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Diabetes is a health condition so common these days, that it has become a household name! It has been estimated that India has the highest number of diabetes patients in the world and by the year 2040, the number of diabetes patients in the world would be around 123 million!
So, we can see how prevalent this disease has become over the years and probably the changing lifestyle factors of people have played a role in its increase. Now, when a person is affected with a particular disease, be it major or minor, there are side effects caused. For example, a flu may leave you feeling fatigued, even after it is cured; chick pox leaves scars on the skin, which could be permanent.
Similarly, most diseases have a particular set of side effects that people expect. However, sometimes, there could be certain unusual or unexpected side effects caused by certain diseases.
Even when it comes to diabetes, apart from its usual side effects like increase in blood sugar levels, fatigue, weight loss, etc,. there could be a few unexpected side effects. Find out what they are, below.
1. Uneven Skin Patches
If you notice that you have developed uneven skin patches, without any cause and if they are rough, "velvety", dark patches, then it could be a side effect of diabetes, especially type 2 diabetes, where a person's body becomes resistant to the insulin hormone being produced. The skin patches are formed when the excess insulin which circulates through the body stimulate the skin cells to renew rapidly and also stimulate the production of more melanin in the skin, which result in thick, dark patches.
2. High Cholesterol
If you are experiencing high cholesterol levels, when you have been diagnosed with diabetes, then high cholesterol could be another side effect of diabetes. When the blood sugar levels are high, it can lead to the lowering of the good cholesterol (HDL) levels in the body and increase the unhealthy fat cells and cholesterol levels, as the insulin in the body will not be used effectively.
3. Brain Health Problems
A research study which was published in a journal called ‘Neurology', stated that many people with diabetes experience an unexpected side effect, which is a gradual decline in their cognitive and brain functions, which could result in brain diseases such as Alzheimer's and dementia. The study says that, this could happen because the flow of blood to the brain in some diabetes patients tends to be abnormal.
4. Gum Diseases
A public health study conducted at the Colombia University stated that people who have diabetes are more prone to gum diseases and it is also one of the unexpected side effects. The study further states that gum diseases can occur in diabetic patients as the high sugar levels in the blood can modify the collagen tissues in the gums, making them more prone to inflammation and infections. Also, as diabetes leads to slow wound healing capacity, the gum infections can take a long time to heal.
5. Hearing Loss
It has been noted by a number of research studies and surveys that people with diabetes are more prone to hearing loss that non-diabetic people, as it is also one of the side effects. Diabetes is known to damage the blood vessels of the inner ear, after a number of years, thus leading to impaired hearing or
hearing loss in patients, which could be permanent.
6. Kidney Failure
This is one of the more serious and also an unexpected side effect of diabetes. When a person has been suffering from diabetes for a long time, eventually the high amount of sugar in the blood affects the cells of the kidney, while it is filtering the blood. This could lead to kidney diseases, infections and kidney failure, which is a medical emergency that could prove to be fatal when not treated. 6. Kidney Failure
7. Sexual Dysfunction
A number of people with diabetes have reported to experience sexual dysfunctions such as erectile dysfunction, premature ejaculation, vaginal dryness due to non-arousal, etc., and it has been noted as yet another side effect of diabetes. Studies have stated that sexual dysfunction occurs in people with diabetes, as they have hormonal imbalances caused by high blood sugar and testosterone hormone levels are low, especially in men.