Diabetes (also referred to as diabetes mellitus) is a chronic, lifelong condition. Type 2 diabetes is the most common type of diabetes.
Type 2 diabetes is a disease that affects the body's ability to use energy found in food.
Normally, after eating a meal, blood sugar (also known as blood glucose) levels rise in the body. When this happens, a hormone called insulin is released. Insulin allows the sugar to be taken up and used by different parts of the body. As a result, the amount of sugar in the bloodstream eventually reduces.
However, with type 2 diabetes, the body has trouble either producing insulin, or responding to insulin properly. Because of this, the sugar is not taken up by the body's tissues, and blood therefore blood sugar levels remain higher than normal. This is called hyperglycemia. View a diagram.
Having diabetes can lead to the development of cardiovascular disease, which can cause a heart attack, stroke or peripheral artery disease. In fact, the World Health Organization estimates that about 50% of people diagnosed with diabetes die of heart disease or stroke.
It can also cause complications including nerve damage, chronic kidney failure, and eye disease.
Many people have diabetes or pre-diabetes (placing them at very high risk for diabetes) and are unaware of this, because these conditions do not cause any symptoms in early stages. They can only be diagnosed by visiting a doctor. Learn more.
SANSAR focuses on preventing diabetes, which is a major risk factor for heart disease. At our South Asian Cardiovascular Risk Assessment Clinic, we help to determine your risk for diabetes, and give culturally-specific counselling and medical advice, so that you can take action in your own life and reduce that risk.