The Short and Long-Term Effects of Diabetes


November is National Diabetes Awareness Month and all of us at Affiliated Foot & Ankle Center are eager to increase awareness in our patients about the debilitating effects of the disease. With diabetes, there are short-term effects and long-term effects.

Short-term effects of diabetes

The short-term effects of diabetes are the symptoms; that is, what happens to your body at the beginning stages, when blood glucose levels are out of normal range:

·excessive thirst

·increased need to urinate


·feeling of lethargy

·blurred vision

·extreme hunger

·weakness or shaking

·nervousness, or a feeling of confusion

Long-term effects of diabetes

If you’ve had diabetes for a number of years, you’re at increased risk for the long-term effects, or complications, of diabetes, including

·retinopathy (damage to the retina at the back of the eye) and blindness

·nephropathy (kidney disease)

·heart disease


·blood vessel damage (peripheral arterial disease or PAD)

·neuropathy (nerve damage)

Effects of diabetes on your feet

Neuropathy and PAD are the two long-term effects that concern us most. Nerve damage can cause numbness, which may make it hard for you to feel a foot injury. If you do get an injury such as a cut or scrape but your feet have blood vessel damage, then the wound may be slow to heal. Wounds that don’t heal due to blood vessel damage can very quickly get out of hand and lead to amputation of a toe, foot, or even an entire lower leg.

The good news is that patients with diabetes who take concrete steps to improve their health and blood sugar levels can delay these debilitating long-term effects of diabetes on their feet. If you’re a patient with diabetes living in Howell, Lakewood, Jackson, or anywhere in Monmouth County, New Jersey, consider our board-certified podiatrists - Dr. Samantha Boyd, Dr. Hal Ornstein, Dr. Joseph Saka, and Dr. Katy Statler - your partners in treating the diabetic foot. Make an appointment with us at least once a year for a thorough examination and wound care. Click here to contact us online, or call us in Howell at (732) 905-1110.