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What is Diabetes?

Updated: Aug 1, 2022

Sugar & Insulin

The food we eat is digested and turned into sugar/glucose, that we use for energy. The pancreas, an organ that is near the stomach, makes a hormone called insulin to help the sugar/glucose get into the cells of our bodies. You can think of insulin as a truck, carrying the sugar/glucose into the cells. When you have type 2 diabetes, your body doesn't use insulin as well as it should. This causes sugar/glucose to build up in your blood.


When you test your blood sugar/glucose level, you are testing the sugar/glucose level that is in your blood. Type 2 diabetes is a serious condition as sugar in the blood causes other health problems. It can lead to health issues such as heart attack; stroke; blindness; kidney failure; or loss of toes, feet, or legs.

Your A1C

This lab test is a key measure of how well your body has managed sugar over the past 3 months. It is important to ask your provider or nurse what your A1C goal should be.


Your provider may prescribe medication that helps your body deal with the sugar levels by impacting how fast food is digested into sugar or your provider may prescribe insulin that helps carry the sugar from the food into your cells. Sometimes neither medication or insulin is needed, and you can manage diabetes through diet. The key thing to remember is that medication or insulin alone cannot make diabetes go into remission, lifestyle changes are needed no matter the course of treatment.

Every person with diabetes has the ability to make choices that prevent complications and improve quality of life. You are in charge.

With the right choices, regarding medications, food, exercise and a healthy lifestyle, diabetes can be managed. Your provider and nurse are looking forward to helping you on this journey.

Taking Care of You

There are different choices you can make to take care of your diabetes.

These include

  • choosing to educate yourself on diabetes

  • choosing to check your blood sugar

  • choosing what you eat

  • choosing how much you eat

  • choosing to take your medication

  • choosing to speak to your doctor

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