How Diabetes Affects Your Heart, Kidney and Eyes?

How Diabetes Affects Your Heart

Diabetes is a group of disorders that is characterized by high blood glucose levels that persist over a long period of time.

It is one of the most common diseases of our time.

According to The International Diabetes Federation (IDF), 415 million people worldwide are with diabetes by the year 2015. And the figure is expected to increase to 642 million by 2040.

It is estimated that 1 in 11 of the adult populations around the world is living with diabetes in 2015, which is likely to be 1 in 10 adults will have diabetes in 2040.

An Overview of How Your Body Works

Glucose is a type of simple sugar found in food, which is an important source of energy found in food.

Every food that you eat is broken down into glucose. The cells in your body require a regular supply of glucose to extract energy from it. At this point, it is also referred as blood sugar.

We need energies  to do our daily activities; every organ of our body, be it  muscle, brain, kidney, heart, eyes relies on glucose to perform its roles.

How Does Glucose Get to Your Cells?

Insulin is a type of hormone that is produced by the pancreas that allows your body to transform glucose into energy to different cells or throughout your body.

How does all this relate to diabetes?

There are three main types of diabetes, such as Type 1 diabetes, Type 2 Diabetes, and Gestational diabetes.

Type 1 diabetes

Type 1 diabetes is also known as juvenile diabetes. This kind of diabetes mostly develops in young people but it can also develop in an adult.

In this condition, the pancreas responsible for producing insulin is destroyed and does not produce sufficient insulin for your body needs.

The exact causes of type 1 are unknown, however, it is thought to be an autoimmune response…

…like an outside invader virus triggers the body’s immune system and create an antibody that kills the T-cells in the pancreas responsible for making insulin.

The unused glucose in the blood eventually causes an overload of blood sugar and become severe and potentially dangerous.

Type 2 diabetes

Type 2 diabetes is the most common and prevalent form of diabetes.

It is estimated that 90 to 95 percent of all diagnosed diabetes is type 2.

Unlike people with type 1 diabetes, type 2 diabetes occurs when your pancreas produce insulin.

However, your cells are unable to recognize the insulin and use it properly; this medical terminology is also called as insulin resistance.

So How Does Uncontrolled Diabetes Damages Your Heart, Kidney, and Eyes?

How Diabetes Affects Your Heart

How Diabetes Affects Your Heart

According to National Institute of Health, Diabetes responsible for two-four increase in the occurrence of coronary artery diseases and stroke and two-eight fold rise in the risk of heart failure. (1 )

The high blood sugar level in the heart over a long period of time can impair the arteries that supply oxygen-rich blood to the heart.

This buildup of cholesterol and fatty deposit in your arteries walls, which can ultimately narrow and obstruct the blood flow in the artery.

It can change the structure and the function of the heart. Due to these reasons, the heart has to work harder than normal to pump enough blood through the heart to meet your body need.

And over time due to extra work, the heart become weakens and is not able to pump sufficient blood to meet the body requirement. This is why people have heart failure.

How does diabetes affect Your kidney?

When our body breaks down the nutrient that we get from food and drinks, the process creates waste products.

Kidney contains numbers of tiny blood vessels with even tinier holes in them act as a filter.

The waste materials from the blood are discharged through these holes and become the part of urine.

The blood that comes for filtration also contains useful substances such as protein and red blood cells.

Since the kidney’s filters are diminutive in size, the protein, and red blood cells are too big to pass through these holes in the filter, so they remain in the blood.

However, diabetes can damage the system over time. The high level of blood sugar created by diabetes makes the kidney filter too much blood.

All this extra work hardens and weakens the filter and over a period of time, they started to leak and useful proteins into the urine.

This extra work causes the kidney ability to shut down, thus waste material started to build up in the blood, finally leading to kidney failure.  This also called the end stage of renal failure (ESRD).

Sadly, a person with The End Stage of Renal Failure will either need to have a kidney transplant or have to undergo dialysis (filtering the blood through a machine)

How does diabetes affect your eyes?

How does diabetes affect your eyes?The eyes are one of the most important and also the sensitive part of the human body.  People with diabetes have a high risk of losing vision and blindness.

According to national eye institute, people with diabetes are at a high risk contracting to diabetes eyes disease.

These diabetes eye diseases include- Diabetic retinopathy, diabetic Macular Edema (DME), Cataracts and Glaucoma.

Diabetic Retinopathy: This is one of the most common causes of vision loss among the people with diabetes.


The retina detects light and converts light into signals and these signals are ultimately sent to the other cells and through the optic nerve to the brain where they are processed into images we see. (3 )

The high blood sugar level damages the blood vessel in the retina to leak fluid, a sensitive tissue that is located at the back of the eyes and distort vision.

Diabetic Macular Edema (DME): This generally occurs after diabetic retinopathy, it occurs due to accumulations of fluid in the macula- part of the retina that regulates our most detailed vision abilities.

It usually arises because of abnormalities in the blood vessels in the eyes and widening or swelling retinal capillaries.

Cataracts: People with diabetes are 2-5 times more frequently in a patient with diabetes.

In this case, the natural lens of the eyes becomes cloudy.  If your lens becomes cloudy from cataract then the image you see will become blurred.


Glaucoma: It is a group of eyes disorder; it is usually characterized by a pressure buildup on the optic nerve fibers that connects the eye to the brain, which ultimately damages it.

If glaucoma is left untreated, the entire nerve can be damaged and the vision can be permanently damaged.




Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *