Diabetes is a metabolic condition, characterised by high levels of blood sugar. Type 2 diabetes develops when your pancreas either doesn’t make sufficient insulin or your body can no longer use the insulin it does make, i.e. you become insulin resistant. Insulin is responsible for signalling to the body to absorb glucose and use it as energy, so if we become resistant, blood sugar levels increase.
High levels of glucose in the bloodstream can damage the walls of our arteries and increase development of fatty plaque. If this plaque builds up in the arteries supplying blood to the heart (development of coronary heart disease), we are at a much higher risk of having a heart attack. People with T2 diabetes are also twice as likely to have a stroke.
These statistics are scary, but these diseases are preventable. Inactivity, poor diet and being overweight are the main causes of Type 2 diabetes. Even if you have already been diagnosed, exercise and nutrition can help control blood sugar and manage your condition.
If you haven’t already, look back over the previous Heart Healthy Habits posts for tips on how to adapt your lifestyle for the better!
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