Glucose is a simple sugar that serves as a source of energy so that our bodies can function. Sugars found in the food we eat are broken down to glucose by our bodies, which then enters our blood where it can be used by the body as fuel to provide energy. Too much glucose, however, can be a problem. That’s where insulin helps.
Insulin is a hormone that helps to control the amount of glucose in the blood. Insulin allows your body’s cells to use the sugar as energy or store it as fat. When the glucose is used this way, your body’s glucose levels (blood sugar levels) go back down to where they should be.
Insulin is made by the pancreas, which is an organ just behind your stomach.
Type 2 diabetes is much more common than type 1 diabetes.
9 out of 10 people with diabetes have type 2
Anyone can develop type 2 diabetes. Some things that indicate an increased risk of having diabetes are:
People of many ethnicities – including those of South Asian, Asian, African and Aboriginal descent – have a higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes compared with people of European ancestry.
Studies have shown that people of Asian descent have a high risk of developing type 2 diabetes – even at a lower BMI compared with people of European decent
For Canadians living with type 2 diabetes, death from heart disease is a serious risk.
If you have type 2 diabetes and a history of heart disease, diet and exercise may not be enough to protect your heart.
Take an active role in your heart health. Speak with your doctor about medications that – along with diet and exercise – have been proven to lower the risk of dying from problems related to the heart and blood vessels in people who have type 2 diabetes and a history of heart disease.
Having high blood sugar, also known as hyperglycemia, can affect other parts of your body and lead to other health problems.
People with diabetes can experience:
Feel confident you're getting the most out of your next doctor's appointment by preparing ahead of time. Use this guide as a cheat sheet to help organize your thoughts and questions.
For people with type 2 diabetes, managing blood sugar levels can be tricky. Learn how to take care of your blood sugar levels when they are too low or too high.Manage the highs and lows