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Understanding Your Diabetes Risk 

What is Diabetes?

Diabetes is a disease in which the body's blood glucose level is too high. Diabetes can cause numerous health problems including heart disease, kidney failure, and blindness. Some key factors for developing type 2 diabetes includes age, obesity, and sedimentary lifestyle.  

How is Diabetes Diagnosed?  

Blood glucose is a simple blood sugar, the body’s main source of energy. A blood test measuring glucose can be used to diagnose diabetes, monitor diabetic control, or for screening purposes.

A normal range for fasting blood glucose is less than 100 mg/dl, pre-diabetes 100 mg/dl to 125 mg/dl, and diabetes 126 mg/dl or higher may be diagnose by your healthcare provider after two consecutive elevated fasting blood glucose test.

How Does Diabetes Affect the Body?

Your Eyes

Diabetes may cause the following eye problems:

  • ​Diabetic retinopathy - damage to the blood vessels inside the eye

  • Cataract - clouded vision

  • Glaucoma - increased pressure inside the eye

Your Mouth

Diabetes may cause the following dental problems:

  • Everyone gets plaque on their teeth. Plaque is a sticky film that develops from chewing food. It is filled with germs.​

  • In diabetes, high blood sugar helps these germs grow

  • Diabetes can cause red sores or swollen gums that bleed when you brush or floss your teeth

  • Other problems include; gum pulling away from the teeth, loose or sensitive teeth, tooth loss, bad breath, poor chewing mechanics, and poorly fitting dentures. 

Your Nerves 

Diabetes may cause the following eye problems:

  • ​Diabetic neuropathy - also called nerve damage is a disorder of the nervous system caused by diabetes

  • Diabetic neuropathy can sometimes result in numbness or loss of feeling in the feet, hands, or legs, and can affect other parts of the body.

  • Diabetic neuropathy can also cause gastrointestinal problems, urinary, and heart problems, as well as impotence.

  • Diabetic neuropathy is more common in persons who smoke, drink alcohol, or have poor glucose control. 

Your Heart & Blood Vessels 

Diabetes may cause the following heart and blood vessel problems:

  • ​Diabetes may cause serious problems to the heart and blood vessels; fat deposits can form in the arteries blood clots may be more likely to form, and puts one at risk for high blood pressure

  • Diabetes also can lead to heart attack and stroke

Your Kidneys

Diabetes may cause the following kidney problems:

  • ​Diabetes in its early stages may cause parts of the kidneys that work to filter to blood to become damaged.

  • Protein in urine is a sign of kidney damage

  • Kidney disease may have no symptoms or it may include the following: Feeling tired and general weakness, trouble sleeping, swelling, vomiting

  • Early testing for kidney disease before it causes permanent damage is very important. 

Your Feet 

Diabetes may cause the following feet problems:

  • ​Diabetes can cause nerve damage in the feet.

  • You may injure your foot and not know it because of a loss of feeling

  • Diabetes may also affect blood flow in the feet, making it hard for sores to heal, which can lead to infections and amputations 

  • Checking feet everyday for cuts, bruises, sores, dry cracks, bleeding corns or calluses, ingrown or fungal toenails, tenderness, loss of feeling, other infections, redness, or slow healing wounds is important. 

Medical Disclaimer

The information provided on this site is intended for your general knowledge only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice or treatment for specific medical conditions. You should not use this information to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease without consulting with a qualified healthcare provider. Please consult your healthcare provider with any questions or concerns you may have regarding your condition.

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