Diabetes mellitus is a disease that means the body either doesn’t make or is not able to respond properly to the hormone insulin. The body uses insulin to convert sugar, starches and other foods into energy. If you have diabetes, this means that your blood glucose or blood sugar levels are too high.

Type 2 diabetes is the most common form and usually found in adults. Obesity and physical inactivity are two important risk factors for Type 2 diabetes. If it is a mild case, it can often go undetected for a long time. If untreated, it can lead to many serious medical conditions, including heart and blood vessel disease. Type 1 diabetes is less common and typically begins early in life.

Even when the blood sugar levels are under control, diabetics are at a much greater risk of heart attack and stroke. In fact, the majority of people with diabetes generally die of some form of heart or blood vessel disease. This is because diabetes affects cholesterol and triglyceride levels. It can also cause high blood pressure, which increases the risk even more.

If you have been diagnosed with diabetes, it is essential that you have regular medical check-ups to help control it. Your doctor or healthcare provider can guide you in changing your eating habits, controlling your weight and developing an effective exercise program. If you have diabetes, it is very important to control and/or reduce any other risk factors.