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How Diabetes Increases Risk Factors for These 4 Common Diseases Photo by Artem Podrez from Pexels

Diabetes is a condition in which the body doesn’t make enough insulin—a hormone produced by the pancreas that helps turn sugar (glucose) into usable energy—or can’t use it properly. Glucose is important for healthy muscles, tissues, and brain function, and with diabetes, there is often too much glucose in the blood, which can lead to other health conditions.


Living with diabetes may require dietary adjustments, medication, regular insulin injections, and continuous glucose monitoring. If you have type 1 or type 2 diabetes, you may have an increased risk for the following diseases:

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Cardiovascular disease


Having too much glucose in your blood can lead to other cardiovascular complications. Diabetes can dramatically increase your risk of high blood pressure, coronary artery disease, chest pain known as angina, heart attack, and stroke. If you have diabetes, talk to your doctor about how to manage your cardiovascular health and keep your blood sugar and blood pressure under control.

Woman holding her low back and kidney area Photo by Kindel Media from Pexels

Chronic kidney disease


The kidneys’ job is to help filter excess fluids and wastes out of the body, and a build-up of toxins can lead to kidney damage and chronic kidney disease (CKD), and eventually, end stage renal disease (ESRD). Diabetes—particularly type 2 diabetes—is also the number one cause of CKD in the U.S., as it can damage and weaken the blood vessels in the kidneys. That damage may prevent the kidneys from working as well as they should and lead to kidney failure and CKD.

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Multiple Sclerosis


If you have already been diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, you are far more likely to develop multiple sclerosis (MS) than those who do not have diabetes. Some research has shown that both autoimmune diseases attack the insulating cover of the nerve cells in your brain and spinal cord, damaging nerve tissues that can lead to signs and symptoms of MS.

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Alzheimer’s disease


While the connection is not fully understood, there has been quite a bit of research that ties type 2 diabetes with Alzheimer’s disease. Since diabetes can damage the blood vessels, it is considered a risk factor for vascular dementia, which is due to brain damage, often caused by reduced or blocked blood flow to the brain. Many researchers believe that the link between the two conditions may be a result of the ways that type 2 diabetes affects the brain’s and tissues’ ability to use glucose and respond to insulin.


Many people living with diabetes maintain normal and active lifestyles, with little to no health complications. However, if you are diagnosed with type 1 or type 2 diabetes, it’s important to stay in communication with your doctor and medical team in order to ensure your holistic health and wellness.




It’s imperative that we take care of our bodies. Not only when it comes to day-to-day intake and activities, but also in how we minimize risk of chronic illness. Diabetes is incredibly common in the United States and if you do not properly address the risk factors, it can lead to other problems as well. Not only can it lead to an increased risk in the diseases listed above, but it can also lead to conditions not related to a specific illness such as incontinence. If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with diabetes recently, experts recommend having an in-depth conversation with your provider to ensure that your daily behavior does not exacerbate the condition.


Author’s Bio:

Jenny Hart is a freelance contributor on behalf of Jenny has been writing for more than five years and covers a wide array of health-related topics ranging from insurance to chronic illness.


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