What Is Type 2 Diabetes?

What Is Type 2 Diabetes?

An overview of type 2 diabetes

Diabetes occurs when the body does not make enough insulin and/or doesn't respond to insulin properly.

How food, sugar, and insulin work in the body

Your body breaks down certain foods you eat into a type of sugar called glucose.

This sugar (glucose) enters your bloodstream and travels to different cells in your body.

Insulin acts like a key, opening the cells in order to let the sugar move out of your blood and go into your cells. The sugar is then used by your cells for energy.

Your body breaks down certain foods you eat into a type of sugar called glucose.

This sugar (glucose) enters your bloodstream and travels to different cells in your body.

Insulin acts like a key, opening the cells in order to let the sugar move out of your blood and go into your cells. The sugar is then used by your cells for energy.

With type 2 diabetes

  • Your body’s insulin doesn’t work the way it should to get sugar out of your blood and into your cells
  • Instead of entering your body’s cells, the sugar builds up in your blood
  • This can lead to diabetes-related complications over time

Anyone can get type 2 diabetes, but some people are at greater risk than others

Some common risk factors include:

Being overweight or obese

Having a family member such as a parent, brother, or sister who has diabetes

Being a member of a high-risk ethnic group, which includes African Americans, Asian Americans, Hispanics, and Native Americans

Anyone can get type 2 diabetes, but some people are at greater risk than others

Some common risk factors include:

Being overweight or obese

Being overweight or obese

Having a family member such as a parent, brother, or sister who has diabetes

Having a family member such as a parent, brother, or sister who has diabetes

Being a member of a high-risk ethnic group, which includes African Americans, Asian Americans, Hispanics, and Native Americans

Being a member of a high-risk ethnic group, which includes African Americans, Asian Americans, Hispanics, and Native Americans

GLP-1 is another important hormone that helps lower blood sugar

GLP-1 stands for glucagon-like peptide-1. This hormone is produced in the gut and is released in response to the food you eat. The GLP-1 hormone can:

  • Increase the amount of insulin your pancreas releases when food is absorbed in the stomach and intestines. The increased insulin lowers blood sugar levels
  • Stop the liver from releasing sugar into the blood when it’s not needed
  • Slow the movement of food through the stomach so sugar enters the blood more slowly

GLP-1 treatment works like your body's naturally occurring GLP-1. Talk to your healthcare provider about why a GLP-1 pill may be right for you. Download a discussion guide to help get the conversation started.

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