Type 2 diabetes occurs when your body isn’t able to remove sugar from your blood for use elsewhere. This can happen if your body stops being sensitive to insulin or if it starts to respond in a delayed or exaggerated way to changes in your blood sugar. An elevated blood sugar level that signals diabetes is a reading over 126 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL) for a fasting blood test or over 200 mg/dL at any time during the day.
Beyond the effects of diabetes itself, unchecked high blood sugar gradually damages the blood vessels in your body. Over the long term, this slow, progressive harm can lead to a dangerous loss of sensation in your legs and feet, a loss of eyesight and kidney function, and an increased risk for heart disease and stroke.