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5 Parts of the body affected by diabetes.

Learn about 5 Common complications of type 1 and type 2 diabetes. Understanding the effects.

5 Parts of the body affected by diabetes.

When you understand how diabetes works in the body it’s easier to grasp how so many parts of the body can be adversely affected by it.

In Type 1 diabetes the body’s immune system destroys the cells that release insulin and eventually eliminates insulin production from the body. Without insulin, cells cannot absorb the glucose needed to produce energy. In Type 2 diabetes the body is unable to use insulin in the right way and over time the production of insulin decreases.

– Feet

Have you ever wondered why diabetics need those special socks you’ve seen in your local pharmacy? Nerve damage and poor blood circulation caused by diabetes can result in foot ulcers. If not treated non-healing ulcers could cause severe damage to tissue and bone which in extreme cases could result in the amputation of a toe, foot or part of a leg. (Those special socks aren’t elasticated so they don’t restrict blood circulation.)

– Skin

Those with high blood glucose levels can experience skin problems – dry skin and more difficulty fending off harmful bacteria. Both of these symptoms increase the risk of infection. About a third of all diabetics suffer from bacterial infections, fungal infections, specific diabetes-related skin conditions and itching. The reduced blood circulation is the culprit here.

– Eyes

Glaucoma, cataracts, retinopathy (diabetic disorders of the retina) and even blindness are some of the problems associated with the eyes of diabetics. Control of diabetes is extremely important when it comes to the eyes as most diabetics end up with at least minor eye disorders.

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– Nerves

Prolonged exposure to too much sugar in the blood can cause injury to nerve fibres throughout the body with the feet and legs being the prime targets. This can result in anything from pain and numbness in the limbs to problems with blood vessels, the heart, digestive system and urinary tract.

– Blood pressure

WebMD explains this nicely: Having diabetes increases your risk of developing high blood pressure and other cardiovascular problems, because diabetes adversely affects the arteries, predisposing them to atherosclerosis (narrowing of the arteries). Atherosclerosis can cause high blood pressure, which if not treated, can lead to blood vessel damage, stroke, heart failure, heart attack or kidney failure.


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We all have questions.

Below are some of the answers to the most common questions that you need to know.

Which is worse – Type 1 or Type 2 Diabetes?

“Worse” is a harsh comparison. The difference between these two types of Diabetes is that Type 1 requires insulin, and it never goes away. Type 2 requires consistent effort and can be managed over your lifetime.

What is the normal HbA1C level?

It is generally accepted that you should maintain HbA1C below 8%. The following guidelines are suggested by the South African Diabetes Association:

  • 4 – 6% Non-diabetic range. 
  • < 7% Well-controlled diabetic 7% – 8% Acceptable diabetic control > 8% 
  • Poor diabetic control needs attention.
What is the main cause of Diabetes?

Diabetes (Type 1) is usually a predisposed or genetically inherited condition. Diabetes (Type 2) is caused by lifestyle choices. Gestational Diabetes can be caused by either genetics or lifestyle choices.

What are the first signs of diabetes?
  • Excessive thirst over a prolonged period.
  • Increased frequency in the need to urinate.
  • Significant weight loss or gain.
  • You find yourself fatigued, tired, and irritable, on a regular basis.
  • Open or ruptured wounds take a long time to heal.
  • Blurred vision.
  • Tingling sensations in your hands and feet.
Can you get life insurance if you have Diabetes?

Yes. AllLife can help you get up to R10million life insurance, as either a Type 1 or Type 2 Diabetic.

Can I test myself for Diabetes?

Although you can easily test your own blood glucose levels at any time, only your doctor, nurse, or clinic team can confirm a Diabetes diagnosis. This is because a series of specific tests are required for diagnosis.

Up to R10 million Life Cover for people living with Diabetes.

Simply fill in your details below and we'll call you back.

What will I be covered for?

With just one phone call, you could be offered comprehensive Diabetic Life Cover and Diabetic Disability Cover (optional). A simple underwriting process is completed once you’ve signed up, usually consisting of common blood tests, to determine if full cover can be continued.

What happens after I‘m covered?

After you’re covered you can enjoy the benefit of our Health Control Programme where we remind and assist you when it comes to regular tests and checkups, ensuring that you live a healthy and happy life.

Remember, life cover gets more expensive as you get older, so your premium will never be lower than it is today.

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*Risk Profile Dependent, Premiums increase by 6% every year and can be reviewed given 30 days' notice.