Facts About Diabetes Diabetes affects the way the body metabolizes, or uses, digested food to make glucose, the main source of fuel for the body. Type 2 Diabetes A person with type 2 diabetes either can't make enough insulin or can't properly use it. Metabolic Syndrome and Prediabetes Metabolic syndrome is marked by higher levels of glucose in the blood. That's also a sign of pre-diabetes. Overview of Clinical Complications of Diabetes Heart disease, high blood pressure, and kidney disease are some of the complications of diabetes. Diabetic Retinopathy and Other Eye Problems Diabetic retinopathy is a leading cause of blindness in American adults. It is caused by changes in the blood vessels of the retina. Diabetes and Heart Disease Diabetes affects the cardiovascular system, but many problems aren't apparent until a person has a heart attack or stroke. Diabetes and High Blood Pressure If you have diabetes, you are twice as likely to have high blood pressure. Untreated, high blood pressure can raise your risk for heart disease. Diabetic Foot Problems Diabetes can damage the nerves in your feet, as well as lead to blood vessel disease. These conditions make it more difficult to notice when you injure your foot or develop a sore. Special Foot Care for Diabetes It's not high blood sugar, heart disease, or stroke that most often puts people with diabetes in the hospital. It's their feet.