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What is diabetes type 1 and diabetes type 2? 

Diabetes is a disease in which your blood glucose, or blood sugar, levels are too high. Glucose comes from the foods you eat. Insulin is a hormone that helps the glucose get into your cells to give them energy. With type 1 diabetes, your body does not make insulin. With type 2 diabetes, the more common type, your body does not make or use insulin well. Without enough insulin, the glucose stays in your blood. You can also have prediabetes. This means that your blood sugar is higher than normal but not high enough to be called diabetes. Having prediabetes puts you at a higher risk of getting type 2 diabetes.

Why do you need to monitor your heart if you have diabetes?

When you have diabetes, your body doesn’t properly manage blood sugar (glucose), its main source of fuel. To keep your blood sugar level on target and avoid problems with your eyes, kidneys, heart and feet, you should eat right and be active, and you may need to take medication. You also need to monitor your blood sugar to see if you are within your target goals. This helps you make choices in eating and being active so your body can perform at its best. By regularly monitoring, you can quickly find out if your blood sugar is too high or too low, get it on track and prevent long-term health problems.


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People suffering from type 1 and type 2 diabetes are more likely to be at risk from heart attacks, strokes and high blood pressure.

Vascular problems, such as poor circulation to the legs and feet, are also more likely to affect diabetes patients.

Like diabetes itself, the symptoms of cardiovascular disease may go undetected for years [1].


A Diabetes UK report from 2007 estimates that the risk of cardiovascular disease in people with diabetes is:

  • 5 times higher in middle aged men

  • 8 times higher in women with diabetes.


More than half of type 2 diabetes patients will exhibit signs of cardiovascular disease complications at diagnosis.

[1] Association of glycaemia with macrovascular and microvascular complications of Type 2 diabetes: prospective observational study. British Medical Journal 2000; 321: 405-412.

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