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What Does Diabetes Do?
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Summary
Diabetes is a disorder in the way the body metabolizes food. In people with diabetes, the body either does not produce enough insulin, or does not respond as it should to the insulin it does receive. Insulin, a hormone produced in the pancreas, enables cells to absorb glucose in order to turn it into energy. If glucose accumulates in the blood it is called hyperglycemia, and leads to various potential complications.
During, and immediately after a meal, our body begins to break down food molecules, including carbohydrates, into sugar molecules. One of these sugar molecules is glucose. Glucose is a simple sugar, which supplies the fuel that every cell in our body needs to survive. After we eat, glucose is absorbed directly into the blood stream, and our blood sugar levels rise sharply. This sends a signal to the beta cells of the pancreas, instructing them to secrete just the right amount of insulin to manage the sugar. The task of insulin is to make it easier for the glucose to enter the body’s cells, in particular the cells of the muscles and liver. There, glucose is used to power the cell’s activities, or stored for future use.
Keywords: health answers, diabetes, Diabetes Type II, Type I, sugar levels, Dr. Lauren Streicher
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