Diabetes is a serious disease. It happens when the body does not make enough insulin or cannot use it well. This causes high levels of glucose (blood sugar) to build up in the blood. As a result, the body does not work like it should.
Untreated diabetes can lead to many serious medical problems. These include blindness, kidney disease, nerve disease, limb amputations and cardiovascular disease.
There are two types of diabetes:
The symptoms of type 2 diabetes develop over time. Some people have symptoms and others do not. Common symptoms include:
Diabetes is a major risk factor for heart attack and stroke. Over time, high blood glucose damages the body. Diabetes can lead to blindness, amputation, kidney problems, and death.
You are more likely to get type 2 diabetes if you:
One way to find out if you have prediabetes or diabetes is to get your fasting blood glucose checked by your physician.
Source: National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute; National Institutes of Health; U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of diabetes-related deaths. If you or a loved one have diabetes, it's important to regularly monitor your heart health. Talk to your doctor about preventative heart screenings.
Physicians are members of the medical staff at one of Baylor Health Care System's subsidiary, community or affiliated medical centers and are neither employees nor agents of those medical centers, Baylor Scott & White The Heart Hospital – Plano or Baylor Health Care System.