Johnson & Johnson has added a short film to its YouTube page to highlight World Diabetes Day (November 14th).
Thelma Garza spoke to Dr Nancy Snyderman about how a "routine physical examination" revealed high levels of glucose in her blood indicative of type 2 diabetes.
She described how shocked she was when her GP demonstrated by pricking her own finger how blood should flow "like water" but how her own was "like syrup".
Dr Snyderman explained people with type 2 diabetes - which is linked to poor diet and obesity - are at increased risk from blindness, amputation, stroke and heart disease.
"It really scared me," Ms Garza said, going on to describe how she immediately threw out all the unhealthy, sugary food in her house.
She has now lost weight and is learning to monitor and manage her diabetes.
Routine eye examinations can sometimes reveal whether a person has diabetes.
While some experts recommend contact lens wearers get their eyes checked every year, the government says a visit to the opticians should take place at least every two years.
by Adrian Galbreth