5 Unexpected Consequences of Diabetes

· April 11, 2017
Did you know diabetes can worsen your hearing? If you notice hearing problems, see a specialist to get a diagnosis.

Diabetes is a significant health issue that affects more than six million people all over the world of all ages.

It is a chronic, complex metabolic issue that is characterized by the body improperly metabolizing sugars, proteins, and fats from the food you eat.

Excess glucose in the blood damages the tissues and organs of people with diabetes.

In recent years, there have been campaigns to raise awareness of the risks of diabetes and to avoid problems. Both governments and medical institutions are working together, but many people face unexpected consequences of this serious illness.

Learn more about them in this article.

1. Mouth issues

People with uncontrolled diabetes run a greater risk of having oral health issues than those with normal glucose levels, including gum problems.

If you have diabetes, pre-diabetes, or metabolic syndrome, you need to pay special attention to your oral hygiene and see your dentist regularly.

It’s not uncommon for people to discover their first unexpected consequences of diabetes in their mouth. Maybe you suddenly notice cavities or gum problems, or your dentist comments on it.

The most common problems are:

  • Periodontitis: This disease affects the bone that holds your teeth. It’s important to follow the treatment prescribed by your dentist to avoid losing teeth.
  • Cavities: Besides looking bad, they can give you problems like sensitivity to cold or hot foods. Keep your glucose levels under control and be sure to clean your teeth of food and sugar residue.
  • Problems with your palate, the roof of your mouth.
  • Bad or fruity-smelling breath: Sometimes, this symptom is the first sign that’s noticeable in people with diabetes. If you detect this problem, get a medical checkup as soon as possible to check your blood glucose levels.

See this article, too: How to Make a Mineral Treatment to Whiten Teeth

2. Hearing loss

A higher rate of hearing loss has been discovered in people with diabetes than with people with normal blood glucose levels. This can be detected through different tests that measure participants’ ability to hear low, medium, and high frequencies in both ears.


Those who suffer from this second unexpected consequence of diabetes may also notice these symptoms:

  • Vertigo
  • Buzzing in the ear
  • Hypoacusis
  • Balance problems

Poorly controlled glucose levels can result in sclerosis of the internal auditory artery, atrophy of the spiral ganglion, and the demyelinating of the eighth cranial nerve.

If you’re over 40 years of age, your risk goes up.

Pay attention, and if you have been noticing lately that you aren’t hearing well or that people have to yell for you to hear them, it’s important for you to see a doctor.

3. Skin infections

Skin infections are another unexpected consequence of diabetes. The common problems can be classified into four groups:

  • Lesions
  • Skin infections
  • Bad reactions to medication
  • Diabetic foot

People with diabetes are especially susceptible to skin dryness since when glucose levels are very elevated, your body tries to release sugar by urinating frequently.

If your glucose levels don’t get down to proper levels, you’ll need to urinate more often and your body will lose more fluid. If you don’t replace this fluid by drinking water, you’ll end up dehydrated.

In serious cases, you many form itchy or peeling red-colored lesions. Remember that 8 glasses of water a day is the recommended minimum.

You can use moisturizing cream on dry skin but if your body is thirsty, the cream will only last for a matter of minutes or up to a few hours.

4. Obstructive sleep apnea

Another unexpected consequence of diabetes is obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). This is a common respiratory problem and is often missed. It happens when airways intermittently and repeatedly collapse while sleeping.

2% of women and 4% of men have OSA. Two contributing factors are obesity and diabetes.

If you start noticing you’re having problems breathing while you’re sleeping, you need to exercise and eat better in order to lose weight. The best exercise is an hour-long walk accompanied by a diet rich in vegetables.

5. Sexual dysfunction

Diabetes can lead to sexual performance difficulties, both for men and women.

Men with diabetes are three times as likely to get lesions on their nerves and arteries, interrupting the blood flow necessary to get an erection.

Besides that, some diabetes medications can have side effects that contribute to sexual dysfunction.

Women may suffer from:

  • Hyperglycemia
  • Lesions in the genital region unrelated to STD’s
  • Depression
  • Infections in the genital region

We recommend reading: 11 Causes of Pain During Sexual Intercourse

Tips to control your diabetes

A lot of people think that having diabetes means facing these and other unexpected consequences. The reality is that it all depends on the precautions you take.

A good diet and lifestyle can ensure a long, practically normal life without these unexpected consequences of diabetes.

If you’ve been diagnosed with diabetes, we invite you to take the opportunity to adopt better eating habits and work on a healthier lifestyle.