Now playing: What is Type 2 Diabetes?

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What is Type 2 Diabetes?

Type 2 Diabetes occurs when your pancreas does not produce enough insulin and your body is resistant to the insulin that is produced. Insulin is a hormone that helps your body use blood sugar (known as glucose) for energy.

Your body takes the food you eat and breaks down fat, protein, and carbohydrates for energy.

During the digestion process, the carbohydrates from your food are broken down into glucose. Glucose is absorbed into the bloodstream where it is carried to cells throughout your body.

A healthy pancreas releases a regular supply of insulin into your bloodstream. After you eat, your blood glucose levels rise, and your pancreas responds by releasing more insulin to move the glucose into your cells.

Insulin acts as a key, opening up the cell so it can accept the glucose.

In a person with Type 2 diabetes, your insulin receptors are less sensitive. Though your pancreas continues to produce some insulin, it is not enough to meet your body's needs.

When your body's cells are less responsive to insulin, it is more difficult for glucose to enter the cells and raise your blood glucose level.

As a person with Type 2 diabetes, it is important to monitor and maintain healthy blood glucose levels. Over a long period of time, high blood glucose levels can lead to serious health complications, such as heart attack and stroke, blindness, kidney failure, and nerve damage.

By getting daily physical activity, eating a healthy diet, and taking your prescribed medication, you will decrease your chances of developing complications from diabetes.

Last modified: 2012-03-06