3 Reasons to Reduce Blood Sugar

If you have high blood sugar, reducing it may help improve your relationships, prevent depression and more.

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Updated on March 25, 2024.

Over time, chronically high blood sugar related to diabetes can lead to problems with your heart, eyes, nerves, and many other areas of your body. According to data analyzed from 1 million people, it can also impact your life in other ways. Here are three key reasons why it’s essential to reduce high blood sugar:

1. Relationships. People with diabetes are far less likely than those without diabetes to spend time with friends or relatives. They're also more than twice as likely as those without diabetes to say they're unhappily married. Diabetes can increase the risk for depression and anxiety, both of which can affect relationships. It can affect your sex life by causing vaginal dryness in women, and low testosterone and problems with erection in men.

2. Depression. People with diabetes may be twice as likely as those in the general population to have depression. Diabetes has been linked to changes in the brain that contribute to depression, according to the National Institute of Mental Health. The stress and expense of managing a chronic condition like diabetes also can increase the risk for depression. 

3. Finances. People with diabetes are three times more likely than those without diabetes to report severe financial stress. This may be because type 2 diabetes hits low-income communities especially hard. According to the American Diabetes Association, people newly diagnosed with diabetes spend $4,174 more per year on medical costs than those who don't have diabetes. That figure increases by another $158 every year after that.

While diabetes can affect more than your physical health, there are proven steps that can help manage your condition. These include taking any medications as prescribed, and lifestyle changes like regular exercise as you are able, quitting smoking if you smoke, and aiming for a healthy diet rich in fruits and vegetables, lean protein, and whole grains, and low in salt, added sugars and saturated fat (which is solid at room temperature, like butter).

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