Understand your diabetes
More than 29 million people in the U.S. live with diabetes. Another 79 million are at risk of developing the disease.
Diabetes occurs when your body has a shortage of insulin or when your body loses its ability to use insulin or both. Insulin lowers your blood sugar and converts glucose (sugar) to energy. Too much sugar in the blood causes damage to the body. People with diabetes have a higher incidence of heart attack, stroke and kidney failure, as well as a higher risk for amputation of lower limbs.
The basics about diabetes
When you eat a meal, food breaks down into sugar or glucose. This glucose goes into your bloodstream and the blood glucose then elevates. The body produces insulin, which takes the glucose into the body cells to be used for energy. When you have diabetes, your body cannot produce enough insulin or can't use the insulin it does produce in the correct way.