Physical Changes In Long Term Improperly Controlled Diabetes


There are many minor changes in the body which occurs in an improperly controlled diabetic over a long period of time. By improperly controlled I mean not just very high blood sugars , but people with slightly high blood sugars and those with a wider hourly variations in blood sugar ( called glycemic variability).

Most people are aware only of the sugar-centric nature of diabetes care and probably that it complications extends to heart, eyes, kidneys and nerves. That diabetes can affect the skin, bones, muscles, joints, ligaments and symposium (joint coverings or capsules) is the lesser known fact.

We will concentrate on the deleterious physical changes of long term diabetes.

the skin texture is lost.The proteins in the skin become denatured ,the skin becomes wrinkled and it becomes dry .Certain areas of the body like the feet and legs show loss of hair and ageing signs appear much earlier.

The muscle bulk is lost and therefore characteristically early the person develops an enlarged abdominal girth, a broad mid segment but very thin upper Limbs and lower Limbs. This is because the muscles of the hand, forearm, arms, thighs and legs become weak and partly atrophied.

The facial skin also become wrinkled and early signs of ageing sets in making the person look biologically aged compared to his chronological age .

Early graying of the hair might also occur.

Bone and joints become weak and difficulty in walking sets off a sequence of further damage to posture , muscle atrophy ,and sedentary habits leading to further worsening of biological profiles namely sugars and lipids.

Proximal myopathy denotes weakness of thigh and arm muscles leading to difficulty getting up from squatting position.

Peripheral nerve damage (nerve damage of feet and legs) leads to silent injuries to feet and ulcers, thin and weak skin and osteoporosis of feet bones.

The ligaments of the body become partially fibrosed and this can lead to problems like the frozen shoulder. Frozen shoulder causes pain over the shoulder and restriction of shoulder movements. This leads to loss of muscle mass over the deltoid area.

Repeated infections of the skin and subcutaneous tissues lead to healing by scarring and fibrosis and scarred appearance of skin of the face and body.