3 Reasons to Reduce Blood Sugar

Medically reviewed in November 2021

If you have diabetes, prediabetes, or blood sugar on the high side of normal, we have some sound reasons why it’s essential to reduce blood sugar.

No doubt you already know about diabetes' scary complications, from heart disease to blindness and nerve damage. But did you know that diabetes can take a huge toll on your personal life, too? According to data we analyzed from 1 million RealAgers, it can impact your life in three key ways:

1. Relationships. Diabetics are far less likely than nondiabetics 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. That's not surprising. Diabetes can make you prone to depression and anxiety, both of which are hard on relationships. It can also put the brakes on your sex life by causing vaginal dryness in women, and low testosterone and erectile dysfunction in men.

2. Depression. Diabetics were twice as likely as the general population to suffer from depression. Diabetes may cause changes in the brain that contribute to depression, according to the National Institute of Mental Health. The stress and expense of managing an all-encompassing condition like diabetes also can make you more vulnerable to depression. 

3. Finances. Diabetics are three times more likely than nondiabetics to report severe financial stress. This may be because type 2 diabetes hits low-income communities especially hard, but diabetes is expensive no matter where you live. According to the American Diabetes Association, newly diagnosed diabetics spend $4,174 a year more on medical costs than those who don't have diabetes. That figure goes up another $158 every year after that.

The bad news: Diabetes can affect more than your physical health. The good news: You can reduce blood sugar and manage your condition. What if you don't have diabetes, but are at risk for it? Learn how curbing high blood sugar can prevent prediabetes from morphing into full-blown type 2 diabetes.

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