Diabetes is a serious metabolic disorder that directly leads to cardiovascular disease.

Much of the food we eat is turned into glucose, or sugar, which provides the energy and fuel your body needs. Insulin is a hormone that helps glucose get into the cells of our bodies. When you have diabetes, your body may not able to produce insulin (this is Type 1 diabetes), or may not use its own insulin properly (Type 2 diabetes). The result is too much glucose in your blood and insulin imbalance. Type 1 diabetes typically arises in childhood or adolescence. However, both types can occur at any age.

See your doctor if you suspect diabetes, because treatment can lower your risk of major cardiovascular complications.

Treatment for Type 1 diabetes may include insulin injections or an insulin pump, frequent blood-sugar checks and a strict diet. Treatment for Type 2 diabetes, the more common form of the disease, also involves careful blood sugar monitoring, strict diet and the use of oral medications before insulin is needed. Diabetes greatly increases your risk of major cardiovascular problems. Slow wound-healing, particularly on the feet, can also be seen. Be sure to consult your physician if you suspect diabetes.

Symptoms may include:
• Blurred vision
• Frequent urination
• Increased appetite or thirst
• Infections
• Thirst
• Poor wound-healing, particularly on legs or feet

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