as near the normal ranges as possible.
  • Control your blood pressure. Your blood pressure should not be over 140/90 mmHg.

You hold the keys to managing your diabetes by:

  • Planning what you eat and following a healthy meal plan. Follow a Mediterranean diet or Dash diet. These diets are high in nutrition and fiber and low in fats and calories. See a registered dietitian for help understanding nutrition and meal planning.
  • Exercising regularly. Try to exercise at least 30 minutes most days of the week. Walk, swim or find some activity you enjoy.
  • Losing weight if you are overweight. Work with your healthcare team to develop a weight-loss plan.
  • Taking medication and insulin, if prescribed, and closely following recommendations on how and when to take it.
  • Quitting smoking .

You have a lot of control on a day-to-day basis in managing your diabetes!

What Oral Medications Are Approved To Treat Diabetes

Over 40 medications have been approved by the Food and Drug Administration for the treatment of diabetes. Its beyond the scope of this article to review all of these drugs. Instead, well briefly review the main drug classes available, how they work and present the names of a few drugs in each class. Your healthcare team will decide if medication is right for you. If so, theyll decide which specific drug are best to treat your diabetes.

Diabetes medication drug classes include:

Many oral diabetes medications may be used in combination or with insulin to achieve the best blood glucose control. Some of the above medications are available as a combination of two medicines in a single pill. Others are available as injectable medications, for example, the GLP-1 agonist semaglutide and lixisenatide .

Always take your medicine exactly as your healthcare prescribes it. Discuss your specific questions and concerns with them.

Diabetes And Its Effects On The Nerves

The effects of diabetes on the nerves can be serious as the nerves are involved in so many of our bodily functions, from movement and digestion through to sex and reproduction.

The presence of nerve damage is commonly noticed by:

  • Numbness or tingling in the hands or feet
  • Lack of arousal in the penis or clitoris
  • Excessive sweating or
  • Diagnosis of delayed stomach emptying

Treatments for neuropathy concentrates on reducing pain but medication such blood pressure lowering drugs may also be prescribed to help prevent development of the condition.

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Long Term Effects Of Diabetes On The Body

In addition to the symptoms, diabetes can cause long term damage to our body. The long term damage is commonly referred to as diabetic complications

Diabetes affects our blood vessels and nerves and therefore can affect any part of the body.

However, certain parts of our body are affected more than other parts.

Diabetic complications will usually take a number of years of poorly controlled diabetes to develop. Complications are not a certainty and can be kept at bay and prevented by maintaining a strong level of control on your diabetes, your blood pressure and cholesterol

These can all be helped by keeping to a healthy diet, avoiding cigarettes and alcohol, and incorporating regular activity into your daily regime in order to keep blood sugar levels within recommended blood glucose level guidelines

What Happens In The Body When You Have Type 2 Diabetes

How the Blood Sugar of Diabetes Affects the Body

With type 2 diabetes, the muscles and liver that normally take up blood sugar and use it for energy begin to lose their sensitivity to the hormone insulin, a condition known as insulin resistance.

The pancreas, which contains the insulin-making beta cells, responds to the body’s insulin resistance by churning out even more of the hormone. Even though insulin levels may increase to a degree, even the increased amount is not sufficient to prevent blood sugar from becoming too high.

The excess blood sugar in diabetes can wreak havoc on blood vessels all over the body and cause complications. It can severely damage the eyes, kidneys, nerves, and other body parts cause sexual problems and double the risk of heart attack and stroke.

Eventually, insulin-producing cells can shut down and stop producing the hormone completely. Some people with type 2 diabetes need insulin, but most don’t. You may need to inject insulin to help replace or supplement your own natural production of the hormone and to help your body overcome insulin resistance.

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What Is Endocrinologist Diabetes

Diabetes and endocrinology go hand in hand as the latter mainly deals with the endocrine organs that are responsible for the hormonal imbalances in our body, including the rise of blood glucose levels resulting in diabetes. Endocrinologists specialize in the treatment of disorders related to glands, and insulin being a hormone, diabetes is also regarded as a hormonal malady.

We hope the above post has been helpful in educating you on the effects of diabetes on digestive, endocrine and the excretory system and how the same can be treated and managed effectively with the a fore-mentioned measures.

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How Common Are These Conditions

  • Diabetes: This condition is widespread. Almost 10% of people in the United States have diabetes and 27% have prediabetes.
  • Thyroid disorders: About 20 million Americans have thyroid disease. Women are about five times more likely than men to develop the condition.
  • Hypogonadism: About 40% of men over 45 have low testosterone. Levels of this sex hormone naturally drop as men age. Other factors, such as a mans diet, weight and other health problems also affect testosterone levels.
  • PCOS: This common condition affects about 5% to 10% of adult women in the U.S. It is a leading cause of infertility.
  • Osteoporosis: More than half of adults over age 50 have osteoporosis. It is more likely to occur in women than in men.

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The Kidneys And Urinary System

Over time, high blood sugar levels can damage blood vessels in the kidneys. This damage prevents the kidneys from filtering waste out of the blood. In time, kidney failure can result.

The NIDDK describe diabetes as one of the main causes of kidney disease. It affects 1 in 4 people with diabetes.

Diabetic nephropathy is kidney disease that affects people with diabetes. Learn more here.

Diabetes increases the risk of a number of eye problems, some of which can lead to vision loss.

Short-term problems include blurred vision, due to high blood sugar. Long-term complications include:

How Common Is Diabetes Mellitus

How Diabetes Affects Your Body

Diabetes mellitus is a public health problem around the world. In 1980, 108 million adults worldwide had diabetes . By 2014 this had risen to 422 million adults . By 2040, the number is expected to be 642 million adults. In the UK, there is estimated to be between 3 and 4 million people with diabetes. Type 2 diabetes accounts for more than 90% of all patients with diabetes.

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What Body Systems Are Involved In Diabetes

The endocrine system and diabetes. Diabetes affects how the body regulates blood glucose levels. Insulin helps to reduce levels of blood glucose whereas glucagons role is to increase blood glucose levels. In people without diabetes, insulin and glucagon work together to keep blood glucose levels balanced.

Can Diabetes Cause Hair Loss

Yes, its possible for diabetes to cause hair loss. Uncontrolled diabetes can lead to persistently high blood glucose levels. This, in turn, leads to blood vessel damage and restricted flow, and oxygen and nutrients cant get to the cells that need it including hair follicles. Stress can cause hormone level changes that affect hair growth. If you have Type 1 diabetes, your immune system attacks itself and can also cause a hair loss condition called alopecia areata.

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What Body Systems Does Type 1 Diabetes Affect

If your blood sugar stays above your target range for a long time, it can damage many parts of your body. Eyes. High blood sugar levels can lead to vision loss and blindness . Feet and skin. Heart and blood vessels. Nerves. Kidneys. Hearing. Teeth. Mental health.

How Can I Prevent Kidney Disease And Other Problems From Diabetes


Controlling blood sugar is the best way to protect your eyes, heart, nerves, feet, and kidneys. It lowers your risk for all health problems from diabetes. This is true for all people with diabetes with or without kidney damage. Ask your healthcare provider what you need to do to control your blood sugar.

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What Endocrine Gland Can You Live Without

The adrenal glands are small glands located on top of each kidney. They produce hormones that you cant live without, including sex hormones and cortisol. Cortisol helps you respond to stress and has many other important functions. With adrenal gland disorders, your glands make too much or not enough hormones.

What Is The Endocrine System

The endocrine system consists of all the glands in your body that secrete hormones. This includes, among others, the pituitary gland in the brain, which regulates growth the ovaries and testes, which control the reproduction and secondary sex characteristics and the pancreas, which regulates blood sugar and metabolism.

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Milestones In The Study Of The Endocrine System

200 B.C.: The Chinese begin isolating sex and pituitary hormones from human urine and using them for medicinal purposes

1025: In medieval Persia, the writer Avicenna provides a detailed account on diabetes mellitus in The Canon of Medicine , describing the abnormal appetite, the collapse of sexual functions and the sweet taste of diabetic urine.

1835: Irish doctor Robert James Graves describes a case of goiter with bulging eyes . The thyroid condition Graves disease was later named after the doctor.

1902: William Bayliss and Ernest Starling perform an experiment in which they observe that acid instilled into the duodenum causes the pancreas to begin secretion, even after they had removed all nervous connections between the two organs.

1889: Joseph von Mering and Oskar Minkowski observe that surgically removing the pancreas results in an increase of blood sugar, followed by a coma and eventual death.

1921: Otto Loewi in 1921 discovers neurohormones by incubating a frogs heart in a saline bath.

1922: Leonard Thompson, at age 14, is the first person with diabetes to receive insulin. Drugmaker Eli Lilly soon starts mass production of insulin.

Additional reporting by Alina Bradford, Live Science contributor.

Editors Note: If youd like more information on this topic, we recommend the following book:

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Where Can I Get More Information

how does diabetes symptoms and treatment and affect the body systems

The National Kidney Foundation has free booklets that provide more information about diabetes. Call the national toll-free number 855.653.2273 and ask for free booklets on diabetes. You can see these and other titles at

Date Reviewed: November 2014

If you would like more information, please contact us.

Improve, sustain, and extend even more kidney patient lives in 2022 with your special holiday gift.

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Respiratory Responses And Arrest

Sudden respiratory arrests have been described in diabetic patients with autonomic neuropathy. In most of these episodes, there was some interference with respiration either by anaesthesia or drugs, or bronchopneumonia. These episodes are transient, and although temporary assisted ventilation may be needed, recovery to normal health is expected. Anaesthetists need to be forewarned of this possibility when patients with symptomatic autonomic neuropathy require even minor surgery. Whether respiratory arrest is responsible for the sudden unexplained deaths reported in diabetic patients with autonomic neuropathy is unclear,6465 but we suspect, from clinical observation, that it might be.

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Diabetes Can Affect Almost All Organ Systems Within The Body

One in eight Americans older than 20 has diabetes. Most of usknow at least one person who has suffered from the complications ofthis disease. These complications can affect almost every organsystem in the body, including the brain, heart, kidneys, eyes,nervous system, skin and soft tissues. If uncontrolled, diabetescan lead to stroke, heart attack, kidney failure, blindness,chronic pain and amputations. Fortunately, years of research havehelped us understand the most effective ways to control diabetesand prevent these complications.

Strategies to protect your organs from the complications ofdiabetes can be reduced to four basic principles: 1. Build a strongand lasting partnership with your primary care provider 2. Takeyour medications regularly and as directed 3. Keep your bloodsugar under control and 4. Keep your blood pressure undercontrol.

The foundation of any diabetes treatment program is yourrelationship with your doctor. Diabetes is a chronic diseaseprocess that requires constant and vigilant management. Just asroutine maintenance on your car can prevent costly repairs, regularvisits to your primary care provider can help you avoid the severerepercussions of diabetes.

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Why Is My Blood Glucose Level High How Does This Happen

The process of digestion includes breaking down the food you eat into various different nutrient sources. When you eat carbohydrates , your body breaks this down into sugar . When glucose is in your bloodstream, it needs help a “key” to get into its final destination where it’s used, which is inside your body’s cells . This help or “key” is insulin.

Insulin is a hormone made by your pancreas, an organ located behind your stomach. Your pancreas releases insulin into your bloodstream. Insulin acts as the key that unlocks the cell wall door, which allows glucose to enter your bodys cells. Glucose provides the fuel or energy tissues and organs need to properly function.

If you have diabetes:

  • Your pancreas doesnt make any insulin or enough insulin.
  • Your pancreas makes insulin but your bodys cells dont respond to it and cant use it as it normally should.

If glucose cant get into your bodys cells, it stays in your bloodstream and your blood glucose level rises.

How Is The Endocrine System Related To Diabetes

Pre diabetes diet plan, blood sugar reading after eating ...

Diabetes is the most common endocrine disorder in the United States, with over 10% of Americans struggling with either Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes. But what exactly is an endocrine disorder, and how is the endocrine system related to diabetes?

Quite simply, diabetes occurs when the pancreas cannot release the normal regulatory hormones, or when the body cannot respond properly to those hormones. The result is an inability to regulate blood sugar levels, which can cause serious and wide-reaching symptoms. To understand how this happens, we first have to understand how the pancreas functions in a healthy endocrine system.

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Impairment Of Cytokine Production

Unlike the effect of hyperglycemia on immune cell activity in T2D, the impact of insulin deficiency in T2D on macrophage activity against pathogens has not been widely studied. A study regarding the impact of insulin deficiency on immune response by Tessaro et al. demonstrated that the administration of insulin into bone marrow-derived macrophages isolated from diabetic mice significantly increased the production of TNF- and IL-6 after LPS stimulation . Another study using rats revealed that a lack of insulin resulted in a disruption in phagocytosis of alveolar macrophages as well as cytokine release, both of which were restored after insulin intervention . Since TNF- and IL-6 play a role in leukocyte function against pathogens, this result indicated that the administration of exogenous insulin in diabetes may enhance immune cell activity to protect against pathogens.

Improving Other Risk Factors

Although getting blood glucose under control is important, it might not be enough. It is also important to control other risk factors such as high triglycerides or cholesterol, treat high blood pressure and quit smoking. Daily aerobic exercises are shown to protect the nerves and improve neuropathy outcomes. Losing weight is also important if a patient is obese or overweight.

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How Do Health Problems From Diabetes Begin

If your diabetes is not well controlled, the sugar level in your blood goes up. This is called hyperglycemia . High blood sugar can cause damage to very small blood vessels in your body. Imagine what happens to sugar when it is left unwrapped overnight. It gets sticky. Now imagine how sugar sticks to your small blood vessels and makes it hard for blood to get to your organs. Damage to blood vessels occurs most often in the eyes, heart, nerves, feet, and kidneys. Lets look at how this damage happens.

When To See A Doctor

7 Ways Diabetes Affects The Body

Visit your GP as soon as possible if you experience the main symptoms of diabetes, which include:

  • weight loss and loss of muscle bulk
  • itching around the penis or vagina, or frequent episodes of thrush
  • cuts or wounds that heal slowly
  • blurred vision

Type 1 diabetes can develop quickly over weeks or even days.

Many people have type 2 diabetes for years without realising because the early symptoms tend to be general.

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