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Diabetes and its Related Diseases

Heart Health

  • People with diabetes can develop heart disease 10 to 15 years earlier than those without diabetes and are over three times more likely to be hospitalized for heart health problems
  • Heart disease and stroke are the most common causes of death from type 2 diabetes
  • 1 in 2 people with type 2 diabetes die due to heart disease

Discover more about diabetes and heart health.

Anxiety And Depression

  • For some people, managing their blood glucose levels every day in order to live a healthy life can be stressful. This stress can lead to a serious fear of hypoglycemia.
  • About 14% of people with diabetes have generalized anxiety disorder and up to 3 in 10 are affected by depression

Find out more on the link between diabetes and mental health.

Eye Damage

  • High blood sugar levels can cause damage to the retina, causing the blood vessels to swell, leak or close, which stops the movement of blood
  • This type of eye damage is called “diabetic retinopathy”, and it reduces or eliminates vision
  • Diabetes is the leading cause of blindness in Canada, and around 2 million Canadians have some type of diabetic retinopathy

High Blood Pressure

  • Having high blood sugar levels puts you at an increased risk of having high blood pressure, which can put additional stress on your body
  • High blood pressure can lead to heart disease; people with type 2 diabetes have a higher risk of heart disease and/or stroke at a young age when compared to people without diabetes

Kidney Disease

  • Your kidneys are responsible for removing waste and excess fluid and regulating how much salt or fluid you have in your body
  • High blood pressure, in combination with high blood sugar levels, can lead to kidney damage, which may cause them to stop working properly, or stop them working at all
  • Up to 50% of people with diabetes will show signs of kidney damage. Managing your diabetes can delay kidney damage, or prevent the loss of kidney function.

Nerve Damage

People with diabetes are at an increased risk of amputation and foot ulcers, due to nerve damage in the lower limbs. The most common symptoms affect the toes and feet, and include:

  • Throbbing or tingling
  • Burning
  • Sharp pains or a feeling of being pricked with pins
  • Numbness

These are side-effects to nerve damage, caused by high blood sugar levels. People who suffer from nerve damage have less feeling in their feet, and often fail to recognize small cuts or blisters which have the potential to become infected.

blood sugar test

Type 2 Diabetes & Your Heart

Diabetes doesn’t only affect blood sugar levels, it can affect your whole body – including your heart. Fortunately, there are some simple steps you can take right away to help your heart health.


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