If you’re new to diabetes, or just looking for more information, the following sections will help to explain it all. Find out what diabetes is and how it affects your body.
Diabetes is a disease when your blood has too much sugar.
When you eat, especially starchy foods such as bread and rice, your body can break down the food into sugar (mainly glucose) so that the body can use it for energy. Food with protein and fat content will also be broken down and converted to glucose too. Once food is converted to glucose, it will be transported around the body by the blood, providing energy to your cells.
Now to keep them safe, your cells have a cell wall around them and they’re pretty picky about what they let inside. For glucose to get into your cells, it needs some help. This is where insulin becomes important.
Cells cannot get glucose by themselves. Insulin is like a key, it helps open the door to let glucose into the cells. When the pancreas produces sufficient insulin, cells will get the food they need. However when there is no insulin, or when it isn’t working properly, the cells can’t function and your body doesn’t have the energy it needs.
Without insulin, you can get very sick. However, the type if insulin you need will be different depending on which type of diabetes you have:
- Type 1 diabetes is when the body does not produce any insulin anymore.
- Type 2 diabetes is when the body still produces insulin but it does not make enough, or the insulin produced does not function properly. This is known as “insulin resistance”.
Be sure to follow your diabetes care plan and speak to your diabetes care team if you have any questions about your treatment.