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Anderson’s Diabetes Self Management Program Can Help

Uncontrolled diabetes is a chronic condition that occurs when the body is unable to properly regulate blood sugar levels. While many people are aware of the immediate complications of diabetes, such as high blood sugar and the need for insulin, it is important to understand how uncontrolled diabetes can affect the entire body over time. From head to toe, this condition can wreak havoc on various organs and systems, leading to serious health complications.

1. Cardiovascular System: Uncontrolled diabetes significantly increases the risk of heart disease and stroke. High blood sugar levels can damage blood vessels, leading to atherosclerosis (hardening and narrowing of the arteries) and increasing the likelihood of heart attacks and strokes.

2. Nervous System: Diabetes can cause nerve damage, known as diabetic neuropathy. This condition primarily affects the feet and legs, leading to numbness, tingling, and pain. Over time, it can also affect the nerves in other parts of the body, including the digestive system, causing problems with digestion and bowel movements.

3. Eyes: Uncontrolled diabetes can damage the blood vessels in the retina, leading to a condition called diabetic retinopathy. This can cause vision problems, including blurred vision, floaters, and even blindness if left untreated.

4. Kidneys: Diabetes is one of the leading causes of kidney disease. High blood sugar levels can damage the small blood vessels in the kidneys, impairing their ability to filter waste from the blood. This can eventually lead to kidney failure, requiring dialysis or a kidney transplant.

5. Skin: People with uncontrolled diabetes are more prone to skin infections and slow wound healing. High blood sugar levels can impair the immune system, making it harder for the body to fight off infections. Additionally, poor circulation can lead to dry, itchy skin and foot ulcers that are difficult to heal.

6. Digestive System: Diabetes can affect the nerves that control the digestive system, leading to problems such as gastroparesis (delayed stomach emptying), which can cause nausea, vomiting, and bloating. It can also lead to constipation or diarrhea.

7. Sexual Health: Uncontrolled diabetes can affect both men and women’s sexual health. In men, it can lead to erectile dysfunction, while women may experience vaginal dryness and decreased libido.

8. Immune System: High blood sugar levels can weaken the immune system, making individuals with uncontrolled diabetes more susceptible to infections, including urinary tract infections, skin infections, and respiratory infections.

It is crucial for individuals with diabetes to manage their blood sugar levels through proper diet, regular exercise, medication, and regular check-ups with healthcare professionals. By doing so, they can minimize the risk of complications and maintain a healthier, more fulfilling life.