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Healtheuniversity > English > Diabetes College > Treat Diabetes > What is Diabetes > How Diabetes Impacts Your Body

How Diabetes Impacts Your Body

Diabetes means your pancreas is not working as it should.

Diabetes impacts your whole body.

  • Diabetes damages your blood vessels, which may lead to problems like heart attack, stroke, kidney disease, eye problems, skin problems and nerve damage.
  • Diabetes impacts your ability to heal.

Take action to prevent problems from starting or getting worse.

  • Take your medicines as prescribed by your doctor.
  • Eat healthy.
  • Exercise and be active.
  • Manage your stress and depression.
  • Check your blood sugar.
  • Avoid smoking and breathing second-hand smoke.

Diabetes means you have too much sugar in your blood. High blood sugar causes damage to your whole body.

High blood sugar can damage your blood vessels. Blood vessels are your veins and arteries that carry blood around your body.

When you have diabetes your blood vessels are more likely to collect plaque and become narrow. Narrow blood vessels mean your blood does not travel through your body as it should. When blood does not travel through your body as it should problems can happen.

These problems include:

  • heart disease (heart attack)
  • cerebrovascular disease (stroke)
  • kidney disease (kidney failure)
  • eye problems (blindness)
  • nerve damage (pain or loss of sensation)

Diabetes also impacts your ability to heal. You may have

  • wounds that do not heal
  • foot problems that may lead to amputation (removal of toes, feet or lower leg by surgery)

See how diabetes can impact different areas of your body »

Take Action to Manage Diabetes

Manage your blood sugar to prevent problems from starting or getting worse.

If you have diabetes (any type) take action to manage your blood sugar.

Last Reviewed: 10/16/2016