5 Effects of Diabetes that May Surprise You


“What is diabetes?” Ask that question to someone who’s got just a basic knowledge of diabetes. You might hear answers like “it’s when you have high blood sugar” or “someone needs to inject insulin.”

Diabetes is all those things to different people, but it’s so much more complicated than that. A person with diabetes is at a higher risk for a number of other diseases and complications. Let’s take a closer look at 5 of those risks: 

  1. Eye disease – patients with diabetes are up to 5 times more likely to get cataracts than non-diabetics. Diabetes also doubles the risk of getting glaucoma. Diabetic retinopathy is a disease affecting the tissues at the back of the eye (retina) and it’s often accompanied by retinal swelling. Any of these conditions can lead to serious vision impairment or blindness.

  2. Diabetes is a major risk factor for getting kidney disease.  High blood sugar can damage the small blood vessels or nerve system in the kidneys, leading to dangerous infections.

  3. Peripheral arterial disease (PAD) is damage to any of the blood vessels in your body located outside of the brain or heart. High blood sugar is a factor in causing the peripheral arteries to become narrowed, preventing the free and easy flow of blood.

  4. Loss of feeling in your hands and feet - also called neuropathy or nerve damage. Neuropathy also causes tingling and weakness.

  5. Complications of the foot. Naturally, this is the effect we’re most concerned about at Affiliated Foot & Ankle Center. Neuropathy and PAD have a direct effect on your feet. Blood vessel damage means that ordinary cuts don’t heal properly. Nerve damage means that you can step on a piece of glass and not even know it.

Our diabetic patients know that they should check their feet every single day for signs of these side effects. We also strongly encourage regular appointments with podiatrists Dr. Samantha Boyd, Dr. Hal Ornstein, Dr. Dan Phan, and Dr. Joseph Saka. You can make an appointment with us online or call us at (732) 905-1110. We are happy to see you at either of our offices in Howell or Jackson, Monmouth County, New Jersey.