When you have type 2 diabetes, your body does not use or make insulin the way it should. As a result, the amount of sugar (glucose) in your blood becomes too high. Over time, high blood glucose levels can start to damage the blood vessels in the heart, eyes, kidneys, brain, and other parts of your body.
Diabetes and heart disease can go hand in hand. That’s because many of the factors that lead to type 2 diabetes—high blood pressure, being overweight, eating a high-fat diet, smoking and not exercising regularly—also contribute to heart disease and vice versa. If you have diabetes, you are two to four times more likely to have heart disease or suffer a stroke than someone who doesn’t have the disease. That’s scary. If you have heart disease, you need to make sure you get your blood glucose checked regularly.
About one in three people with diabetes don’t know they have it. But it can do a number on your body. So, if you think you have diabetes or if it runs in your family, talk with your health care provider.
The good news? There’s plenty you can do to help keep diabetes in check while also slowing or preventing other health problems. You owe it to yourself and your loved ones to learn about diabetes. Use this condition center to learn more about diabetes, create a list of questions to ask your health care provider and get practical tips.