Type 2 diabetes happens when your body can't use insulin the right way or when the pancreas can't make enough insulin.
Insulin is a hormone that helps the body's cells use sugar (glucose) for energy. It also helps the body store extra sugar in muscle, fat, and liver cells. Without insulin, this sugar can't get into your cells to do its work. It stays in your blood instead. Your blood sugar level then gets too high. High blood sugar can harm many parts of the body, such as the eyes, heart, blood vessels, nerves, and kidneys. It can also increase your risk for other health problems (complications).
Type 2 diabetes is different from type 1 diabetes. In type 1 diabetes, the body's immune system destroys the cells that release insulin, so that over time the body can't produce insulin at all. In type 2 diabetes, the body still makes some insulin, but it can't use it the right way.
What you can do
- Know the symptoms of Type 2 diabetes
- Take the American Diabetes Association’s diabetes risk test and encourage the ones you love to take it too.
- Take a class to learn more about Type 2 diabetes
- Join a diabetes support group
- Know the most appropriate way to shop and eat when you live with diabetes
- Call a care nurse at 800-662-1121 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
- Learn more