The word "Diabetes" does not conjur up imagies of a serious/major medical illness. But the consequences of Diabetes are horrible and very common. Everybody knows that diabetes means "the sugar in the blood is too high and has something to do with insulin." But so what? As you read this, keep this phrase in mind: The blood carries Oxygen. Oxygen is good.
Here's the deal: food is broken down into protein & glucose. Glucose is sugar. Blood needs insulin (think shopping cart) to carry sugar to muscle cells (to use as energy immediately) or fat cells (to use later) and all is right with the world. Take insulin out of the equasion and the sugar and protein does not get out of your blood. The kidneys and liver function to filter the blood. Too much sugar and protein gunk up your kidneys and liver. That causes the kidneys and liver to fail. Too much gunk in your blood - because the kidneys and liver can't get rid of it - makes it harder and harder for your heart to pump blood and fluid around you body. Gravity wins. The fluid collects in the extremities and lungs. Your heart - a simple pump made out of muscle tissue - can only do so much before it starts to be damaged. The heart muscle is damaged, it can't pump the blood (thus Oxygen) to the organs - say, for example: Eyes. When your skin doesn't get enough Oxygen, sores will not heal and eventually the tissue dies. This death- called gangrene - slowly creeps along, killing everything in its path. To stop it, they have to cut it out.
None of this happens very quickly. I think that's why people kind of ignore Diabetes. They feel fine, until little by little, the organs are damaged. Once that happens, there is no going back. You may be able to slow it down with diet (no sugar taken in means no sugar to go through the blood). You may be able to slow it down with exercise (muscles burn the sugar so it doesn't stay in your blood). Doctors for those of us with weight problems (aka obese) and who really don't exercie, may suggest drugs like Metformin to slow it down which just helps the insulin already in your body do its thing.. Blood sugar can be "controlled" when insulin is ingested with food.
I see many people with Diabetes on a day to day basis. Some are in the early stages and have other problems to deal with. But according to my non-scientific survey, everyone who comes in who has a serious problem with an internal organ (heart, kidneys, liver) or needs an amputation has Diabetes and has had it a very long time.
I'm not a doctor and this certainly isn't medical advice. It isn't really legal advice - just musings about what I see on a daily basis. It is heartbreaking. I do make a living from other people's misery. I'd just prefer to do it from misery from a simple walk to the bus stop. So, take care of yourself. The bus finds all of us in the end. No reason to chase after it.