Understanding How High Sugar Affects Your Body as a Type 2 Diabetic

Medically Reviewed by: Scientific Advisory Board

Type 2 Diabetes is a chronic condition that affects the body's ability to regulate glucose levels with insulin effectively. As a result, high sugar levels can have serious health consequences.

It is crucial for individuals with this condition to understand how high sugar levels affect the body. This post explores the consequences of high blood sugar, insulin resistance, and effective strategies for maintaining healthy blood sugar levels for people living with Type 2 Diabetes or pre-diabetes.

Here are 5 ways high sugar levels impact your body if you have Type 2 Diabetes.

Cardiovascular System

High blood sugar can damage blood vessels, leading to an increased risk of heart disease and stroke. It can also cause plaque buildup in arteries, which restricts blood flow and increases the risk of blood clots.


The kidneys are responsible for filtering waste and excess fluids from the blood. High blood sugar can damage the small blood vessels in the kidneys, which can lead to kidney disease over time.


High blood sugar can damage the blood vessels in the retina, which can lead to diabetic retinopathy. This condition can cause vision loss and, in severe cases, blindness.


High blood sugar can damage the nerves in the body, leading to a condition called diabetic neuropathy. This can cause numbness, tingling, or even pain in the hands, feet, or legs.

Immune System

High blood sugar can weaken the immune system, making it harder for the body to fight off infections.

Insulin resistance, which is common in Type 2 Diabetes, is a condition where the body's cells become less responsive to insulin, leading to hyperinsulinemia. It impairs the body's ability to use insulin effectively, which contributes to high sugar levels. Over time, the high insulin levels cause the body to become even more resistant to insulin, creating a vicious cycle. Understanding insulin resistance is essential for managing Type 2 Diabetes and making lifestyle changes to improve insulin sensitivity and prevent the development of complications associated with the condition.

It is crucial to maintain healthy blood sugar levels to avoid further complications associated with Type 2 Diabetes. Healthy eating, regular exercise, monitoring blood sugar levels, and taking medications as prescribed are effective strategies for controlling high blood sugar levels. Consuming a balanced diet with a variety of foods, avoiding sugary and processed foods, and consuming more whole grains, fruits, and vegetables helps keep blood sugar levels in check.

Exercising regularly helps increase insulin sensitivity, and it is recommended to aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise per week. Regularly monitoring blood sugar levels helps identify trends and make necessary adjustments to medication, diet, and exercise.

Medications prescribed by healthcare providers can help manage blood sugar levels, and it is crucial to take medications as prescribed and discuss any concerns with a healthcare provider.

Maintaining healthy blood sugar levels can prevent complications associated with Type 2 Diabetes, improve overall health and quality of life, and reduce the risk of other health problems such as heart disease and stroke. By taking control of one's health through monitoring and management of blood sugar levels, people with Type 2 Diabetes can improve their quality of life and reduce their risk of serious health problems. High sugar levels can have severe consequences, and understanding the ways it impacts the body as a Type 2 diabetic is crucial for effective management of the condition.

Always consult your physician before beginning any program. This general information is not intended to diagnose any medical condition or to replace your healthcare professional. If you experience any pain or difficulty, stop and consult your healthcare provider.