Long Term Effects of Diabetes

Nurse speaking with elderly woman in the doctor's office

About one out of every ten Americans is a diabetic, with every three out of the remaining nine pre-diabetic. While the high statistics of diabetes among the US population may make it seem underwhelming, diabetes is a severe illness that can greatly impact one’s quality of life and overall health. 

For diabetics and pre-diabetics, diabetes care in Boynton Beach is essential to living a healthy life and managing the blood sugar levels through diet and exercise. High blood sugar levels can affect various organs when poorly managed or not managed correctly. Long-term uncontrolled blood sugar levels can especially prove to be harmful as they may disable the patient or even result in their death. Some of the long term effects of diabetes include: 


Neuropathy or nerve damage is one of the most common and one of the most harmful long-term effects of diabetes. Many other long-term effects of diabetes can be neuropathy in different body parts.  

Nerves in various body parts can get damaged due to high blood sugar levels. Once damaged, the patient may feel tingling or numbness in that particular body organ. Sensitivity to touch and stabbing pain may also occur as symptoms. Moreover, if nerve damage occurs in limbs, patients may also feel weakness or loss of control.  

If early nerve damage symptoms are ignored, the nerve damage can continue to occur and might result in loss of complete control of the body part or even in amputation.  

Kidney Diseases 

Nerve damage in the kidneys can result in kidney damage. Kidney damage can cause various kidney diseases among diabetics and pre-diabetics. Foamy urine, loss of bladder control, and the urgency to pee every hour are common symptoms of kidney diseases caused by high blood sugar. For diabetes care in Boynton Beach related to kidney issues, it is essential to treat the kidneys and control the blood sugar levels. Pre-diabetics should also look into diabetes prevention and maintaining regular kidney function. Untreated kidney diseases can result in kidney failure.  

Impaired Vision 

Diabetic retinopathy or eye damage in diabetics is another common long-term effect of uncontrolled blood sugar. Diabetic retinopathy is caused by the damage to nerves in the eyes by high blood sugar levels. Diabetics and pre-diabetics can experience various symptoms of eye damage, including blurriness, blind spots, loss of color vision, or the presence of floaters or halos in vision. 

While untreated retinopathy results in blindness, researchers have found that early diagnosis and treatment can effectively prevent blindness among diabetics.  

Impaired Hearing 

Research suggests that those suffering from type 2 diabetes have increased chances of impaired hearing than those who don’t. The cause for impaired hearing among diabetics is neuropathy of the ears. For diabetics and pre-diabetics, there is only one solution to prevent impaired hearing: managing their blood sugar levels. Getting regularly examined for ear damage as a diabetic and pre-diabetic may also help diagnose any damage before it worsens.  

Increased Risk of Alzheimer’s  

Alzheimer’s is a common age-related disease that can affect anyone. However, those with diabetes are at a higher risk of Alzheimer’s. Due to high blood sugar levels, Nerve damage in the brain can damage the brain tissue and nerves more among diabetics than in healthy individuals of the same age. Since poorly managed blood sugar levels are usually caused by poor diet and lifestyle choices, the risk of dementia can further increase for diabetics and pre-diabetics.  

Anxiety and Depression 

Anxiety and depression, among other similar mental illnesses, are also common among diabetics. For some patients, symptoms of anxiety and depression may make it difficult for them to manage their blood sugar levels. However, an active lifestyle and a healthy diet can help keep the blood sugar levels in check and relieve the symptoms of anxiety and depression. 

Heart Diseases 

High blood sugar levels directly impact heart health. The heart health of diabetics and pre-diabetics can suffer in various ways. High blood sugar levels may damage arteries. Sugar molecules in blood can also stick to the walls of arteries, resulting in the heart having to apply greater pressure to keep the blood flowing. High pressure from the heart can also result in high blood pressure for the patients, while sugar molecules in arteries can result in high cholesterol levels.  

Despite the severely harmful long-term effects of diabetes, diabetes prevention for pre-diabetics and management of blood sugar levels for diabetics is possible. For diabetes care in Boynton Beach, reach out to MMR Healthcare.